When Emma and Tom Lane of The Farm in Byron Bay first set about designing their own home on this property, they envisaged a brand new dream house. But halfway through the project, Emma started to question the environmental impact of the development. When she learned that the debris from the demolition would be buried on their paddock, the family reassessed, and set out on a new path more aligned with their values, and with special consideration of the environment. With a new mindset, they worked towards adaptive reuse and recycling, creating a new home with a robust history, by ‘rethinking how to use our finite resources.’
Located 10 minutes from Bryon Bay, on 120 acres, The Range is perched on one of the highest points in the area. Emma and Tom first encountered the property around ten years ago, and fell in love, but it wasn’t for sale. Eight years later, the stars aligned and the site was up for grabs (after 35 years with one family!).
The Spanish-influenced Australian homestead was eventually designed and built upon the concrete slab of the pre-existing home. In Spain, a ‘Finca’ is the name of a farmhouse with outbuildings and an orchard, and The Range is the Byron Bay version! Emma explains ‘the surrounding environment and nature-inspired our inside/outside living, and the majority of the materials used are natural and not manufactured.’
Old basalt rocks that were found on the property have been used to create features and boundary walls, and the house and external walls have been finished with European style soft warm renders. The large feature shelves are made from old Oregan roof trusses, and Australian hardwood and local spotted gum have been used throughout. These earthy tones are echoed in the terracotta roof tiles, sourced by their friend Sonya from Jatana Interiors. Natural linens bring soft, cosy and simple comfort to the bedrooms, and Emma highlights that ‘the conversation pit has a luscious natural palette, influenced by old basalt rocks.’ Our stylist Annie reflects ‘it was truly such a calm and serene space!’
The home is nestled amongst 4500 productive macadamia trees, and Emma describes ‘the property has a beautiful energy to it… we are very fortunate, it is really is a magical place to live.’ While working with a pre-existing building footprint proved slightly more difficult than a brand new build, the home is now infused with the history of the site. Importantly, the final result, with its emphasis on natural and recycled materials, reflects the values of the Lane family. Emma sums it up – ‘this all took much time and much deliberation, but a strong ethos of sustainability encouraged us to think outside the square.’
We’re so grateful to Emma and Tom for hosting our art director Annie Portelli, and photographer Caitlin Mills during their time in Byron!