These two newly-built homes sit side by side on the world heritage site of Lord Howe Island, a place of extraordinary natural beauty located in the Tasman Sea, hundreds of miles off the east coast of Australia.
It’s an almost impossibly lovely castaway location, surrounded by a forest of Kentia palms and centuries-old Banyan trees. Island House was conceived by owner Tim Maxwell as a place to breakfast while listening to the birds in the forest, to catch fish then cook them with friends or family – while surrounded in art, sculpture and other objects that make a house feel like home. It’s somewhere to light a fire, read a book, have a bath under the stars, all in total privacy.
The houses are constructed from enduring materials that reflect the island’s timeless nature – hardwood and copper exteriors, with wide oak floorboards and solid oak walls creating elegant high ceilings.
Interiors are filled with books, art and great furniture. A collaboration with ceramicist Keiko Matsui brought striking kiln-fired bowls to the property, walks down alleyways in Kyoto brought artisanal objects, while a trip to Copenhagen brought original mid-century furnishings.
Meanwhile, new and second-hand bookstores were combed to fill the library in each house with a broad range of novels, art and design books, cookbooks, and other quirky titles.
“We are constantly searching for items that tell a story,” says Tim, “about where they’re from, how they are made and that are driven by principles of quality. These items are not for show or to be admired from afar, they are there to be used and enjoyed as they were designed.”
This is a place for indulgence. Each house has an audiophile-quality sound system. Both kitchens are equipped with beautiful Japanese and European culinary tools, and fridges are filled with an assortment of island-grown produce from its sister business, the Nursery, located just 100 metres down the hill.
Gardens provide generous lawn areas, shady palms, and a number of fruit trees and herbs, as well as those super cool copper bathtubs.
This vacation home rental in Australia is offered in its entirety, sleeping up to eight guests, but individual houses may be available on request.
Read more about the art at Island House in our Journal here.