Mi Casa 21 Feb, 2024

Mi Casa | Catherine Spillane

For this Mi Casa feature, our journey takes us to the beauty of Anglesea, gracefully nestled along Victoria’s coastline. Surrounded by the expansive Great Otway National Park, Anglesea’s coastal ambience finds harmony in a vibrant community spirit, evident through local cafes, art galleries, and boutiques scattered throughout the area.

Drawing inspiration from the town’s nature, Catherine Spillane, an occupational therapist, and Drew, a skilled carpenter, share their newfound home—a thoughtful expression of values and identity. The design has evolved organically, focusing on natural materials and fibres chosen for their durability and raw aesthetic, embodying a timeless beauty that only deepens with time. Join us as we dive into the build of their home, where the creative couple’s vision for outdoor living effortlessly blends with the simple pleasures of family life and the charm of slow living.



1/ Made-to-Order Heloisa Rug | Natural White & Camel 2/ Maya Throw|Natural 3/ Made-to-Order Luz Rug 4/ Puna #41 Fine Art Print 5/ Maya Cushion|Caramel 6/ Pampa x Posie Candle 7/Made-to-Order Selva Runner



What inspired the design and concept of your home in Anglesea? Are there specific themes or influences that guided your vision for this space?

None of the design felt too conscious or intentional, it flowed quite easily because it’s all just an extension of us,  all the things we like, our values and filled with things that resonate.

We spend lots of our time outdoors, and nature was a huge inspiration for us. Our outdoor spaces are just as important as our indoor, so keeping the footprint of the house relatively small to retain our garden was a priority.

We chose natural materials for their durability and their imperfect aesthetic; and I think these materials will only become more beautiful with time and wear.

Anglesea is known for its coastal charm. How did you incorporate the distinctive features of the Anglesea locale into the design of your home?

When we first moved here we noticed how good being connected to nature made us feel. Things are pretty peaceful and move at a slower pace. The colours, materials and textures used within our home are reflection of the natural environment and we have tried to recreate that peaceful and relaxed feeling within the home.

Among the varied palette of warm, textured materials, are there any Pampa pieces that you particularly love in your home?

Given we intentionally chose to use quite hard wearing materials in the build, having furnishings that are soft to touch but also warm in terms of overall feel in the room is essential. The Heloisa rug is such a beautiful piece. The cushions add a pop of colour to our fairly neutral palette, and lots of texture which I love.

Among the rooms in your home, is there one that holds a special place in your heart? What makes it your favourite, and how does it reflect your style?

The lounge room is heaven! We love it for the abundance of natural light, and its calming feel. The huge windows give the feeling of being surrounded by nature, I love sitting on the couch looking out at the trees and visiting birdlife.

Were there any innovative or unconventional design elements you introduced in your home that you are particularly proud of?

The light well in the lounge. It drenches the room in sunlight and adds a feeling of spaciousness.

Given Anglesea’s natural beauty, how did you ensure that your home seamlessly integrates with its surroundings? Are there design choices that enhance the connection to nature?

Anglesea’s bush and beaches are so beautiful. We tried as much as possible to design something that was sympathetic to the surroundings and allow the house to connect with our established garden and borrowed landscape. We used natural materials and lots of plants. Timber lining boards and various shades of green throughout are inspired by the local vegetation, timber windows shift your attention outside to the garden in most rooms in the house, the stone work out the back surrounded by indigenous plants was inspired by the cliffs and rocks at our local beach. Even the charred timber cladding reminds me of the stringybarks in the heathland that have been burned in fires.

Every project comes with its own set of challenges. Can you share a memorable challenge you faced during the design or build of your home and how you overcame it?

Drew did an incredible job of managing the project and building the house along with his team. The process was pretty seamless however we had a huge delay initially where plans weren’t approved by council and we had already demolished our house and moved in with my parents! Luckily the delay allowed Drew to spend time ordering materials well in advance which meant we avoided lots of the product shortages and price increases that occurred during covid so it worked out ok in the end.

What personal touches or meaningful artefacts have you incorporated into your home?

Looking around I realise how many pieces of furniture, objects, ceramics and art have been created or restored by friends, family, Drew and I. I also love picking up treasures at the local tip shop or op shops, Drew has made lots of our furniture and I have lots of treasured objects from travels.  Our house reflects all these things, without being too cluttered, which is important to me in trying to find a balance between feeling very personal and also calming. Given the house was designed and built by us the whole thing feels very meaningful and personal.

Can you tell us how artwork contributes to your home, and what significance they hold for you personally?

My baskets and assemblages add to our home’s distinct personality. In what I consider to be a restrained palette in our home, my art is the bright, fun, colourful aspect of my style coming through.  My art reflects my love of the ocean and beaches, bright colour, embracing imperfection and collecting treasures.

Looking ahead, do you have any aspirations for future design projects, either in Anglesea or elsewhere? Are there specific styles or themes you’re eager to explore in your next ventures?

Yes, we are in the process of designing another home in Anglesea, still in the very early stages. The house is designed around a huge old eucalypt, much like this house. We are tempted to use similar materials and build something that sits nicely in its bush setting.

Sustainability is a key aspect of your home. Can you elaborate on the sustainable features incorporated, and why this is important to you?

The house is oriented north, with eaves designed to block the high summer sun and allow the low winter sun to come right in through double glazed windows and heat up the concrete slab. The double brick wall acts as a second thermal mass for passive heating and cooling. We have solar and a battery, and the house is fully electric. We have underfloor heating and cooling powered by an electric heat pump, and otherwise rely on cross ventilation, good insulation and ceiling fans. Timber shelving throughout the house is all reclaimed, bricks are salvaged from a demolition. Sustainability is a core value of ours, this is reflected in our personal way of life and the house is an extension of that.

Do you have any valuable advice for couples embarking on a building project together?

Try to have fun along the way and enjoy the process. Establish roles and identify each of your strengths so you can compliment each other and work as a team. Spend lots of time planning and dreaming up ideas as ideas will definitely evolve, shift and change over time. It’s nice to allow yourself time and space to do this before being locked into a design. Consider what you value most in a house and invest more in these areas, and explore whether you can reduce costs in other not so important areas.

Photos: Victoria Aguirre












































*All images & words are copyright of Pampa, for any kind of use please contact us at hello@pampa.com.au for permission.

Photos:Victoria Aguirre


























































































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