Travel Tuesday | Beach Abode - The Barefoot Bay Cottage

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Tropical escape in the heart of Byron Bay

Located opposite a lush nature reserve, in the heart of the market precinct in Byron Bay, is The Barefoot Bay Cottage. The Cottage is the first holiday house to be designed and built for boutique holiday accommodation business, Barefoot Escapes.

The unique property is the vision of multi-disciplinary design studio The Designory and B2 Construction.  “Making these holiday homes a unique and memorable experience for guests was very important to us,” says Melissa Bonney, Director of The Designory. “Every detail is thought of, and a true home away from home has been created to allow guests to relax and indulge in the Barefoot Escapes experience.”


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The north facing home has been designed to capture the sun and cooling summer breeze. Inside, the cottage is light-filled, open and instils instant calm with a luxe palette of fresh white, sage greens, deep navy and concrete grey tones. 

The contemporary coastal styling includes layering of earthy and natural textures throughout providing a sense of instant tranquillity allowing guests to prioritise rest and rejuvenation. The home features open plan living, dining, sitting and kitchen areas, three spacious and beautifully furnished bedrooms along with two resort-style bathrooms and a stunning outdoor oasis. 

“We wanted to really capture the essence of the Byron Bay area and the connection to both the lush hinterland and the beach,” says Melissa. “It was important the colour and materials palette drives the overall feel and experience of actually being in the home.” 

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A stand-out feature of the property is its huge wrap around deck, perfectly positioned to maximise the beautiful year-round Byron Bay climate. The large covered entertaining space offers oversized built in bench seating, multiple lounges, hanging chairs, a ten-seater outdoor dining table, plus an outdoor bath tub, shower and plunge pool.

“The outdoor living and dining area at the cottage was extremely important to us.  Byron Bay has the most incredible weather all year round and we really wanted to create a space for coming together with friends and family to enjoy the connection to the surrounding tropical gardens and nearby nature reserve,” says Melissa.

In order to enjoy the outdoor space all year round, appropriate lighting and heating was essential. The Designory chose the IXL Fresco Auora Outdoor Heater to meet their alfresco dining needs.

“We used the multifunctional Fresco outdoor heater and light over our outdoor dining area as it makes the space perfect for entertaining, and its multiple settings are perfect for holiday makers to customise it to their needs,” says Melissa.

“The Fresco blended seamlessly with the design and styling of the outdoor space. With minimal hardware, it suspends effortlessly above the large dining table making it the perfect location to enjoy long lingering lunches and dinners,” she continues.



The Fresco Aurora Outdoor Heater combines ambient infrared heat, dimmable task lighting and coloured mood lighting in one cleverly and sleek designed unit. Its unobtrusive and stylish pendant design will ensure it seamlessly fits in with your chosen space.

 “To maximise your outdoor space it’s ideal to choose a multi-functional heating option, for example, with the ability to also create mood and practical lighting. Those extra functions will ensure your heating system is also useful in the warmer months,” says IXL Marketing Manager Malcolm Russell.

Designed to be suspended from flat or gabled roofs, the Fresco Aurora is ideal for external dining areas, verandas and balconies, and can transform your outdoor room into a cosy ambient space – all year round.


Travel Tuesday | Country Life - Soul of Gerringong


Original farmhouse restoration with old-school charm.

Pairing classic coastal style with authentic charm, Soul of Gerringong, offers boutique accommodation for up to sixteen guests. Located on the south coast of New South Wales, just ten minutes past Kiama, this unique property is a dream getaway. Built and designed by husband and wife duo, Ben and Simone Mathews from BAM Constructions Group and MGAO Architects, the heart of Soul is the original 1800s farmhouse featuring four bedrooms with private ensuites. At the rear of the property, you will find an oversized solar-heated pool, two-bedroom Cabana, four bedroom Barn and landscaped surroundings – paying homage to original heritage and balancing easy living with luxury.

“Our design inspirations came from the original property that oozed old-school charm and we wanted to ensure that the end result was authentic,” says Simone, Interior Designer, BAM.

The focal point of the interior is the open-plan living area, featuring a spacious kitchen and original stone fireplace – perfect for entertaining or cosy winter evenings. BAM specified custom Stegbar Raked Windows above the fireplace to complement the building design – flooding the place with natural light and adding a unique visual element.



To bring the outdoors in, Stegbar Aluminium Windows and Doors feature throughout the living area – including sliding, fixed and louvre windows as well as oversized stacking doors.

“Louvres are great to incorporate into any design due to their ventilation properties and ability to allow natural airflow and light into the home,” says Simone.

“When it came to the façade, we wanted to maintain a cottage-like feel that seamlessly blended in with the rest of the home. So we utilised Stegbar’s custom made service and had windows hand crafted to perfectly match the home’s style,” says Simone.

The façade now features Stegbar Western Red Cedar Timber Windows in white with colonial style glazing bars – paying homage to the original heritage of the home. The Western Red Cedar range offers a beautiful timber that is dimensionally stable under almost any climatic condition and is naturally resistant to termites, rot and decay – which is imperative being amongst rural land.

Source: Original farmhouse restoration with ...

Travel Tuesday | Vineyard getaway - Empire Retreat & Spa, Margaret River

Empire retreat and spa

Located in one of Australia’s most popular wine regions Margaret River, Empire Retreat & Spa is an adult destination designed to provide an escape from the complexities of a busy, modern life. Featuring 10 luxurious suites architecturally designed to ensure complete privacy, each suite offers the kind of luxury that has become synonymous with the Empire culture.

Ambient lighting, natural stone and timbers create the perfect atmosphere, combined with the finest linens and soft furnishings to take your relaxation to the next level. The open-plan Luxury Villas have envy inducing sunken lounge areas, open fireplaces and private courtyards with outdoor showers.

The spacious, atrium style dining room provides spectacular views of the vineyard from inside or on the timber deck where guests can observe native flora, birdlife and of course taste Empire’s own wines. Or wander over to the Empire Spa for a seductive range of treatments, and if an afternoon of pampering is on the cards, try the three-hour Opulence session!


Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Empire retreat and spa
Source: Located in one of Australia’s most ...