Arabella and Chris Wilson have lived in this sprawling, rustic property in Jan Juc on Victoria’s surf coast for just over 5 years. The house was relatively new when they bought it, originally designed by Melbourne based Zen Architects and built sustainably with mud-rendered straw bale walls, and recycled materials – such as solid timber pillars reclaimed from the old Geelong Pier.
Since moving in, Arabella and Chris have put their own stamp on the place, softening the interiors slightly with the addition of blonde timber floorboards, a re-configured kitchen with cabinetry in a beautiful delicate blue, and sweet handcrafted details, such as the clusters of PET pendant lamps – the perfect finishing touch in these serene, earthy surrounds.
Arabella’s distinctive design aesthetic is apparent throughout the home, which she endearingly describes as ‘Rustic Robinson Crusoe’! She has a passion for vintage textiles, in particular patchwork quilts, many of which have been collected by her Mum, who is a talented seamstress. In fact, Arabella’s whole family seem to be creatively gifted (!) – her brother’s photographs feature throughout her home, whilst her Dad, Dougal Ramsay, is an incredible illustrator whose quirky drawings have inspired many of the textiles in Arabella’s kidswear label, Dougal.
As serial entrepreneurs and busy parents, both Arabella and Chris appreciate the change of pace that comes with living out of town. Having previously been based in Melbourne, the tranquility here is something the pair never take for granted. ‘Hearing the surf when you go to sleep, and waking up to the birds in the morning…. these simple things are what I love…’ Arabella says. ‘It’s a lovely house to have a family in, its secluded and at one with nature, our weekends are spent laying in hammocks or sitting around the fire pit.’