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.