The weekend home of artist and designer Julie Paterson and her partner Amanda Kaye, in Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. 'This is my favourite wall' says Julie of her salon hang in the bedroom. 'I wake up looking at this wall. Amanda is a mad Op shopper - she found all these pics in and around shops in the mountains. What a view!' Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Bedroom. Banksia bedspread and printed curtains above bed, both made/ designed by Julie for her label, Cloth. Teatowel pillowcases also made by Julie - one a souvenir of the New Forest, the other Birds Of England. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining room details. 'The wall has 2 colours on it because I was uncertain which way to go, blue or green, so I did a bit of both, and left it at that. For now.' says Julie! The map of Australia shows all the white mans crossings over the past 200 odd years, with a special breakout showing the Blue Mountains crossing (top left). Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining room. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
'Hello that's me and Gracie!' says Julie. 'What can I say about the Flannie. You just have to dress up in the Mountains. Long Johns too'. LOVE Julie's style! No one looks better in a flannie! (...and it was legitimately freezing - this city slicker was totally underdressed during our visit I must say...!). Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
If you follow TDF on Instagram, you'll know we recently spent a week shooting in Sydney, and that included a daytrip out to the Blue Mountains, to shoot this gorgeous weekender - a tiny but perfectly appointed country shack in Blackheath, owned by artist and designer Julie Paterson of Cloth Fabric.
Julie shares this sweet little home with her partner Amanda Kaye. Amanda lives here fulltime, whilst Julie divides her time between Blackheath and a small apartment in Sydney, where her business is based. However, they're both busy creatives, and make good use of their time here to work productively away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Julie loves spending time in her backyard studio developing new designs, whilst Amanda, a writer, works from a study in the front of the house.
‘At weekends I travel two hours, and I am up here at the highest point in the Mountains’ says Julie. ‘It is a different climate altogether than being by the ocean in Sydney, it's like a different country. I have a garden, a studio, I build bonfires and play ukulele and wear beanies and Ugg boots and Flannie shirts for three whole days, I paint, design fabric ideas, and spend ages gardening and completely wind down. Then I say goodbye to Amanda and the dog on a Monday and nip on the train back into town and start the cycle all over again. It's perfect’.
In a peculiar twist of fate, Julie has actually lived in this home twice! In 2001 she moved in for the first time, living here for four years before the home was sold in 2005. In 2012, she found herself drawn to the mountains once again, and it just so happened the home was up for sale. Needless to say - she bought it back! Of course, this has meant two cycles of creative home improvements...!
'First time around we knocked out the middle bedroom to open up the living / dining area, and built a disco deck and my studio outside' says Julie. Ten years on, when they acquired the property for the second time, Julie and Amanda put in a new kitchen from Ikea , with a few modifications, such as the sweet rope door handles made by Julie.
There is so much to love about this home. Its easygoing 'weekender' vibe, its cosy proportions, and of course, the major drawcard - those amazing mountains at the end of the street! But what really makes this home unique is Julie's incredible creative spirit - her 'mend and make do' approach, and her distinctive, relaxed sense of style is seen in every nook, from the two-toned dining room wall ('I was uncertain which way to go, blue or green, so I did a bit of both, and left it at that' she says!) to the use of her own textiles as window coverings, bedlinen, rugs and cushions, and of course her beautiful paintings and drawings displayed throughout the home. These pieces are perfectly complemented by treasured vintage finds picked up along the way - Julie particularly loves the salon hang of kitsch mountain/ocean scenes on the timber panelled wall in the bedroom. 'A more perfect wall I have not ever seen' she admits!
BIG THANKS to Julie and Amanda for sharing their country haven with us today! DO pop over to Julie's website to learn more about Cloth Fabric - an inspiring Australian creative business which Julie first launched over 17 years ago!
Design professionals who are attending DesignEX can also meet Julie in Melbourne this weekend, and see her new collection of textiles, clay vessels and leather tableware inspired by life in the Blue Mountains. DesignEX is at the Melbourne Exhibition centre this Thursday 30th May until Saturday 1st June.
Living room details. The Danish mid century sideboard is Amanda's fave piece of furniture, pictured with a collection of Japanese Kokeshi dolls and another epic op shop artwork find, which looks SO perfect on the timber panelling! Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Living Room. Leather sofa from Ebay, second hand homemade coffee table, one of Julie's rugs from her Cloth X Designer Rugs collaboration. Julie's precious ukuleles are displayed on the far wall! 'One is a Fender, the other a Bangolele. True story' she says. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kitchen. 'A bit of modified Ikea I have to admit...' says Julie! 'I designed the rope handles. Top notch stuff.' We think the rope handles really make this kitchen Julie! The artwork is also one of Julie's - a favourite from her bottles and bowls series. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kitchen detail. 'We have lots of old 'kitchenalia' as they call it in the trade' says Julie. 'Those fancy knives are new though. They are hand made by a brand new local company called 1804. Totally lovely things'. Julie has a collaboration in the works with 1804 on some printed leather goods... watch this space! Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
'This tiny dining area used to be a bedroom, but I took the walls out when I owned this place the first time round - I've lived here twice - long story!' says Julie. 'The painting to the left was a print from the 50's, belonging to Amanda's Grandma. It was looking a bit grubby so I painted that pale blue in the background to freshen it up. Worked a treat'. GENIUS. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Entrance just inside front door. Wall panelling, local sheet music for the Blue Mountains, a postcard drawing by Julie of the view at the end of the road, and 'a bad souvenir painting from a second hand shop somewhere'. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Amanda's study. The day bed is a new piece made by Julie from op shop blankets, patched together. Cushion by Julie / Cloth also. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Amanda's study detail, with Julie's cardboard postcards. 'I draw from my travels all over the place' explains Julie. 'I post them back home and also to friends and family. It's so nice to see the cards - takes me right back to the day when I did the picture. Lovely. One day I will have an exhibition of them. I have quite a collection myself now'. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Julie's backyard studio. 'This is where we all sit for sunset drinks of an evening, as the last of the winter sun hits those chairs in such a lovely slanted way through the trees.' says Julie. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Studio wall. Lino plates , old screens, empty frames. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Julie in her studio, printing deer hides for a new range of fabric, clay and table top pieces called Natural, showcasing at DesignEXin Melbourne this week! Photo - <a
The only iphone photo ever to grace TDF... forgive me, I thought it necessary to share the incredible view just at the end of Julie's street! Photo - Lucy's iPhone!