Meet Priscylla Elliot (@priscylla.mercedes), mother of 4 and all round inspiring creative, who with her husband Jannion recently breathed new life into their 1950's fibro-shack in Brunswick Heads, NSW.
The couple bought the home 8 years ago and since then have had 3 more children and well and truly outgrew the 2 bedrooms and one bathroom the original home offered. They embarked on the renovation with a clear sense of what they wanted and needed from the home and how they could get it there without completely removing its humble origins. The result is a beautifully earthy, elevated and welcoming home that blends threads of jade green throughout with warm natural materials (timber & hempcrete) and natural light to create something truly unique. Come read their story & take the tour.
SHOP THE LOOK
Teardrop pendant ivory — medium | Shearling lounge chair | Cotton hand towel in clay & natural | Amber glass mug | Seagrass rug | Round elephant grass basket | Black walnut salt + pepper mill - large | Tonga basket — medium
Priscylla & Jannion with our kids Lyluna 9, Wolfgang 6, Javier 4, Sylvi 2 and Kelpie, Dusk and Cavoodle, Honey and 12 egg laying chooks. Jannion, the motor sport enthusiast, has a Volkswagen garage in Byron Industrial Estate where he also has a fun quiver of dirt bikes, motorcycles, formula one cars & go karts. Priscylla is a nature and travel enthusiast who has worked as a fashion designer, graphic designer and also is an Ayurvedic Practitioner — currently full time mother to four children and helps Jannion run his Volkswagen business.
Our little sanctuary that can be chill but also a wild fun zone. A place for us to hang together, but also have space to retreat and be alone. Home is wherever my little family is.
My home story...
We bought this place when our eldest, now 9, was 1. We loved the land, the big block and the NE aspect especially. The original small 50's shack wasn’t amazing but suited us, I think it put lots of other buyers off (lucky for us!!). The first thing we did was put a lap pool in, extend the deck and convert some windows to doors, then we just saved until we were able to renovate last year. We had 3 more kids during that time, so we had definitely outgrown the 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and small kitchen/dining area. We had a limited budget to renovate, so decided to lift the house and build more space underneath. I like that the history and energy of our little family growing still exists in the upstairs area. So many special memories (& babies haha) were made there. It also felt more sustainable to keep the exisiting building and roof, rather than knock it down and start again. It did create challenges and limitations doing it that way though, and from a design perspective I would have done it so differently from scratch, but working with what we had felt right. We raised the house, converted the kitchen to a bedroom, closed in the undercover deck for a fourth bedroom and put new bathrooms in. Downstairs, we built a kitchen/lounge/dining area, an office and a mud room/laundry.
What inspired the design of your home?
I grew up in a European/Spanish/Mediterranean style house with lots of character and colour. It was a true expression of my parents, built by my German father with style influence from my Peruvian mother. That house definitely influenced me. I wanted to create zones that we can enjoy together and connect as a family, but also areas where we can retreat and have space and quiet when we need it. Another consideration was to create a space to have friends over. The original house was an awkward and small layout so it never flowed when people came over. I’m really happy with how the house holds our family and visitors now.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learnt while creating your home?
Make choices with your heart. I'm a visual person so I often found myself closing my eyes and really visualing the space and trying to tune in to how it made me feel, rather than just how it looked. I wanted each room, bathroom, kitchen etc to evoke a feeling, not just for me, but for the whole family. I think I was able to achieve that. We did have budget limitations, so I did have to comporomise on my ideal or first choice sometimes but I managed to still create the same feeling with other materials etc.
What do you love about your home?
I love the morning sun that pours into every room. The outlook of trees, greenness and horizon. The cozy, personal feeling and the story it tells. I love the different zones & capacity to entertain. I love the kitchen, where I spend most of my time, and the fact we now have a laundry in the house. I walked 30 metres to the garage for 8 years! I love that often we feel like we don’t need to leave (unless the surf is pumping). We have so much here for fun days - lap pool, skate ramp, dirt bike track. Most of all, I love that it’s where we’ve raised our kids & made the best memories.
What do you enjoy about living in Brunswick Heads?
We’re water lovers so it’s great being close to the river & beach and I love the little township of Bruns! We're also so close to Byron & Mullumbimby.
What does simple living mean to you?
Being as close to nature as possible in every aspect of life - where we live, how we eat, what we do. Finding joy in the simple things and slowing down.
If you were to have a spare free morning, how would you spend it?
Surfing, getting a massage & eating good food with a mate.
What are three words that best describe you?
Deep thinking, creative & proactive.
Photography by Lynden Foss