Today on the journal, we take you on a tour of Holly McCauley’s cute & compact Bangalow home. Holly is a designer (@hollymccauley) & co-runs independent, contemporary Art Gallery, Yeah, Nice. She is the graphic designer behind founder Natalie Walton’s book STYLE: The Art of Creating a Beautiful Home & her latest book (available for pre-order, out in Australia Nov 3rd & worldwide Nov 29th) Home by the Sea: The Surf Shacks and Hinterland Hideaways of Byron Bay.
Holly & her husband Nic (@rollingdawnfilms) bought their home in 2016 and embarked on a slow renovation, born out of necessity rather than conscious choice. They renovated the 80’s fibro shack by spending money when they had it and doing most of the work themselves. The result is a light & breezy, welcoming home that showcases the couples’ ethos of living with less with intentionality.
SHOP THE LOOK
Cotton handwoven mattress in stripe | Linen round pendant in taupe — large | Oval elephant grass basket | Leather loop pendant in natural | Shearling lounge chair | Book: Home by the Sea by Natalie Walton | Ceramic tumbler | Handwoven cotton cushion in stripe — square | Round cushion in natural
Who lives here & what they do…
Holly, Nich, Della (5) and Posey (2). Holly is a graphic designer and book designer who also co-runs an independent, contemporary Art Gallery, Yeah, Nice. in the Byron Industrial Estate. Nich is a film maker who works under the name Rolling Dawn Films.
a place to return to after the adventures and pursuits of the day. Home is food, family and play. It is an art gallery, a library, a coffee shop, a place for a nightcap. There is music playing. In winter, the fire is on and the home is cosy. In summer, the doors are open and the kids feet cool on the concrete floor.
My home story...
Our home became ours in 2016. We jumped at the chance to make this little 60 square meters of uninsulated 'shack' in the Northern Rivers of NSW our own. When we moved in, the place had a lot to be desired! Think: navy carpet, an incomplete kitchen, lime green bedroom walls, complete with a mold-covered yurt in the backyard, adorned in Tibetan prayer flags. We (read: Nich) ever so slowly transformed the place into a simple home to hold us. With each paycheck, a couple of lengths of decking were bought. A VJ panel here and there. A splurge on some bathroom tiles, then months going past without having the cashflow to add anything to the updates. A baby born with a half finished kitchen... To some who have more space, perhaps our kitchen still feels only half the size of most! The list goes on. We have recently spent a bit of time thinking about our years here, and we have finally realised that we basically did a 7 year renovation, spending money frugally as we had it.
What inspired the design of your home?
It evolved with us and what we could afford. Carpet came up, to reveal a concrete slab, ply seemed the most economical and forgiving option for cabinetry. The less money you have to spend, the easier the design decisions! Our home is less about thoughtful design and more about necessity. We were lucky that the small floorpan was already open and had a nice flow to it. We just made the most of what we had. The home was functional, we just made it our own.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learnt while creating your home?
That it doesn't take much to make a building a home. Sometimes, close enough is good enough!
What do you love about your home?
We love that it has everything we need and nothing we don't. We love that every inch of it gets used almost everyday. We love that its compact size aligns with our family's lifestyle. This home has been everything we have needed for the past 7 years, and it's only just now, as our two kids start to grow, that we are feeling that we are now ready for a change. We recently sold our little oasis, a life a little further out of town, a little further into the bush, was calling us.
What do you enjoy about living in Bangalow?
Bangalow is the gateway to the hinterland, it allows for endless exploration to surrounding towns and corners of the Shire (and beyond!) Bangalow is a historic town, and the character it has is something that is so unique and special. I love that my daughter can walk down the street and know the mechanic, the butcher, the familiar faces. Also the green, we love the green.
What does simple living mean to you?
Our home allows us to live simply. There are no bells and whistles, no unnecessary added extras, everything we need and nothing we don't. Simple living means treading lightly, it means enjoying each others company, it's finding light in the everyday.
If you were to have a spare free morning, how would you spend it?
A sleep in, a coffee in the sun, someone's cooked me breakfast (hopefully!) and we go for a drive into the hills in Nich's old Volvo. The Volvo hasn't been running for a few years, so this really is wishful thinking !
What are three words that best describe you? haha, I found it hard to choose this one!
I'm a Scorpio
What book can you recommend?
My favourite novel is Blood Meridian by Cormack Mcarthy. Warning, it's not for everyone. My current favourite interiors book is Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World by iO Tillett Wright. My favourite cookbook is To Asia With Love, by Hetty McKinnon.
Photography by Lynden Foss