bM interview: TALIAH LOWRY FROM BYRON BEACH ABODES

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I’M A HUGE FAN OF THE MINI BREAK. I LOVE A FEW DAYS OFF TO LEAVE YOUR DAY TO DAY NORM & REFRESH YOUR MIND & PERSPECTIVE. I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMBINE A WORK TRIP WITH A FEW DAYS OFF WITH MY FAMILY AND WE STAYED AT THE AMAZING BYRON BEACH ABODES…

While we were there I met the owner Taliah Lowry and I just had to find out how she has created a collection of the most amazing abodes… by Claire Aristides


We stayed at Byron Beach Abodes – The Cottage {me pictured on the front porch, below} where I had the pleasure of interviewing Taliah Lowry {above}, the creative force behind Byron Beach Abodes, and asked her how she creates these endearing properties all with their own charming personality for each abode …

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How did you start interior design and styling?
When my husband I first met we had a little separate studio next to our home that we decided to renovate and add to the mix of our existing business at the time which was the Arts Factory Lodge back packers . Our home was located on the business property so it was easy to create a space that would be desirable for a rental. This was our first mini renovation that we did together and I quickly realised how much I loved the entire process .

Did you start in property developing in Byron, which turned into full on interior design/make overs?
Both Sein and I grew up with parents who bought , renovated and sold properties so it’s very engrained in us to do the same . My step dad is a carpenter and my mum was a house painter so they often did all the work themselves . I suppose it’s almost in our DNA … we always think that ” this is the last project ” but then an opportunity presents itself and we can’t help ourselves .!
We have done quite a few renovations but then the last few years we have moved onto building from scratch , from designing the layout all the way to the interiors and finished product . We have what we call our dream team and that consists of our builder Greg Lyon, my dear friend and interior designer, Kate Sacks who I bounce every decision off , and Sein and myself .

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How do you begin a project? Moodboards… a concept – what’s the process for you?
I always begin with One photo that captures the essence of the mood of a space .
Sometimes not one thing in the photo ends up replicated , however it may still capture the feeling or the mood of the space that we want to create .
Pinterest is my best friend for every project we have done . From Pinterest we then create actual mood boards with photos , fabric swatches , drawings etc . This is where Kate really helps put everything together . I find this helps keep the vision in focus throughout the design process as for me I can get easily swayed with so many styles .

I stayed at the cottage which was perfect for me, hubby and small child…. The ‘abode’ is very fitting – as it really felt like a little home away from home. Even champers in the fridge…. What’s the secret to creating a welcome homey space?
Well we lived in the cottage for five years with our three boys so it was a true home for us. We basically just moved all our personal items out and then start renting it as a BBA property. I’m a big believer in practicality , as to me a home has to be comfortable , stylish and practical!

We left a lot of our favourite books , artwork, toys , all the things that we loved as a family.
It’s the extra little things such as quality soaps , locally made candles , rugs , quality kitchen knives , linen and towels , bikes , surf boards , that you often have at home that make it feel like a home … so we make a huge effort to add all these things . We don’t want it to feel like just another hotel room , but a home away from home. This is where we strive to make a point if difference .

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You said you can spend hours on the internet finding that one off pieces. Any sites or suppliers you can share with us?
Oh gosh yes hours and hours , days and days !!!! All on my phone as I hate turning on my computer ! My favourite site is Etsy ! My worst nightmare as a designer would be to create a space such as a bathroom that looked like I just went to one shop such as Reece and bought everything in one go … just another Reece bathroom …

I love mixing old and new and creating unique spaces with various new and old items from all over the world . Etsy allows me to do just this . I buy lighting , sinks , Hooks , taps , door handles , bathroom hardware , artwork , mirrors, you name it …. all from all over the world through Etsy shops .
Often way cheaper than what I could find searching for weeks in my own country through various cities and shops .

I have three boys , a business and no time to actually source items outside of my own living room ! Although I would love to explore and shop around the world , I just can’t find the time ! One day ….

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What’s the discipline behind keeping to one style for each property… it must be tempting to mix styles all under the ‘electic’ umbrella, but you managed to keep each one unique. How…. please share??!!
I think my design philosophy always comes back to having a mix of styles in the one project . I love so many styles and moods but I like to mix them up so they complimenteach other . This can be extremely challenging but it’s my signature style through default .

I could never have just a ” country style ” , or a “tribal style ” or a “Palm Springs” style home … it’s usually a mix of all my favourite styles mushed together in the one home . It either works or it doesn’t !

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It must be like picking a favourite child… but which property is your current favourite?
I would have to say my home that I live in is my favourite project to date … but we are about to build a special project next year which im very excited for !
Ive always wanted a mountain cabin ….. so I figure I’ll have to build a mountain cabin beach side …. I’m a country girl at heart living by the beach so I’m going to create my dream of being in the mountains one way or another even if it is beach side in Byron Bay !

Your top 3 advice tips for someone creating a new space?
1. Mix old and new
2. Have one person who you trust to bounce your ideas off of as sometimes it can be overwhelming and a fresh perspective is very important .
3. have a clear vision of the end result and work backwards from there …

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What’s next for you?
Building our new home with a guest cabin …. and then renovating and rebranding a motel property in Byron Bay whom we are in partnership with some friends .

contact & connect

www.byronbeachabodes.com.au
www.thevillasofbyron.com.au
@byron_beach_abodes

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Claire
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