Inside the home of award-winning designer Natalee Bowen

Combining Hamptons sophistication with Australian charm this new home by Natalee Bowen ticks all the boxes of great design.

In rural town of Toodyay, Western Australian, award winning designer and James Hardie ambassador, Natalee Bowen has transformed a small 1860’s farmhouse into an Australian Hamptons mansion sprawling over 1,000sqm. Now known as ‘The Farm Estate’ the property, which has been in the Bowen family for five generations, has been reimagined by Bowen.

“The Australian Hamptons look is uniquely our own, standing apart from the American original,” says Natalee. “It combines the original tenants of timeless style that evokes the surrounds and a love of entertaining, with Australian hues and classic weatherboard. We wanted to embody those ideas in The Farm Estate by continuing the legacy of the traditional home, while exploring that of the Hamptons style,” she adds.

Upon first look it’s easy to see the grandeur of the Hamptons style thanks to the addition of two wings and a refined roofline accented with gables. At the same time an extensive veranda, corrugated iron roof and a full Linea Weatherboard wrap, tie the home to the classic Queenslander style.

Nothing typifies traditional Aussie home design quite like weatherboard. This offers an element of texture with simple shadow lines and an air of craftsmanship. In America they use shingles over time, fade to light grey in the sun giving a home a sense of timeless charm. Traditionally, this would require timber which is relatively high maintenance in the long run. Thankfully, there are modern alternatives like Linea Weatherboard, which is made from thick boards of premium fibre cement that create deep, defined shadow lines. They are also resistant to warping, flaking and damage from moisture and fire, so they hold the look longer,” says Natalee.

The detailed craftsmanship of the facade is continued with James Hardie’s Axon cladding in the veranda’ soffits. This vertical groove look is mirrored within, through Hardie Groove lined ceilings. “Texture is key to any Hamptons home and consistency is a universal rule of modern Australian design,” Natalee continues.

“We’ve injected the home with an Aussie feel through colour,” Natalee adds. “Downstairs we’ve used richer caramels and softer blues to mirror the wheat fields and sky outside. Upstairs, muted greens emulate the beautiful native treetops. It’s the best way to honour both looks,” adds Natalee.

HardieGroove panelling features in the bathrooms and master bedroom as a new take on the traditional square panel and dado rail wainscoting. This in turn continues the textured detailing through from the front to the back of the home.

Doors were a central part of the design, which features the classic blues, whites and greys of the Hamptons style, with tones chosen to suit the farmland location. This included pairs of Classic PCL 4G entrance doors with clear glazing, by Corinthian Doors. Natalee chose to finish her doors in Dulux Saxby blue, linking it to the interior beyond.

6 clever design ideas for compact living

Whether you live in a small space, or just have a small area in your home that needs attention, there are clever design ideas to get everything to fit and make it feel larger.

1. Right size rug

Just because your space may be small, doesn’t mean your rug should be. A small rug can make a room look even smaller, so choose one that’s large enough so that most of the furniture can sit on it. This will draw the eye to the full width and length of the room.

The Massachusetts rug from Source Mondial is woven by hand from a special blend of natural undyed wool and viscose.

2. Be brave with colour

While white may seem the obvious colour for small space to create an airy feel, dark colours can add depth and coziness because they reflect less light. The key to colour is to keep to a limited colour palette.

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3. Clever storage

Storage is always a problem in small spaces, so it’s important to be inventive. Over the door storage is a great option, such as shoe racks if cupboard space is lacking. A slimline shoe cabinet can be added to any spare space, such a hallway or entrance for shoes that you only wear occasionally. Hooks on the wall and floating shelves are simple ways to add more options. And always choose furniture that provides hidden storage.

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4. Floating Furniture

Floating furniture frees up valuable floor space and looks fabulous too. From floating consoles to cabinets, from vanities to seating, the choice is endless. This floating desk is great for quickly checking emails or writing notes.

Compact Living is the new Rexa Design collection, a system of furniture, washbasins, mirrors and accessories for small spaces

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5. Create an optical illusion

There are design tricks you can use to make a space look bigger. Floor to ceiling curtains hung above the window make ceilings look higher as can vertical stripes, a big mirror can create the look of more space, and wall-mounted lights use the least space possible.

Audrey mirror from Studio Italia has minimal design but maximum impact

6. Low-profile furniture

If low ceilings are cramping your style, look for low profile furniture which can create the look of higher ceilings.

The Gant pouf by Vitttorio Prato for Studio Italia is a great example of low profile, stylish seating which can also double up as a surface