This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A '70s Farm Shack In New South Wales Transformed Into A Idyllic Family Home

Homes

Troy Wilkinson, owner of Twil Constructions, first discovered this property in Broken Head (about 20 minutes south of Bryon Bay) while his partner, artist and co-owner of Yeah Nice Gallery, Jordana Henry, was pregnant and in Europe. It wasn’t ideal timing, but Troy was confident the 1970s farm shack could become their family home. 

Upon finally seeing the property in person, and hearing Troy’s vision for the space, Jordana agreed – she could definitely see their family growing old in this home.

Putting his professional building skills to good use, Troy has turned the once rundown house into an open, bright, and simple home for the young family of three (with another on the way!).

23rd December, 2020

The light-gilled kitchen contains a reclaimed vintage dining table. On the wall hangs a vintage Kandinsky exhibition poster (right) and a Minna Leunig print (left). Photo – Jessie Prince.

Above the reclaimed vintage table hangs a vintage Kandinsky exhibition poster (right) and a Minna Leunig print (left). Photo – Jessie Prince

Jordana Henry and her daughter, Minty! Photo – Jessie Prince

The home was renovated lovingly by owner Troy Wilkinson, founder of Twil Constructions. All the kitchen joinery was made by the couple’s good friend Martin Johnston. Photo – Jessie Prince

‘My partner is a builder and it was his decision to put this big servery window in the kitchen! It is definitely the heart of our home and conveniently located next to the coffee machine…’ says Jordana. Photo – Jessie Prince

‘I’m a big believer that things around the home should be both beautiful and useful! All my mugs and ceramics are made by hand by different artists including my beautiful friend Suraya Scully,’ says Jordana. Photo – Jessie Prince

All home renovations and improvements made to the 1970s home were completed by Jordana’s partner, Troy, under his building company Twil Constructions. Artwork above the chair is an aluminium etching from a body of work Jordana completed in 2012. Cushions and rug by Pampa. dining table is reclaimed vintage. Couch re-covered by Jordana’s friend Paige Miller from The Dusty Road upholstery. Photo – Jessie Prince

‘Artwork is an aluminium etching from my art school graduation body of work in 2012,’ says Jordana. ‘It is a piece of work and a concept that I plan on revisiting soon.’ The originally drab couch was reupholstered in sunshine yellow velvet by The Dusty Road – Jordan’s favourite piece in the home! Cane chair from Worn Store. Cushioned chair by JD.Lee Furniture. Cushions and rug by Pampa. Photo – Jessie Prince

The originally drab couch was reupholstered in sunshine yellow velvet by The Dusty Road – Jordan’s favourite piece in the home! Cane chair from Worn Store. Cushioned chair by JD.Lee Furniture. Cushions and rug by Pampa. Framed print is an aluminium etching from Jordana’s Year 12 studies! Photo – Jessie Prince

Artwork above fire place is by Anjuna Kalleila. Rug is by Pampa. Photo – Jessie Prince

Artwork by Anjuna Kalleila. Print on right by Minna Leunig. Photo – Jessie Prince

Pops of straw bring out the rattan in the furniture and natural tones in the soft furnishings. Photo – Jessie Prince

Minty’s room! Photo – Jessie Prince

The 1970s bathroom needed an update, luckily Troy was up to the job! Photo – Jessie Prince

A simple and pared back main bedroom. The bed is covered with vintage throws from Pampa. Photo – Jessie Prince

Jordana’s studio is located in a separate shed out the back! ‘It’s not glamorous and its often covered in charcoal and paint but it’s my happy place, somewhere I rarely let others into and where I feel the most myself,’ she says. Photo – Jessie Prince

In contrast to the house’s bright, simple interiors, the exterior is painted a fisherman’s shack black! Photo – Jessie Prince

The house and studio shed face each other, here shown from the angle of the spring-fed damn at the edge of the property. Tory built the decking and pool himself! Photo – Jessie Prince

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd December 2020

‘I’m currently studying architecture and my partner is a builder, so we are constantly coming up with home improvements.’ – Jordana Henry

Jordana Henry, artist and co-owner of Yeah Nice Gallery, wasn’t initially sold on buying a rundown farm shack in Broken Head. ‘To be honest, I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first. Being pregnant and all wasn’t the greatest time to move and begin a renovation!’ she says. 

Despite these initial hesitations, her partner Troy Wilkinson, builder and owner of Twil Constructions, had a clear picture of what the space could be, so they set about transforming the house before the arrival of their daughter Minty (now 3 years old).

‘The house had good bones and a great character that we wanted to keep, so we painted the inside and outside, put in a new kitchen, en suite, servery window, decks, renovated the pool, built a two-bedroom studio on the property, put in an outdoor bath and shower… the list goes on!’ says Jordana. 

Over this period the couple quickly grew to love the home’s location, which is out of the hustle and bustle, but still close enough to the bush, beach, and Troy’s favourite surf spots. 

An unexpected element of the renovations (which were all done by Troy) was discovering more about the property’s history. ‘We found hundreds of old beer bottles stored under the house from the ‘70s,’ recalls Jordana. ‘This began my investigation into the history of our home and property, where I discovered that a local surfing legend built our home in the ‘70s, and it was a bit of a hippy commune and place to shape surfboards with some big time names!’

Jordana and Troy’s house today is a far cry from how it appeared four years ago, but the property continues to evolve to this day. ‘It’s a constant work in progress both on the inside of the house and through the 3.5 acres of property,’ Jordana says. ‘I’m currently studying architecture and my partner is a builder, so we are constantly coming up with home improvements.’

Jordana has come to learn this is all part of the renovating process. She explains, ‘You come to accept that it’s the journey and the slow, thoughtful adjustments that forever grow my appreciation for our home and the land it’s on.

We must say – the house already looks pretty perfect to us!

This Week

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!
Amelia Barnes
  20 hours ago

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Pint-Sized Coastal Home That Does More With Less!

Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, turned an exisiting structure into a dreamy 40 square metre home on Vi...

Homes

An Artist’s Art Deco Apartment With Incredible Views Of Bondi Beach!

Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman live above a surf shop, with sweeping views of Bondi Beach. Does it get any more Sydney than that?!

Homes

A Spectacular Northern Rivers Home Built By The Whole Family!

A very special NSW Northern Rivers property spanning four very different houses, 20 acres, and three generations!

This Week

Architecture

A New Zealand Villa Built For Hosting

Architecture firm Maud creates a home for a family of hospitality professionals, built around a generous kitchen, outdoor room + pétanque g...

TDF Design Awards

The Most Fabulous New Furniture Designs In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021

There is no shortage of innovation and inspiration from the Furniture Design finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards this year!
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Interiors

11 Mirrors That Are Having A Moment!

Lauren Li's edit of her favourite mirrors out there right now, to take your space to the next level!
Lauren Li

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Homes

A Remarkable Family Home Transformation

Maddie and Mike Witter transformed a mould-ridden, dilapidated house into a bright and breezy family home for six!

Architecture

A 90m² Inner-Suburban Block Turned Multipurpose Family Home!

MRTN Architects have designed family home, office, and granny flat on a mere 90m² Brunswick East block!
Amelia Barnes
  20 hours ago

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

News

Delicious New Bed Linen From A Local Fave

Melbourne-based bed linen stars, The Sheet Society, launches a moody new winter range ripe for mixing + matching.
Sponsored
02:27

Travel

A Perfect Day in Daylesford & The Macedon Ranges, With Paul Bangay

Lucy joins legendary landscape designer Paul Bangay for a dreamy day trip in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, capturing the best that the

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Homes

A Pint-Sized Coastal Home That Does More With Less!

Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, turned an exisiting structure into a dreamy 40 square metre home.

Homes

An Artist’s Art Deco Apartment With Incredible Views Of Bondi Beach!

Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman share their colourful apartment, above a surf shop on Bondi Beach.

Homes

A Spectacular Northern Rivers Home Built By The Whole Family!

A very special NSW Northern Rivers property spanning four very different houses, 20 acres, and three generations!

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.