Fashion designer and entrepreneur Jamie Blakey has a home to reflect her newfound peace and change of pace.
The property on Sydney's northern beaches, which was finished in 2017, has understated luxury and natural warmth, imbued by materials and finishes chosen for their rich provenance.
The timber that features throughout, from the front gates – with bespoke antlers as handles – to textural doors and even a handsome bedhead, were sourced from recycled timber yards.
"They are from Sydney's wool sheds and piers around the harbour," Ms Blakey, the founder of cult brand One Teaspoon, said.
"We were going to the timber yard, and at that point it was in Rozelle, and we would spend all day there, just roaming around, choosing all the different colours of hardwood."
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Selecting where to use the deeper wood, against the lighter paintwork, enhanced by lofty ceilings, was intuitive, she said.
"Our joiner and our builder, they love working with these materials, so the whole project was very freestyle and working day-to-day, which is more of a creative approach."
Ms Blakey departed her iconic brand about 18 months ago. It is famous for its denim, and garnered a dedicated following. Every Aussie girl with sand between her toes has owned a pair of its signature frayed, slouchy shorts.
These days, Ms Blakey's focus is on establishing another gorgeous guest property to run alongside an already successful Airbnb cottage in Yamba, at the mouth of the Clarence River in New South Wales.
For her Avalon family home, Ms Blakey set out to establish a "ranch" style.
As a friend of the Australian French linen and homewares brand Carlotta + Gee, Ms Blakey chose bedding combinations that make a statement with colour, and yet are tonally within nature's own palette, hand-in-glove with the aesthetic of being close to the earth and living on the land.
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The flax linen is grown in Normandy, France, using chemical and pesticide-free methods, and made into bedding, dining decor and even travel totes by Tamarama best friends Carlotta Casals, whose family has a history in interior design, and Georgie Cavanagh, a communications and PR guru.
"I feel like the tones of bedding add the next layer of the look we are going for," Ms Blakey says.
"The bottle greens and sages, and the denim tones also, are excellent, it lends itself to the ranch vibe. To sleep in their linen is a whole different experience, it feels silky, but it has weight to it – soft, flowy, delicious."
The ranch aesthetic runs through the Avalon property in subtle as well as practical ways. A shower curtain – chosen over a glass insert for its softness – is crafted from an upcycled truck canvas, which was rubbed with wax to waterproof it.
Other strikingly beautiful touches, standing out from what decor enthusiasts may commonly choose, are deer antlers on the gate, which were ethically sourced from a farm in Tasmania (deer shed their antlers seasonally).
The bold accoutrement set an instant tone that Ms Blakey was aiming for.
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"We wanted that look at the entrance and on the front gate was the best way to achieve that," she said.
A second living area, upstairs, is delineated from the main bedroom by a gossamer curtain. Ms Blakey removed a wall, to create a sweeping space that welcomes a sunny, tree-lined outlook.
"We are surrounded by louvres around the top level. It was an easy decision to knock that wall out and put some softness in there with the curtains," she said.
To adorn walls, Ms Blakley has made art from the unexpected.
A beam above the dining zone is decorated with her large collection of hats, providing a focal point that is eye-catching, textural and deeply personal.
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"Styling what people like to collect is awesome," Ms Blakey said.
Ms Blakley has a flair for creating welcoming homes, and has imparted that instinctive style on a 110 year-old cottage she owns, called The Black Ace, in Yamba, which can be rented through Airbnb.
Her next venture is the Sundowner, also in Yamba. She is renovating apartments next door to The Black Ace into 1960's California-inspired "surf shacks", and delights in making design decisions that will light up a guest's experience.
"Everything has to be high-end but fun," Ms Blakey said, explaining an item with a hint of "boring", be it decor or paint colour, won't make the cut.
The Sundowner launch is slated for February next year.
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