A charming accommodation that will transport you to the Hamptons

A sprawling lawn framed by manicured gardens and punctuated by a sparkling 14m swimming pool and all-white draped cabanas, ideal for lounging after a long lunch on the property’s large terrace or after a morning spent shopping or to brunch in nearby Bangalow. And inside, chandeliers, dark wood floors, and white sheers moving occasionally in the breeze rising from the sea.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a historic home (more like a mansion) in the Hamptons, New York, than in a boutique accommodation called Outback House, a 20-minute drive from Byron, on a backcountry macadamia farm. Having recently undergone an interior refurbishment, the eight-bedroom accommodation is now part of Spicers’ private collection.

Image: Backcountry House

But although the property is actually a historic home (you guessed right – it was built in 1906), what’s so fantastic is that the owner wasn’t determined to keep it locked in that era, says Kathy Brauer, owner of a styling business and homewares establishment Biscuit merchants, who was leading the interior renovation of Hinterland House. She was briefed to combine the Federation style with what she calls a “Bisque/Byron look”, an aesthetic her company is known for.

“A lot of properties from this era are filled with darker, darker period pieces,” says Brauer. “The owner was open to it being injected with contemporary decor. I usually only do Bisque/Beach Byron style homes for clients as that is popular demand but with this particular home I felt the owner trusted him completely allowing me to mix it up and to be as adventurous as I thought was necessary to create a unique look.

Brauer says she was very conscious of the status and era of Hinterland House, wanting to retain its essential elements, while bringing it into this current era. She also wanted the house to feel like a home, rather than a clinical hotel.

Image: Backcountry House

“I tried to inject as much character into each piece, without making it look like it had too much personality,” she says.

“We had many custom pieces made for the job, and all of the original artwork was painted by myself to match the mood of each room. The overall desired achievement was that of the luxury-meets-Federation bohemian style, with a bit of sexy glamor added. I think this combination worked very well, creating a space like no other.

Brauer says she thinks there’s no other property in the district – maybe even in Australia – that has the same feel. “Each room is completely unique, but there is a common thread throughout the 8 bedroom, 3 living room mansion. It’s quite luxurious, but still feels like you can put your feet up and totally relax in your room.”

And while Brauer says she loved seeing the transformation of all the rooms, the Anton room, in particular, is her favorite — hands down. “When I first walked into the house, this room was very opulent, filled with all-gilt Baroque-style furniture,” she says. “I removed all the furniture and worked around the amazing marble fireplace.”

Brauer says she wanted to keep the glamor of the room, while making it more understated. As a result, the only items she kept from it were an “incredible feather floor lamp” and an exaggerated chandelier, which she moved to the bathroom. In its place, she installed a contemporary “candle,” a black pendant she found in the owner’s storage.

“The simple black and white decor, the modern and quite provocative print of the smoking girl only in the bikini bottom, mixed with the classic styling of this bedroom really works, I think,” Brauer says. “It’s also a room that guests can still feel really comfortable in, with ultra-soft sofas and plush leather accent chairs.”

Backcountry House Bedroom
Image: Backcountry House

As for how guests can spend their time on the property, Brauer says you can start their days with breakfast at a dining table on the lanai, followed by lounging by the pool, then a lunch on the other veranda. Complete with an afternoon drink on the balcony by the pool, then dine on site or at one of the nearby towns and villas, including Newrybar, Federal, Bangalow or Byron.

“I’d like to think that the minute a guest walks into this quiet, inviting space, their heartbeat would immediately slow down and they would continue to feel that way until they left, completely happy,” she says. “Feeling completely refreshed and renewed, wanting to come back for more in the near future.”

Rates at Hinterland House start from $8035 per night with a 5 night minimum.

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About Michael B. Billingsley

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