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

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

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

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

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.