In this edition of Mi Casa, we step into the refined home of the charming Emily Yates. Tucked away in the hinterland of Byron Bay, her home offers a distinctive energy. The minimalistic setting amidst expansive nature naturally beckons us to explore intentional choices that define the essence of her living space. Despite her busy schedule, it possesses the remarkable ability to invite you to pause.
Within the curated design and aesthetic, sustainability seamlessly integrates. Reflecting on the profound concept, Emily delves into the purposeful decision to build from scratch, considering the needs of her two young children—a place where she can remain centered on staying present and grounded, evident in every aspect.
SHOP THE LOOK
1/ Made-to-Order Selva Rug | Natural White & Camel 2/ Eclipse Throw|Rainbow 3/ Maya Throw|Caramel 4/ Maya Floor Cushion|Natural 5/ Monte Lumbar Pom Pom Cushion|Desert 6/ Mini Dos Luna Rug 7/Pampa Poncho|Tobacco
What does home mean to you?
Home is more of a feeling than a place to me. If my loved ones are under that roof – it’s home. But living in a space that reflects our personalities is also really important.
We can feel the calm energy of your home, describe the space in 3 words.
Minimalist. Calming. Inspiring.
Can you tell us about your journey in finding and acquiring your new home? What drew you to this beautiful piece of land?
We purchased this land many years ago. At the time we were so drawn to the hinterland, the peace of nature and its surrounds. Living in Byron Bay for many years, we just wanted an escape from the chaos of town. We then went about the design process – and built the house from scratch.
You’re known for your artistic work and your stunning photography. Can you share how your creative process has evolved over time, and what factors or inspirations have significantly shaped your photography style?
This is a really hard question to answer for me because I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about my evolution as a photographer. I have always loved film, and I don’t know if my style has changed per se, but I’m always wanting to try new things. New mediums, new editing styles, new films, new cameras. I think it’s important to stay playful and curious. I think my style has stayed the same, with minor tweaks and as I try new things.
How would you characterise the design and aesthetic of your home, and could you share the sources of inspiration that influenced you to adopt this style?
I really love Axel Vervoordt and wabi-sabi design. We were influenced by Japanese and Mediterranean simplicity. We wanted the views of the hinterland to do the majority of the talking – and to build the house around the big windows throughout the home.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in home design. How does Pampa align with your values regarding sustainable living and conscious consumerism?
To be honest – my husband is my biggest driver when it comes to sustainability. He wanted to build the house to be completely off-grid, he is preparing for the apocalypse at all times (!) But in all seriousness, it is a big deciding factor in our purchases and design. We aim for quality and sustainability always. I want to own the pieces I invest in for many, many years. Not just a few seasons. So, our Pampa rugs are perfect for our home.
Could you walk us through the thought process behind choosing a Pampa rug for your home?
I love the quality, the sustainability as well as the warm designs. The textures and colour palettes just really align with our style and we were so excited to have these pieces in our home!
Building a home from scratch is a significant undertaking. Can you share what inspired the decision to embark on this project with two young children?
Craziness and naivety! This was our first attempt at designing and building a home. We couldn’t find a home that suited our style in the area, so when we came across the land, we decided to build our own. We have a few more projects in the works at the moment and we have learnt so much (good and bad!) from this first attempt.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently or any specific advice you’d give to your past self at the beginning of this journey?
We’ve learnt so many lessons from this project. Learning to budget for a build better. Learning what to invest your budget into in a build – and what doesn’t need to be so high-end. Learning about the functionality of a space for your family. I don’t think we’ll ever get it perfect, I’m sure next project we will learn a million more lessons. But it’s a journey, and that’s okay.
Tell us how the northern rivers have shaped your daily life and family experiences.
We moved to this area 12 years ago as I was studying naturopathy and we wanted to live in an area that aligned with how we wanted to live. It teaches us every day to slow down and enjoy the little moments with our kids. A sunset. A picnic on the beach. A good wave. Small moments that mean the most.
We know that your schedule is often bustling, whether it’s travelling across the world for work or managing the day-to-day demands of family life. Can you share any upcoming exciting endeavours or plans on the horizon?
We have a really exciting build in Tasmania starting this year – which we will rent out as a holiday home. I think this will be our biggest project for 2024, and I’m so excited that everyone else will be able to experience it as well.
Photos: Victoria Aguirre
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