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A Magnificent Cedar Cabin In Wyong Creek

Homes

Stylist and writer Natalie Walton is interested in what our homes say about us. In her beautiful book ‘This is Home – The Art of Simple Living’ , she explores simple, beautiful homes, which radiate authenticity, and eschew flippant trends.

Not surprisingly, Natalie practices what she preaches. Her own home on the NSW central coast is a raw, understated yet spectacularly beautiful country retreat. Here, Natalie lives with husband Daniel Rollston, who is head of operations of their shared business Imprint House, and children Charlie (10), Sabina (6), Isis (5) and Miles (2).

11th July, 2018

Inside the family home of Natalie Walton. Artworks left to right: left to right, Sally Leeland, Natalie’s son, Noah Taylor. Baskets from Imprint House. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

As well as a mum of four (!) Natalie is a designer, stylist, creative director, writer and the author of ‘This Is Home: The Art Of Simple Living‘, and founder of Imprint House. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Carefully curated knick-knacks, featuring artwork by Lily Nicholson. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

With views across the Yarramalong Valley, this is the best seat in the house! According to Natalie, many pieces here have been collected slowly over the years. Rug from Kulchi. Bamileke coffee table from Orient House. Pouffes from Table Tonic. Tonga wall baskets from Imprint House. Gras 210 wall lights from Spence & Lyda. Joe sofa from MCM House. Hanging chair by Beachwood Designs in Avalon. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

A serendipitous open-shelved pantry, ‘because the timber louvre doors were going to take too long to paint and jars on display seemed more appealing – and easier to work out what was in or out of stock,’ says Natalie. The little chair was bought for $5 from Bondi Markets when Natalie and Daniel’s eldest son, now aged 10, was too small to wash his hands from the bathroom sink. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

The open-plan downstairs living area. The family have gone through stages of hanging swings and rope ladders from the beams! Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

‘This little desk has such sentimental value as I’ve watched all of my children sit at it and make their first markings on paper,’ Natalie explains. She found it at Sydney auction house Raffan Kelaher & Thomas. Artwork is by Casey Arnaud. Baskets and stools from Imprint House. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Natalie hasn’t changed anything in this room, other than adding a few accessories, such as the mirror from The Society Inc and the soap from Imprint House. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

The couple made some cosmetic changes to the kitchen align the aesthetics with the rest of the house. A timber bench-top replaced Caesarstone, white cupboard doors were painted in Dulux ‘Western Myall’, VJ boards where installed in place of a glass splash back and goose neck barn lights from Barn Lights Australia were added. The Turkish rug is from Garden Life. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

The treehouse, which was one of the first projects the entire family took on after moving to the property. ‘We often sit here on weekends to have brunch, it offers such beautiful views,’ Natalie tells us. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

According to Natalie the wall behind the bed used to be a brown curtain! It had to be replaced when she was six months pregnant, as she needed firm back support to breastfeed in bed. The paintings visible on the left wall are by Lily Nicholson and available at Imprint House. Turkish pots are from Garden Life. Side table is from Tim Leveson. The bed frame is vintage. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

One of the many reading nooks in the house. Ole Gjerløv-Knudsen day bed is from Dunlin Home. Stool from Imprint House. Rolled mattresses from Mamapapa. The twig light, one of a pair, were original with the house. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

This room had been painted bright blue and the floors were timber stained. The family painted it all white, except for the cedar windows. Desk and chair was bought from Ici Et La. The wooden guitar was made by the children’s great grandfather. Flag and lights from Seletti. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Details of the kids’ room. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Six months after moving the couple launched Imprint House, and Daniel built this showroom. The store is now open on Fridays, as well as for seasonal markets. and also have opened the barn doors for seasonal markets. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Natalie sources products for Imprint House based in what her family use in their own home. ‘I wanted to create an emporium for everyday essentials because when I was looking for sustainable and beautiful homewares, I had to search for hours across a range of stores,’ she explains. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Baskets at Imprint House. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

A selection of wares from Imprint House. The baskets are from Zimbabwe, the peg rail from England, the wool dusters from New Zealand, the throw from Kenya and the vintage elmwood scholar’s bench from China. Styling – Annie Portelli, Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 11th July 2018

Two and a half years ago, after living in an inner-city Sydney terrace, stylist and interiors consultant Natalie Walton and her family of then five (now six!) made a bold move – relocating to this magnificent, rambling timber house on the NSW central coast. Their love of the Wyong Creek home was immediate, and partly sparked by an Italian holiday where the family had stayed in an old Mill House. On first seeing the cedar cabin, the family were enchanted by the dramatic stone walls which run through the spine of the building. Natalie explains ‘as soon as we saw them, we were ready to sign on the dotted line.’

The home vibrates with Natalie’s distinctive aesthetic, while also responding to the surrounding environment. To balance incredible views of the Yarramalong Valley from almost every window, Natalie opted for a pared-back vibe and neutral palette, allowing the tree-scape to be the hero feature of the house.

Though it did come with great bones, the house wasn’t always this understated. When the family first moved in, they inherited a magenta fireplace, lime-green feature wall, eggplant bedroom and a corrugated steel internal wall. ‘There was a lot going on!’ Natalie describes. To create a more harmonious interior, she sought to ‘bring the interior back to the original owner’s intention, of a cedar cabin that celebrated natural materials and finishes, while making it useable for a family of six.’

Making the cabin feel like home required surprisingly few structural changes. Instead, decorating choices and furniture placements have contributed to an overall softening, and gentle re-zoning of the house. Open plan living, kitchen and dining areas have been differentiated through the considered placement of pendants, wall lights and rugs. The largest, and most challenging alteration was a kitchen renovation, where Natalie re-emphasised the country-cabin aesthetic, through introducing a timber bench top, barn lights and tactile details such as brass cup pull door handles.

This is a home that has offered a formerly city-dwelling family a new lease on life. With its generous footprint, rugged materials palette and distinctly nostalgic vibe, this truly does feel like a house of Enid-Blyton-level childhood dreams! It’s also been an endless source of inspiration, and a testing ground for Natalie’s own creative projects, not to mention a highly appropriate site for the writing of her beautiful book, This is Home. Here, Natalie truly is living by her word.

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net