Australian Homes

Julie Paterson of Cloth Fabric

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th May 2013

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!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th May 2013

48 comments

  • Pip Lincolne 1 year ago

    I really want to go over to their house. I really, really doooooooo! SO GREAT! Thanks, Luce! xx

  • Cathg1g2 1 year ago

    That mounted soccer table, and the day couch is a gorgeous spot, oh everything, esp the view

  • Megan 1 year ago

    What a divine look at all things Julie Amanda and cloth. So much beauty! So much beauty! And Julie wearing ‘old lady’ red long johns – total beauty in that right there

  • Lulu 1 year ago

    Julie should be the next Sartorialist post! Rockin’ those red joddies. Fabulous woman.

  • Vic Pemberton 1 year ago

    amazing! such a perfect encapsulation of the houses in the mountains too! My Nan’s house was just like that, right down to the op shop paintings!!

  • M Taylor 1 year ago

    The blue and green wall is a little bit of awesome. Made me smile. Yes!

  • I LOVE everything about this place! So much character…the perfect cosy shack! Thanks for sharing Julie, Amanda & Lucy! X

  • Rosie 1 year ago

    Oh my! I love this sooooo much. What a perfect escape.

  • Katherine 1 year ago

    LOVE this peep into Julie’s home – so many adorable things! A trip down memory lane with one or two items – like the Denby tea canister!

  • gemma 1 year ago

    oh the character! love this home! super, cosy goodness.

  • Marita 1 year ago

    I have always loved Cloth and am not surprised to find it comes from a woman with a perfectly balanced sense of style. Among the many treasures, I am particularly taken with the still life paintings in her kitchen and the fencing wire pendant ‘light’ in her studio.

  • Fiona 1 year ago

    Beautiful! I love this house. Organic, unpretentious and warm.

  • Cara 1 year ago

    Thanks for the inspiration! In particular I love how Julie fixed her grandma’s old painting, and the stripey tree near the studio! Such a cosy, fun home!

  • Clare Lancaster 1 year ago

    I could look at that gallery wall for hours. Beautiful! Thanks Lucy!

  • sandra 1 year ago

    I love this house!!!! It’s a REAL home.

  • alexandra ethell 1 year ago

    adore this home.
    so interesting and so livable!!

  • frankie 1 year ago

    beautiful, fresh and modern

  • jane frosh stylist 1 year ago

    that’s my old leather sofa! looks great Julie! X

  • Jane 1 year ago

    Really love this one! It’s so personal. That’s what makes it great. Maybe I need to move to the country….

  • Harriet 1 year ago

    I love Cloth & am not at all surprised that Julie’s house is this gorgeous!

  • Kath W 1 year ago

    Such lovely sensibilities.

  • Wow! divine! so much character and creativity. A perfect oasis.

  • Paloma 1 year ago

    You make everything look so good! Love the old character. Good so see some people (who could) don’t have everything NEW.

  • Olivia 1 year ago

    One of my favourite houses on TDF, I love op shopping!!

  • Lambrini 1 year ago

    A gem! Julie is a talented painter/designer & has a sensitive eye for beauty…she can make even a piece of wire round a lightbulb look good.

  • Jess 1 year ago

    Beautiful home! More often than not TDF features the Australian homes of designers and people in the industry. It would be great to see more diversity of the types of people who own the homes that are presented – the beautiful (and just as stylish) homes of teachers, professionals, business people, students, doctors etc.
    Anyway, love your work Lucy!

  • Paula 1 year ago

    I have been admiring this gorgeous house on insty for quite some time.
    SO lovely and homey!

  • Dianna Eklund 1 year ago

    I love Julie’s home, have to agree with Amanda on the gorgeous sideboard!

  • Kate 1 year ago

    I have been a big admirer of Julie & Cloth since first seeing her sydney home in sunday age about reading about 12 years ago. Thrilled to get a peek inside this beauty. Dreaming about that day bed!! Thank you x

  • Jelena 1 year ago

    I love this home! Why are the Blue Mountains not just a little closer to Perth!? I love that it’s a little worn around the edges, and filled with personal pieces that aren’t there just for show & tell. And that mix of wood and leather… Beautiful!

  • Kate 1 year ago

    Love this to bits!!

  • Kathryn Sanderson 1 year ago

    Splendid individualism! Great post! I’ve been following Julie since I was 13 years old, when I lived just around the corner from her Clovelly studio and store. I used to walk past her front door everyday as slowly as I could just to catch a glimpse of what creative goodness she’d been up to that day. I loved that space too…

  • Simone Patterson 1 year ago

    I have followed and admired Julie and Cloth for years. To say I am a huge fan is an understatement. Seeing inside this home and the life Julie leads behind the scenes is such a treat. Thank you for letting us in on a glimpse of what seems to be a fantastic life Julie, and for a great post Lucy.

  • hanna kullim 1 year ago

    so apparently if you have an opinion, god help if it’s not positive re: the posts your comment gets deleted!
    How very broad minded of you design files

  • Crystal 1 year ago

    In some of those rooms, it is like time has stood still and is perfectly preserved in a little microcosm. Just breathtaking.

  • georgie n 1 year ago

    Thanks for the samples Julie!

  • Grace 1 year ago

    I’m so excited to see a fellow Blue Mountains home featured on The Design Files! Hope you enjoyed your day trip up here and thank you for sharing Julie’s amazing work and space. Must go check out her website now :) The Mountains never fails to unearth wonderful creatives and we’re so lucky to live here.

  • Josephine 1 year ago

    Love everything here. You can never go wrong with a vintage seascape wall. This is my dream. Thanks for this lovely tour.

  • Chris 1 year ago

    I’m a shabby chic type of person, all about Limoges and the chippy but do I love this home. Thank you for sharing and I have been inspired by it.

  • Nice post. I like it very much.

  • JK Blackwell 1 year ago

    Beautiful home!

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