INSIDE THE RANGE BYRON BAY
IF you’re familiar with Byron Bay, no doubt you’ve spent time wandering around The Farm at Ewingsdale.
The agri-tourism venture and fully functional working farm, which houses a collection of micro-business such as farm-to-table restaurant Three Blue Ducks and Bread Social, has attracted locals and tourists alike since it opened its barn doors in 2015.
Needless to say, we were honoured to work on some bespoke concrete pieces for the family home of The Farm’s visionary owners and co-founders, Tom and Emma Lane.
The couple purchased the 100-acre property in the Byron Bay hinterland and enlisted local builders Forty Four Constructions to reimagine the homestead over 15 months, working with elements of the charming existing dwelling while adding their own unique touches.
We handcrafted concrete benchtops for the butler’s pantry, laundry and a Malta basin for the powder room. I’m sure you will agree this home really is one special space.
We spoke to Emma about the property, her love of natural materials and why sustainability plays such a key role in their home and lifestyle.
Can you tell us the story behind The Range?
We had looked for acreage like The Range for over a decade and had almost given up on the our brief of 10 minutes to Byron, five minutes to Bangalow on 100 acres with a hope of glimpse of distant ocean.
The property had been with a family previously for 35 years, where four children had been raised. It felt very right to be the next custodians of the land to raise our four children. We decided to work with elements of the existing house, for example keeping the majority of the slab, several walls and roof, to use as much as we could with the philosophy or reuse and recycle. We incorporated old terracotta tiles and timber to further add to this principle and give the feeling that the homestead had been there for many years. The tiles are 300 years old. The Range is base on the concept of a Spanish Finca, which is a farmhouse with several out buildings usually on an orchid. Along with the main homestead, we have converted two old tractor sheds - The Barn Studio and The Cabin Inn - plus the range sits amongst a 4500-macadamia orchid so it does have any elements of a Finca.
Where did you draw your inspiration?
Definitely Spain, with its soft rendered walls and use of terracotta. There are definitely large odes to Australia with its expansive pergolas and verandas surrounding the house. Its really inspired by an Australian farmhouse with hints of Spanish influence.
Why did you decide to incorporate concrete into your home?
We love the fact that concrete is a ‘green’ material in that it is a natural material and 100 per cent recyclable. The reason its natural is because it’s made up of water, sand and gravel, which all naturally exist in our environment; you can tell when you run your hand over it that is tactile and natural and has a softness.
Its also hardwearing and long lasting not to mention its high energy efficiency due to its inherit thermal mass and ability to absorb and retain heat. Our main slab gets heated by the northern sun throughout the day during the winter months, which helps to warm the house.
You have some beautiful pieces in your home. I adore the large dining table and outdoor bath. Do you have a love of natural materials, and what role does sustainability play in your home?
Thank you! They are a few of my favourites, too. We have used local trades and recycled materials as much as possible as the planet only has a finite amount of resources so I feel if we can be considered when building or renovating to trend that bit lighter it helps for a more sustainable future. We are almost off grid at The Range, capturing our own water and we have solar panels that charge a battery, which then generate electricity. If there were a power cut, this battery would run the essential elements of the house for several days. We also have no air conditioning allowing the winds in the warmer months to cool and the use of cross ventilation. The winter sun warms the slab in the winter.