Australian Homes

Trish Bygott, Nathan Crotty and family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 18th September 2013

The eclectic home of Trish Bygott, Nathan Crotty and their family in Fremantle, WA, which incorporate a 1950’s bus and a 1970’s caravan which function as additional rooms, expanding an otherwise modest one bedroom home to accommodate a family of 6! Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Kitchen.  Long industrial bench –  a gift from a friend.  ‘You can see our handpainted splashback at the rear of the kitchen above the stove, and we painted the ‘Madam Bukeshla woman’ on the back of the door’ says Trish.  ‘She gives thanks for an abundant life and is a constant reminder for gratitude’.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Kitchen.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Re-purposed 1970’s Austin bus in the WA home of Trish Bygott and Nathan Crotty.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Nathan Crotty and Trish Bygott of WA retail store Madam Bukeshla, photographed in the colourful garden of their amazing Fremantle home.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Another INCREDIBLE home all the way from WA today.  Gosh we’re getting some gems from the West right now aren’t we?  Huge thanks to our intrepid Perth-based contributors, Anna Flanders and Angelita Bonetti for another amazing find today – what a team!

Today’s home is actually a one bedroom house, ingeniously re-worked into amazing extended living quarters for a family of up to six, with the addition of a 1950’s Austin bus, a shed and a 1970’s caravan!  This incredible set up is home to Trish Bygott and Nathan Crotty of Perth retail store Madam Bukeshla, and their extended family – Daisy, 15, Felix, 17, Zebedee, 18, Phoebe, 21 (Nathan’s daughter, beloved ex-resident who has recently moved out).

Both prior single-parents, Trish and Nathan merged their families into cohabitation in a move Trish beautifully describes as ‘a moment of spontaneous decree by all parts of the whole – love at first sight and a fit of convenient blindness to the logistical pear shaped-ness of it all!’.  Oh my goodness.  For people I haven’t actually met in person, I am totally in love with this amazing, creative and slightly chaotic family!

Prior to joining forces, Trish (self described as a ‘chaotic-creative-savant, textiles artist and workshop facilitator’) had been living with her children Zeb and Daisy for six years in a ‘one bedroom and sleep-out affair’ in South Fremantle, when Nathan returned from traveling with his own children of a similar age – Phoebe and Felix .  ‘After a nine month honeymoon managing separate residences, the entire troupe made themselves willing and available to the aforementioned merger!’ says Trish.  Six years on, five of the original group remain, as Phoebe (21) has recently moved to nearby Hammy Hill with her boyfriend.

The home is in fact a rental, blessed with ‘a rare and special landlord-lady’, and this, combined with Trish and Nathan’s intuitive resourcefulness, has meant a very creative approach to renovating!  Their chief concern from the outset was to make a space that once housed three, now work for six.  The solution evolved quite organically in the end, through a mix of inspired lateral thinking, and a decent pinch of random good fortune.

Trish and Nathan inherited ‘Austin’, a 1950’s ex-school bus from Queensland a year or so after moving in.  This became a bedroom for Phoebe for 5 years before she flew the coop!  Similarly, their 1970’s caravan housed teenage Zeb briefly, before he scampered inside to the master bedroom, leaving Trish and Nathan with no choice but to adapt the old tin garage (then Tricia’s studio) for their own sleeping quarters.  ‘Essentially we have allowed the space to be transformed with playfulness and immediacy’ says Trish.  Together she and Nathan have created a ever-evolving home, with flexible, creative space-solving to accommodate the needs of their unique family.

‘Seeing our home in this light imbues it’s 1930’s ordinariness with a special warmth’ says Trish of her family’s unique home. ‘With an emphasis on the found object or material, we have felt free to experiment and play with our home in ways that feed our need for natural beauty and inspire endless possibilities’.

In building this incredible home and uniquely creative life, it would be remiss not to mention the business Trish and Nathan also run together – Madam Bukeshla, their textiles / soft furnishings label and retail space on the fringe of Fremantle in Wray Avenue.  This business, comprising a storefront, three upstairs rooms, a 1950’s kitchen, lounge and garden courtyard, is an intriguing space of textiles, beautiful objects and activity. The store is personalised throughout with handmade window displays, vintage furniture used to display smaller items, and a wall of textiles at the rear of the store, where Trish works on her sewing machine or hand-stitching.

‘It is like walking in a special, personal treasure trove of beautiful objects, with a faded, beautiful interior in gentle colours, and an earthy feel’ says our contributor, Perth based stylist Anna Flanders, of Madam Bukeshla’s unique charm.  ‘It’s a physical experience – you walk through the changing room to an outdoor walkway, into a cute 50’s kitchen and living area, and upstairs to the workshop with its high ceilings, where Trish also holds her ‘healing in stitch’ workshop classes’.  (Next term starts in October – all workshop details on the website!).

Huge thanks to Trish, Nathan and their family for sharing their amazing home with us today!  If their story has struck a chord with you, do show your appreciation with a little visit to their website!  Madam Bukeshla’s growing textile range includes hand-made linen curtaining, bedcovers, cushions, lampshades and teatowel designs.

Main interior living area.  Textiles – a mix from Trish’s own collection at Madam Bukeshla, and treasures colllected in Rajhastan and elsewhere.  Handpainted cushins by Trish /Madam Bukeshla.  Painting above couch by Trish.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Living area / entrance to main house. Rug from Banjarra Tribal.  Handpainted figures on the wall – remnants from Trish’s Christmas window, now available as wall decals through Trish’s Madam Bukeshla store.  The two 50’s chairs in the front were given to Trish and Nathan by a friend, and are constantly dressed and redressed in fabrics and cushions from Trish’s collection.  Sewing machine purchaed by Trish when she was 16.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Shed bedroom. ‘The tent is a beautiful Rajasthani piece and a joy to sleep under’ says Trish. The bedspread is eco linen which is stitched by Trish with matching cushions, available through her store.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Detail from Trish and Nathan’s bedroom.  Vintage ironing board, Nathan’s old dolls house, woven rag-coil vessel made by Trish, two dolls bought in Durban.  Handpainted angel by Trish just peeking through under the tent hanging.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Bookcase in living area.  ‘This is a forever changing ‘gratitude temple’ in the house’ says Trish. Teapot, saucer and two figures found in a gallery in Cape Town 30 years ago. Woman with the basket on her head is a self-portrait that Trish stitched just after her children were born 16 years ago (the basket Trish wove from feathers!). The horse was a gift to her son Zeb after he was born. All other bits on top shelf were found in Rajasthan. The textiles are an assortment of pieces picked up by Trish on travels to Rajasthan and treasures found at Banjarra Tribal– ‘I love co-owner Laurie who is such an amazing source of information and knowledge of the Rabari Tribe, whose textiles are also in this stack’ says Trish.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

AMAZING bathroom!  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Trish in her production studio for Madame Bukeshla.  ‘This is where patterns are conceived, cut and work on’ she says.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Daybed on front verandah. ‘We love sitting out on the daybed’ says Trish. ‘We are surrounded by trees here and love looking out over the park.  We get Northern sun here for colder months, and it is also beautiful in summer and spring. In heatwaves we even sometimes sleep out there!’  The daybed is dressed in a vintage 1950’s bedspread, the cushions are from Trish’s Madam Bukeshla Raw Collection.  A personal favourite piece is Trish’s potted cactus from Tim Dwyer, whose business, Little Gardens, specialises in potted gardens with pots he handpaints himself.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Outside bath. Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Shed bedroom exterior.  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Hanging strawberries in Trish and Nathan’s colourful garden!  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

Exterior and caravan!  ‘We received the caravan from beautiful friend and fellow textiles artisan Roberta Leary’ says Trish. Previously set up as a bedroom for their son Zeb, the caravan is now used as an additional living area. Nathan created the decking and paving and firepit. All pots and plants are by Tim Dwyer of Little Gardens.  50’s chairs from a Gosnells op shop, textiles on the chairs are two wedding dowry stitched cloths, including Trish’s ‘favourite of all time’ – on the right-hand chair. The piano (just peeking in on the right) was another gift from a friend.  ‘We had no room in the house, so Nathan installed it outside, beside the caravan’ says Trish. ‘…it still works – Nathan often puts on impromptu soirees in summer just for me!’  Photo – Angelita Bonetti, styling / production – Anna Flanders.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 18th September 2013

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