It’s been a while since our latest Mi Casa, we are excited to take you into the story of two creatives living in a charming old church! Erin is an herbalist and author of newly published book, Plants for the People, and Noah is a graphic designer. These two down to earth creatives have migrated from the Blue Mountains to the Hinterlands of Byron Bay and have shared with us the inside story of what a day in the life looks like for them.
Their home is a mix of minimal simplicity paired with pockets of earthy colour ways. We love how they have styled some of our Pampa pieces, especially the oversized rugs amongst the tall ceilings and open arches of the church.
SHOP THE LOOK
Tell us about your neighbourhood in the Byron Bay Hinterland, where are some of your favourite places to go?
We live in a little township in the hinterland and it really is the most charming place to live. We frequent the little general store and appreciate the first name basis relationship we have crafted with everyone there. I find it super sweet that we have to get our mail at the post office and there are no post boxes in our town!
The vast array of wonderful areas to explore in the hinterland fulfil our daily call for adventure. We pop to Federal to Doma, and head into the bush for walks and water hole dips as the weather warms up. One of my most favourite things around here is the roadside flower stalls, honey stops and produce honesty boxes. I find it perfectly endearing!
How would you describe the style of your home?
Relaxed, earthy, cozy, peaceful and a reflection of us both. We are both quite minimal, Noah definitely is more so than me though and keeping this old open plan church home of ours really clear and simple feels very in line with the energy in here and the way we like to live. We both thrive off a serene space, so the colour palette is truly not a super conscious choice- more of a reflection of what makes us both feel calm and at ease. We intentionally create a home that is warm and welcoming and can shift with our needs yet feels incredibly spacious and still. Over the years we have collected pieces that have stayed with us, a mix of vintage and new from our travels and journeys. These earthly belongings create a lovely nostalgia and meaning for us both in our everyday.
We love the Pampa pieces you have chosen for your home, what drew you to Pampa?
I love pieces that are made with love and intention. The back story of Pampa and the importance on fair trade practices and natural materials, really resonates. When we moved into our church home the space felt so big and a little intimidating to fill, coming from our last tiny cottage home in the Blue Mountains. The rugs we have chosen from Pampa really brought the space together in a cohesive and warming way, which we just love.
In what new ways have you connected with your home throughout ISO?
I have been so grateful to call this place home during these wild times. The gratitude of living in this region and in this mighty old church home has been super heart felt for me. I honestly have fallen deeper in love with my home in this time. We really shifted our energy to expanding our garden, and the food and medicinals we grow. It has been such a wonderful project and 4 months later we can basically feed the neighbourhood with the bounty of our garden!
What drew you to the path of Herbalism and what does a day in the life as a herbalist look like?
I felt a deep sense of belonging amongst nature for as far back as I can recall. When I think of my childhood, I think of the mighty height of the Eucalyptus tree’s in the park nearby and the fragrant smells of summer coming as the flowers sprung. The plants made an impression early on and called me ever so loudly! I honestly think the plant path choses you, and herbalism sort of just found me.
I was always enamoured with all things esoteric and mystical from a young age and began studying energetic healing (crystals, reiki, kinesiology, colour therapy, sound healing, breath work) at 16 years old- not your typical teenager thats for sure. I learnt so much in training in the healing realms for many years about the spiritual, mental and emotional bodies, and really yearned to know more about the physical body. This is when I began training in Naturopathic medicine- forking off into deeper studies in Western Herbal Medicine and Nutritional Medicine, graduating with my bachelor in hand as a Herbalist and Nutritionist. I loved learning about how the plants hold an embodied power with a deep affinity for our bodies, and how ultimately nature’s way is the greatest healer.
My days are filled with working 1:1 with clients, mentoring students and practitioners via my digital clinic. Other days I am working away in my apothecary creating herbal formulas and dispensing customised teas and tinctures for clients or more so these days I am writing books on plant medicine.
Can you expand on your vision of wellness? Do you have any daily rituals?
Over the years as my career has evolved and my schedule is ever abundant I have refined what I truly need to feel nourished, to then radiate that nourishment out there to my clients and offerings. Self care for me is to give myself time to switch off and rest as much as possible, slow mornings, early to rise, early to bed, screens away, time with family and friends, nourishing organic whole foods, great sleep, body movement and meditation are all my medicine! I weave plant medicines into my everyday, in tonics, teas and foods. I do this intuitively and it really is ever changing depending on how I am feeling on the day. One of my biggest self care rituals is being in nature, whether it be a walk in nature, an ocean dip, time in my garden or swinging in the hammock under the pecan tree. I have learnt that when things get very fast for me, I need to counteract it all with deep slowness to feel well and vital.
As the author of “Plants for the People”, can you tell us what inspired you to bring this book to life?
This was a book I was seeking, yet I could never find. I felt there was gap in the literature out there on plant medicine, although there are so many wonderful books in this space however not so many with a very modern upgraded aesthetic and tone. I held this vision for the book for some time, and it came into fruition in the most kismet way with my publishing house Thames & Hudson. I wanted to share my understanding of the plants, their ancient stories and translate them for the modern day. To reawaken the remembering within us all, that plants are the peoples medicine. They always have been and always will be! I wanted to inspire people to connect with nature, to practice radical simplicity to be well with plant medicine. My intention is to guide people into the beauty and power of the plants! The book is meant to be useful and beautiful, you could have it in your kitchen to inspire you to follow the recipes and explore medicine making, or set on your coffee table to give you a fresh breath of plant loving beauty on the daily.
You have spent some time between California and Australia, what draws you to each country?
My husband Noah is from the USA, he was born in the midwest. He was raised in a very outdoorsy family, boating on the lake after school and adventuring off to camping trips in the woods every chance they could. His family is still in Michigan so we have kept up a strong connection and commitment to travelling and exploring the USA over the years when we return for family visits. We always hit the road, beginning with California, visiting friends and our most favourite places and then winding our way through the National Parks and taking in the exquisitely varied beauty of North America. I am always in awe of the welcoming energy of the land there, between the canyons, desert and forests I always feel incredibly at home.
Australia is our home, and will always be wherever the wind takes us!
How have you found the process of working together?
We have such different skill sets it has been fascinating to fuse them together, but truly thus far it is all unfolding in harmony beautifully. Noah is a graphic designer with a marketing background, but in truth he is this uber organised, basically good at everything dear hearted Virgo. We have long held a vision to create something of our own together, and right now we are at the precipice of expanding this vision and bringing it all to life.
What is on the horizon for you in the next few months?
I am deep in writing and creating my second book with my publishing house Thames and Hudson. It is quite an all encompassing experience to birth a book! Focusing in on that, and working in my clinical practice aplenty. Noah and I are most definitely in a growth cycle, so plenty of scheming and creating together, always.
Images: Victoria Aguirre
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