Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese practice of ‘forest-bathing’. Much like immersing yourself in water, forest-bathing is the act of submerging yourself deeply and mindfully into the natural surrounds.
Interior designer and owner of Cloud Parade accommodation, Josie Simpson of Altus Design Studio cites this concept as a potential reason for travelling to the Blue Mountains – but there is something to be said for its impact on her design for this unique property.
The top floor of the two storey home is cantilevered out over the downstairs floor, and wrapped in glazing, creating the illusion of a house floating above the clouds. The most spectacular of these hilltop views are gained from the living and dining room, which faces the national park beyond. The windows of this main zone frame the valley, Mount Solitary and the Three Sisters rock formation, and encourage guests to drink in the uninterrupted natural vista.
It was essential that the interior scheme didn’t detract from these sublime escarpment views, so Josie settled on a cosy, contemporary look inside, inspired by the home’s 1970s timestamp.
‘My vision was a modern take on mid-century style with simple, clean lines and graphic artworks,’ she says. While snug, low-lying furniture populate the lounge room, she opted for a dark kitchen featuring Laminex AbsoluteMatte Black joinery and Essastone Lava Black benchtop to emphasise the excellent parquetry floors.
These darker tones continue throughout the five bedrooms, downstairs living room and upstairs TV room, setting an understated contrast to the spectacular scenery surrounding the home.
‘You don’t need to leave the house to appreciate the Blue Mountains,’ says Josie of the house’s incredible location. That may be the case… but in an area replete with endless walking opportunities, Gordon Falls lookout just down the road, and charming local villages that are ripe for exploration, Cloud Parade offers a holiday spot too tempting to resist!
Book a stay at Cloud Parade here.
The main level contains a living and dining room in the one space cantilevered out over the bottom floor. Photo – Nic Gossage.
Windows run the length of this valley-facing level giving panoramic views out over the gorgeous scenery. Photo – Nic Gossage.
The sublime views out over the Blue Mountains. Mount Solitary and the Three Sisters rock formation can be spotted across the valley. Photo – Nic Gossage.
You don’t even need to leave the house to feel immersed in the national park! Photo – Nic Gossage.
Owner Josie Simpson also runs her own interior design studio alongside the Cloud Parade accommodation offering. She designed the whole accommodation house to be a clean and contemporary mid-century feel. Photo – Nic Gossage.
The contemporary kitchen features Laminex AbsoluteMatte Black joinery and Essastone Lava Black benchtop. Photo – Nic Gossage.
Graphic artwork and black joinery defines the interior scheme. Photo – Nic Gossage.
The TV room contains squashy, low-lying furniture. Photo – Nic Gossage.
The accommodation has five bedrooms, including this one with two single beds downstairs. Photo – Nic Gossage.
Dark tiles, black cabinetry and black handbasins give the bathrooms a luxe modern feel. Photo – Nic Gossage.
Light and bright bedroom details. Photo – Nic Gossage.
A graphic feature wall hand-painted by Josie and ceramic ornaments make this nook cosy and inviting. Photo – Nic Gossage.
Seriously, who could get sick of those views?! Photo – Nic Gossage.