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A heavenly Hamptons-style estate in the country

An 1860s cottage held by a family for five generations forms the sentimental heart of this palatial Hamptons-inspired farmhouse.

Natalee and Mark’s home is well off the beaten track. Set on sprawling farmland in the Western Australian Wheatbelt, it’s a good hour-long drive from Perth and 20 minutes from the nearest country town, yet as you meander up their dusty driveway, this stately manor is impossible to miss.

“It’s not your average farmhouse, it’s more like a beacon, particularly at night when it’s lit up – you can spot it two to three kilometres away,” says Natalee.

Homeowners Natalee and husband Mark had long fantasised about buying the cottage that his great-grandfather built. When the dream was realised two years ago, a grand plan to renovate the decrepit little house was put into action. Natalee’s Hamptons-inspired vision is reflected in every element of the build and in the exquisite finer details. In the main living area, a soaring eight-metre-high ceiling and wall of French doors and transom windows, by Jason Windows, floods the room with natural light. The crowning glory is a one-metre-wide chandelier from One World, which hangs majestically over the lavish space.

For the couple and their children Dakotah, 16 and Indianah, 14, rural life is still something of a novelty, after the opportunity arose to buy a 78-acre farm from Mark’s cousin and build a forever home. “The land has been in Mark’s family for five generations and his great- grandfather built the original brick cottage on the site in the 1860s, so it holds a lot of history,” says Natalee.

Prior to the floor plans being drawn up, Natalee – the founder of interior design brand Indah Island – had chosen and positioned almost all of the furniture. “I always visualise how I want spaces to look and the furniture I want, then design the size of the room accordingly,” she says. Key pieces include sofas from Molmic, a timber coffee table from Abide Interiors, rattan pieces available through Indah Island and a sea of blue and white custom cushions from Tigger Hall Design and Westbury Textiles.

“Mark’s dad was born in the cottage, relatives have got married there and even though it had become quite derelict over time and should have really been bulldozed, we really wanted to preserve the family’s heritage.”

Keen to create something different rather than “cookie cutter”, the couple’s starting point for the kitchen design was a trio of bespoke timber-beaded chandeliers, available through Indah Island, which form a dramatic focal point above the three-metre island bench.

For the designer, whose company, Indah Island, is renowned for its bespoke Hamptons-style projects, the cottage and its vast landscape provided an irresistible opportunity to create something of grand proportions that’s unique, yet also personal.

Although it’s a general rule of thumb not to use different metals in the one zone, Natalee says the size of the house meant she could get away with mixing it up. “I’ve used black handles throughout, polished nickel tapware and pendants with brass tones, but there’s enough of everything to create balance and because it’s on a big visual scale it all works together,” she says. A splurge throughout was Ralph Lauren fabrics was used to upholster bar stools from Abide Interiors.

“True American Hamptons homes are quite extraordinary in scale and I really wanted to emulate that,” she explains. The design took shape around the original cottage with adjoining north and south wings built on either side.

Choosing the perfect shade of blue for all the elaborate custom under-bench joinery was also critical – Natalee deliberated for several months before choosing Saxby Blue. “Because the space is connected to several eating areas and the main living area, it needed to be just right so it worked with all the surrounding blues and greens,” she explains.

Inside, the bedrooms and bathrooms for Indianah, Dakota and eldest daughter Ebonee, who visits on weekends, were created within the cottage’s cosy footprint, while the generous extension allowed for a modern open-plan layout, with numerous living areas as well as a luxurious parents’ retreat, mezzanine level and a self-contained studio.

To take advantage of sweeping views across the farm while washing up, Natalee positioned a Parisi butler sink beneath the kitchen window. Elegant porcelain drop handles from Tradco create the perfect match for the classic blue and white cabinetry.

Surprisingly for such a large project, the build was completed in just 11 months, for which Natalee credits a dedicated team of tradies who worked to a tight schedule. A highlight since moving in last year was hosting Christmas.

When it’s just Natalee, Mark and their two youngest daughters at home, they prefer to eat at the smaller more intimate dining nook off the kitchen. The round timber table is teamed with rattan chairs (both from Indah Island) and sofa from One World, topped with custom fabric cushions, while a striking Indah Island pendant brings individuality to the space. Luxaflex plantation shutters boost the Hamptons feel and help modulate the flow of light and air.

“We had 25 people for lunch and 18 stayed until New Year, which was a lot of fun,” says Natalee. “I love having a house full of people and, because of the size, it does feel like a comfortable resort with plenty of space for everyone to spread out and do their own thing.”

Library shelving, complete with a ladder, provides tiered surfaces to curate collections and create eclectic vignettes. It shows off treasured pieces picked up on the couple’s travels, including their many trips to the East Coast of the US. For a cosy atmosphere, Natalee punctuated the space with dark timber pieces and custom fabrics for chairs and lampshades in caramel and duck egg tones, inspired by the surrounding landscape. “Outside we see fields of dry wheat and big blue skies, so I brought those colours into the interior,” she explains.

Large Christmas gatherings now seem likely to become a tradition, in a home that is well-loved by a huge extended family. “Everyone’s incredibly appreciative we kept the cottage and because it’s come through the generations, the house will always stay in the family,” she says.

There’s no TV in the home, instead rooms such as the living area are designed as social spaces to gather and enjoy simple pleasures, including sitting by the gas fireplace from Fireplace Corner, or stretching out on a comfy Molmic chaise with a good book. Big, blowsy hydrangeas are synonymous with the Hamptons and are also one of Natalee’s favourite flowers, so the ‘Club Hamptons’ artwork by Felicia Aroney takes pride of place above the charming fireplace mantel from Schots Home Emporium. The striped Carnival Homewares rug adds classic formality, while the patterned fabrics provide interest and depth.

After 160 years and a sizeable extension, it’s enjoyed more than ever and is now ready for its next chapter.

“I love soft colours with a crisp feel and always use duck egg blues in main bedrooms,” says Natalee of the serene palette in the bedroom. A delicate Peacock grasscloth wallpaper by 3Beaches in a custom colour creates a stunning backdrop for the luxurious upholstered bedhead by Indah Island. Textural layers, such as the custom cushions and a velvet throw from Her Shed, add to the feminine feel. A One World lamp paired with a St John lampshade provides perfect illumination for bedtime reading.

“It was just fantastic to be able to run wild and do anything I wanted to with the design.” ~ Natalee

Natalee wanted to make the ensuite “really spectacular and special”. Herringbone Soho Carrara tiles from Beaumont Tiles provide a sophisticated foundation for the roomy bathtub from Schots Home Emporium with ‘Neu England’ Brodware taps, which is positioned by the verandah to soak up rural views.

“The sheer scale of the house did surprise me during the build, but the crazy thing is, I could have gone bigger.” ~ Natalee

A pineapple chandelier and wall sconces from Lighting Collective add a tropical vibe, while the owner’s love of Chinoiserie motifs is reflected in stools, vases and a pair of intricate mirrors from Abide Interiors. “It’s probably more full-on than something I’d create for a client, but I just love it,” she enthuses.

“Every space has a slightly different look, but everywhere I’ve combined beauty with a homely feel.” ~ Natalee

A popular place to congregate is the verandah, which wraps around the entire home. Keen to avoid the mammoth task of oiling timber, the homeowners opted for low-maintenance composite decking from New Tech Wood’s Coastal range in Antique, which has a lovely rustic look and feel. Robust James Hardie Scyon Linea Boards, painted in Dulux Milton Moon, were chosen to provide that quintessential Hamptons style. In keeping with the resort-like feel, comfort is still key outside, where an array of plump wicker chairs and sofas are clustered for casual entertaining. “When all the bi-fold doors open up it really functions like an extension of our living area, so I continued the same beautiful blues and greens in the soft furnishings outside,” explains Natalee, of custom scatter cushions and ottomans in 3Beach textiles by The Cushion Factory.

“There’s just something about being in the country – the air is better, you sleep better and the days seem longer.” ~ Natalee

For an effortless green lawn, synthetic turf from Urban Turf envelops the Hamptons Blue Pool by Aqua Technics, which is defined by Horizon Light Grey tiles from Beaumont Tiles. A row of Osier Belle loungers creates a relaxing spot for pool parties and frilly ‘Flamenco’ umbrellas by Santa Barbara Designs, from 3Beaches, provide plenty of shade in the prettiest way possible.

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