When Julie Weis first purchased this property on Nyangbul land in 2018, she had no plans to add any accommodation to the site. Set on 55 acres of lush hinterland, Julie fell in love with the main home on the property (now known as La Villa) at first sight. Although she has owned a small guest house in Bangalow (Le Vista) for the last 10 years, work commitments have kept her in Brisbane, and it was always the plan to retire in the Northern Rivers region.
After she was finally able to retire and relocate, Julie undertook some modest renovations to the main home, and in the back of her min, had the desire to restore the old Dairy located behind La Villa. ‘It was such a character-filled old building from the outside but had been neglected on the inside’, Julie says. As the work on La Villa progressed, Julie found that she loved working with the team of builders, designers, and local craftspeople and got a great deal of satisfaction out of seeing her vision realised. Working with the same team of experts, she and her daughter Lucy embarked upon a complete overhaul of The Dairy to transform it into a luxury accommodation.
Located behind a large cactus garden on the property, there’s a feeling of total privacy when staying at The Dairy. It comprises two bedrooms and a large open plan living area that showcases the rolling green hills of the hinterland.
Retaining the original facade, entry and outdoor entertaining area, the Dairy has been reimagined to make the most of its location. Set high on a hill, each room features floor-to-ceiling glass bifold doors that not only provides beautiful vantage points of the countryside from every room, but also makes visitors feel like they’re a part of it. ‘You could be anywhere in Tuscany, but in fact you are only 15-20 minutes from the beach of Byron Bay and Lennox Head’, says Julie.
Inside, a dark and moody rustic elegance has been expertly achieved through the use of concrete, timber beams, corrugated iron and local stone.
The touch of artisans throughout the property adds a handmade yet luxurious feel. Julie and Lucy worked closely with their friends from Island Luxe to source many of the larger furniture items, and collaborated with local craftspeople including ceramicist Romy Bennie, furniture maker Spencer Lambourn Hull and artist Gabrielle Poole to make exclusive pieces and fittings for The Dairy.
‘Creating The Dairy was a joy and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat’, says Julie. She credits her skilled builder, Jim Cameron of Pyowood Pty Ltd, to the success of the project. Jim was the original builder of La Villa more than 20 years ago (!) and was able to call on many of the local tradespeople who had done much of the work with Jim the first time around to work on this updated vision. What a dream team!
Love it? You can book your stay at The Dairy here. Follow Casa Secretas for more information on Julie’s properties, including location hire of the main house La Villa!
The open plan kitchen at The Dairy, part of the Casa Secretas accommodations in the Byron Hinterlands. Photo – Jessie Prince.
An incredible outlook to the Byron hinterland. Photo – Jessie Prince.
An arrangement of ceramics by Romy Bennie, who created custom pieces for The Dairy. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Looking out from the living area through to the kitchen, which completely opens to the outdoors. Photo – Jessie Prince.
The Dairy owner Julie Weis and her daughter Lucy worked with Island Luxe to source many of the larger furniture items. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Every room featured glass bi-fold doors that make visitors feel part of the natural surrounds. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Many pieces of custom furniture were made by local craftsperson Spencer Lambourn Hull. Photo – Jessie Prince.
A concrete bath for visitors to luxuriate in. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Even the bathroom has a view! Photo – Jessie Prince.
Crazy pavers outside The Dairy. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Part of the original Dairy entrance that was retained in the renovation. Photo – Jessie Prince.
The Diary is positioned on 55 acres, comprising macadamia trees and an exotic fruit orchard. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Looking out to The Dairy from the garden. Photo – Jessie Prince.
The outdoor entertaining area at La Villa, which is on the same property as The Dairy and is available for location hire. Photo – Jessie Prince.
An outlook at La Villa. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Tuscan villa vibes outside. Photo – Jessie Prince.
Part of the beautiful garden, which has been worked on by Farmscape Visuals. Photo – Jessie Prince.