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Elizabeth Barnett, Blake Byron-Smith and Family

Homes

Today we visit the home of someone who should need no introduction!

This beautiful country property belongs to our friend and collaborator, artist Elizabeth Barnett, who relocated to Macedon in regional Victoria around 18 months ago with her partner 
Blake Byron-Smith (a photographer and digital content producer ) and their two kids Archer (3½ yrs) and 
Beatrice (1 ½).

 

12th April, 2017

Elizabeth’s artwork (top left) beside photograph by Paul Philipson, Goya print that belonged to Lizzie’s Granny and art by: Nick Huggins, Maryanne Moodie, Judy Watson, Sara Maher, Julie Wakefield, Elizabeth Barnett, Adrian Kellett, Nick Huggins, Maria Josette Orsto, Rohan Fraser, as well as an Indian embroidery. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Elizabeth’s farmhouse kitchen, picture-perfect with fresh homegrown apples in the basket! Cabinetry details and island table by Aaron Pitt, and stools from Gumtree. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The kitchen with cabinetry by Aaron Pitt. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lizzie’s Gran’s dresser with lots of ceramics that either belonged to Gran or have been collected from local Ausrtalian makers. The blue shelves are originally from the South Melbourne primary school and bought from a second-hand store in Kyneton. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A kitchen shelf with lots of Katia Carletti (tea pot, planter, jug and oil burner, Erin Malloy arrow stirer, Shiko vase and Jessilla Rogers vase, cross stitch from Flinders market. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Table designed by Lauren Steller (Champ Co), TDF Goods. X Elizabeth Barnett vase, and Wendy McDonald painting on the left. Indian woven wire pendant light, rug from Kabinett in Kyneton. Chairs from Modern Times. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The bathroom looks out to the veggie garden and down to the paddocks. Second-hand cane chair from Gumtree. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jessica Tremp photograph, chair made by Blake at Rundell and Rundell in Kyneton, sideboard form the Mill in Castlemaine. Print by Andrew Gunnell and the painting was a gift from Elizabeth’s Grandfather and was painted by Phyllis Batchelor, a music composer and friend of her grandparents . Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The piano is Blake’s great grandfather’s, Ercol coffee table from Daylesford Mill Market and trivets from Champ Co. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Artworks (left to right) Sarah Kelk, Greg Wood, Rita Beasley, Kate Tucker, and Jake Walker. On the dresser, David Frazer artwork and basket made by Ruth Woods. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painting by the window is by Lizzie’s Grandma Patricia. Old farmhouse table from a second-hand store in Trentham and fur from Abode Living. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Artworks on paper by Lizzie. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Paintings framed and works-in-progress in the studio. Plant hanger by Knotty Bloom. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Elizabeth in her home studio. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The farmhouse teal door. It’s thought to be the same teal colour in which the original door was painted. The amazing sewing table is an op shop find. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom featuring bed from Southwood Trading, TDF Goods. X Elizabeth Barnett cushion, and quilt made by Lizzie. Curtains from the Curtain Exchange Malvern and painting near the bedside by Nick Huggins. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The doll is by by Caitlan Johnstone (A Maker’s Burrow). The other animals were gifts from family and friends. The bookcase is from the Mill in Castlemaine. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The dresser and chair belonged to Lizzie’s godmother Amanda, textile works and painting on dresser by Lizzie, and the dress belonged to her when she was little. The cushion on the chair is a gift from artist and friend Kate James. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Beatrice’s room featuring artwork by Meredith Gaston, bunting by Caitlan Johnstone (A Maker’s Burrow) and knitted birds are made by Lizzie. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

In Archer’s room, artworks (left to right) Cornelia O’Donovan, Lizzie, Rob Hunter, moon phase bunting by Caitlan Johnstone (A Maker’s Burrow) who also made the doll on the right of the bed.. The quilt is made by Lizzie’s Mum and is based on Marc Martin’s book ‘The River’ as requested by Archer. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jemimah Puddle Chook admired a TDF Goods. X Elizabeth Barnett table cloth. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Chairs from Mill in Daylesford and swing from Etsy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The beautiful leaf surrounds of the farmhouse. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

When she’s not painting and parenting, Elizabeth is alpaca herding (sort of). Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The deck where the family spends many-a-day hanging out. ‘We have lots of meals at that table,’ mentions Elizabeth. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 12th April 2017

With city property prices sky-rocketing, and Victoria’s state government announcing a doubling of the First Home Owner Grant in regional Victoria (effective July 1st), a ‘tree change’ has never seemed so enticing.

Such incentives are probably mildly irritating for those who’ve already made the move (!) but perhaps Elizabeth Barnett and her partner Blake Byron-Smith can take comfort in knowing they got in early – and snapped up one of the most beautiful farmhouses in the Macedon ranges!

Lizzie and Blake have been here just 18 months, having relocated from inner city Melbourne in late 2015. They’ve taken no time to settle in, creating a beautiful family home here with kids Archer (3½ yrs) and Beatrice (1 ½).

The home itself was one of the original farmhouses of the area, first owned by the town doctor. As is often the case in country towns, the property came with a few entertaining (though somewhat unsubstantiated) stories! ‘The owners two before us bred and ran miniature horses here’ Lizzie recounts. ‘Legend has it that the horses used to roam about the house!’

After the miniature horse farm moved on (!), the home was lovingly renovated by the next owners Holly and Aaron Pitt. Aaron is a custom furniture maker, and made all the beautiful cabinetry and fixtures in the house. ‘My favourite piece he made is the island bench that we congregate around for breakfast and dinner’ says Lizzie. ‘It is the true heart of the home.’

Though they fortunately inherited a home that required very little improvement, Lizzie and Blake have, of course, added a few of their own touches. With the help of Lizzie’s Godmother and Mum, they’ve hung all new (second-hand) curtains, and new timber screen doors, made by a friend, Tommy Norton (who also makes guitars!). They’ve also been adding to the garden, veggie patch and orchard – and adopted a family of alpacas who now live in the back paddock!

Inside, Lizzie and Blake’s home is a treasure trove of handcrafted heirlooms, and paintings by Lizzie and creative friends. One favourite piece is a small painting of gumtrees by Lizzie’s Grandma Patricia, which hangs beside Lizzie’s own paintings in her home studio.

Moving from inner city Melbourne to Macedon was a leap of faith for Lizzie and Blake, but they haven’t looked back.

‘I adore our house’ says Lizzie. ‘It has such an inviting and warm feeling to it. It begs for friends to be invited over, and to enjoy long lunches on the deck while the kids play in the garden. I love looking out at all the beautiful vistas from the giant windows in the house. The garden rolling down into paddocks takes my breath away every day. I really feel connected to the landscape here.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.