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Finding Bliss In Byron Bay With Courtney Adamo

Homes

After living in London for 12 years, Courtney Adamo and husband Michael rounded up their family on a ‘gap year’ of global adventures. During this trip, that Courtney documented online, the family fell in love with Byron Bay.

Today we take a peek behind the scenes into the new Bangalow home of Courtney, Michael and children Easton (13), Quin (11), Ivy (9), Marlow (5) and Wilkie (1). This special holiday location half-a-world away has become a new home for this effervescent family, whose energetic lives have garnered a considerable online following (including our own previous interview!)

21st November, 2018

The kitchen in the Adamo’s Bangalow family home. Courtney and Michael had joiner David Harris re-create the Shaker-style kitchen they had in their London home. Lighting from Dunlin. Range cooker by Lacanche. Fridge by Smeg. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Stools by the family’s good friend Jeremy aka JD LEE Furniture. Lighting from Dunlin. Range cooker by Lacanche. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The dining room. ‘We bought the old wishbone chairs off the previous owner. The other chairs are old, original Bentwoods we’ve been slowly collecting over the last couple of years since we moved here to Australia,’ says Courtney. Lighting from Dunlin. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Packing lunches before heading off to school. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

A corner of the lounge room, looking into the sunroom. When the Adamo’s bought the house, the sunroom was a separate room with closed walls on either side. Courtney and Michael opened everything up to let the light stream through. Rug from Pampa. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The sunroom, the kids’ favourite place to sit and read. Rug from Tigmi Trading. 1950s sofa from GumTree. The tiles under the stove are from Jatana Tiles in Byron Bay (they’re more than 100 years old!). Matisse Lithograph print bought by Courtney from a flea market in France. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Home details. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The lounge room. Rug from Pamp. Chair from Worn Store. Print from Block Shop Textiles. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Baby Wilkie’s room. The windows were old aluminium windows, which didn’t honour the original style of the home. ‘We were determined to replace the aluminium windows with old wooden casement windows, and managed to find 20 matching old windows at Red Ned’s up the coast in Tweed – they transformed this room’, tells Courtney. Cot from Kalon Studios.  The child’s wardrobe is an old one from Oyster Linen. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Mobile in Wilkie’s room from Bernii. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Wilkie and Courtney. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

A corner of the boys’ bedroom. The paper cut print on the wall was made for the family after their world travels by Emily Hogarth. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The girls’ bedroom. ‘We wanted to take advantage of the high ceilings in this room and allow space to play, so we built bunk beds for the girls!’ tells Courtney. Bedding from Of The Sun. Lights from Dunlin. Rug from Tigmi Trading. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Courtney Adamo with daughters Ivy and Marlow. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The bathroom, which used to be the kitchen! Courtney wanted it to feel like an old bathroom, so she bought an old wooden hutch from Oyster Linen. The mirror came from a local op-shop. The fantastic tub is Victoria + Albert’s Cheshire Bathtub. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Another corner of the boys’ bedroom. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Bathroom details. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

The master bedroom. The bed is from Kalon Studios. The wall hanging was made by Courtney’s sister, sent all the way from Seattle. Art in the hallway by friend Jeff Kowatch. Photo – Kara Rosenlund for  The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 21st November 2018

‘This magical little corner of the world is so dreamy, and I pinch myself every day that we live here.’ – Courtney Adamo.

Courtney Adamo and family have lived in this Bangalow home for just two months, but in that short space of time, have well-and-truly made it home. The idyllic location is a long way from London, the family’s previous home of 12 years, and yet somehow, it feels as if the Adamos were always destined to end up here.

Initially, the family had the hinterlands in mind, but Michael spotted this historic property in the small town of Bangalow, and persuaded Courtney to have a look. She explains ‘I walked into the house and felt at home immediately.’ The 120-year-old house provided a rich sense of history for the family to sink into, and set a distinctive aesthetic tone for the interiors.

Courtney describes how the traditional style of the property informed the renovations. ‘I wanted everything to feel like it’s always been this way…’ she explains. ‘I felt like I had to honour this old home, and do everything in keeping with the type of home it is.’ This meant retaining the original warm wood panelled walls, and introducing ‘simple, understated and timeless’ pieces, which reflect the family’s laid back aesthetic, while maintaining consistent with the era of the home

Courtney and Michael spent three months renovating the house prior to moving in, reconfiguring the small space to accommodate their tribe of seven. When the whole gang moved in, the house only had three bedrooms, so creative solutions were required to make everyone comfortable. A sunroom off the master bedroom became a small room for Wilkie, and an ensuite bathroom was squeezed in too. Courtney describes how ‘every square inch of space is used and enjoyed in our home. There is no quiet corner or room that doesn’t get used.’

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and everyone’s favourite room of the house. They family splurged on ‘our dream range cooker and the pretty fridge’, completing the space with marble benches and brass taps.

The original panelled walls and warm wooden floors provide a rich backdrop for more colourful kids accessories and quirky details. Courtney outlines that she is ‘quite minim al when it comes to interiors… and increasingly more so the older I get.’ This minimalism is partly born of practicality (the family shed the majority of their belongings when migrating from the UK) but is also informed by a desire to live simply and meaningfully. Courtney’s approach is to buy ‘only what we need, will last, and look good forever.’ She also astutely notes, ‘the fewer things you have, the fewer things to tidy!’

This Bangalow House is a dream come true for Courtney and her family. She enthuses, ‘this magical little corner of the world is so dreamy, and I pinch myself every day that we live 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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net