Sunday, January 11, 2015

Neutral Bay to Bellingen and Space Healing all the way!

Quite some years ago my parents down sized from our family home. 
They moved to Neutral Bay into a three bedroom apartment which I was lucky enough to work on.

Mum & Dad's Neutral Bay apartment

Mum & Dad were keen to start afresh and part ways with their full suite of Jacobean furniture that my Grandfather built post-war. Whilst it was skilfully made, this type of furniture wasn't exactly my Mother's cup of tea.
Mum & Dad's previous home. My wedding day with Grandpa's Jacobean cabinet which my cousin now lovingly cares for.
The artwork, rug & candle sticks made the cut and are showcased in my parent's new Bellingen home.
It was time for a new horizon!

Looking back on my parents Neutral Bay apartment, it's gratifying to witness their journey and the part I played in helping them create their new reality. A reality that allowed them to step into their potential. A new way of living that truly represented their core and the things they valued most in life.
It was this very project that we embarked on together in 2007, that ignited a calling in me that I hadn't fully acknowledged prior.
My Space Healing calling.  

Detail from Mum & Dad's Neutral Bay apartment I designed. 

I invested much time to ensure the space I designed for my parents truly reflected their inner being. I wanted more than anything to create a space that felt really good for my Mum & Dad. A space that spoke to their authentic selves in a way that was honest and healing and naturally, beautifully designed.
Many of the skills & techniques I used to create this healing home were intuitive. Some were practical and others learnt. The success came down to being tapped in and invested in them as people and knowing how to translate that into design. 
All decisions were built upon inspiration found inwardly, intentions.
I wasn't seeking a look, or a style. I was seeking my parents. 

"We sold our two story home and bought a large waterfront apartment, something that we had always dreamed about. Bronwyn challenged what we thought we wanted, and suggested alternatives, encouraging us to be a little "bold". She proposed minor structural changes, located suitable furniture, fittings, hardware, soft furnishings, and colour scheme. Thank you Bronwyn, you drew us out of our comfort zone, made us think and feel twenty years younger. We love our apartment and so do all our friends." - Brian Poole

Dad's review I invited him to write on Houzz.
Last year Mum & Dad made the tree change to beautiful Bellingen just near Coffs Harbour on the mid north coast of New South Wales.
They moved from their Neutral Bay apartment to be closer to my sister Fi and her family.

Bellingen before shot with previous owners furniture

I distinctly remember the day Dad called me, excitedly describing the house he had found.

I couldn't wait to get inside. The Christmas before last, I had the opportunity to inspect this property to assess it's potential before they purchased it.

Instantly, I saw the magic my parents spoke of and we began discussions on what Mum & Dad envisaged for their new home.
After shot of Mum& Dad's Bellingen home
Fast forward a year, a year where my husband, children and I relocated to Los Angeles, I arrive back home to see what mischief my parents have been up to with their new home and its renovation.
Mum warned me...."if you don't like something then please tell me gently".... I wasn't worried!

Mum, (a stylish born & bred Queenslander and successful property agent with a dynamic sense of style) and Dad, (a naval architect with a keen designers mind & eager tool belt) had it under control!


Whilst I had a lot of influence, I never 'did' this home for my parents.
Inevitably, living overseas, I had to relinquish some control which previously I was accustomed to having.
Rather than doing it for them, I guided them, planting intentions, imparting skills and offering support.

I had complete confidence in them. I knew they were well equipped with an appreciation found at Neutral Bay for what it takes to make a home beautiful and whole and the immense payoff this will have on their wellbeing.

What bred from this experience is a distinction I appreciate more deeply and the essence to my Space Healing design philosophy which I would like to further hare with you here.
My favourite sofa overlooking the mountains
Peeping just behind, is the timber planter my Grandpa made. I was so happy when I saw it here.
Over the past 20 years, I have been blessed with all sorts of clients and all sorts of briefs. I spent most of my first professional decade manifesting clients who would let me do it all.
I wanted to build my portfolio and I wanted an opportunity to really experiment with different styles. 
I knew that if I was granted complete trust to run with my vision, things would get done. They would get done efficiently, they would get done well and they would get done within budget. I would be free to create spaces beyond my client's imagination.
It was the perfect business model for a designer and rewarded me with a growing portfolio that I was proud of.


Recently however, I have recognised a responsibility that has taken the later part of my two decade career to fully embrace.

As a skilled & passionate interior designer, I use to relate to myself as a designer who could heal spaces.

As a more experienced and in-tune designer, I recognise that a shift is occurring. Today, I am more invested in being a healer who can design spaces.
A Space Healer.
I am eternally grateful for the flexibility of this vintage B&B sofa which Dad and I found whilst manning
Dad's pottery store at Mitchel Rd Antique & Design Centre.
It's curved back offering the perfect solution to problematic columns in both properties.
I have always been intrigued by the healing that occurs when our home and our being are united through design.

Mum's favourite chair.
One of two of our wedding urns, which I made my mates carry into the chapel,
because I didn't want flowers on my wedding day.
I just wanted plants, trees even, in the church. I really owe them one!

I believe spaces transform us; just like a great piece of art, or the perfect dress that makes us feel unstoppable!

When our space becomes a physical expression of our authentic self, it becomes our true healing sanctuary.


I believe Space Healers have an extra something special to offer their clients beyond the design process.

They take their clients by the hand, on a journey of discovery, to find their extraordinarily whole home.

A home designed just for them.

I believe inspiration always starts inwardly, where truths unfold, shining light on the limitless potential of the client & the house that connects them.

When we move homes, or when we decide to make changes to our existing home, it's a sign that a great opportunity for personal evolution is taking place.

I have observed this in every client I have worked with. I believe tapping into this evolution is key.

Like the house that captures you, a space healer does the same.

They capture you, and see your potential, often in a way that is not even apparent to you yet. They connect this new you, with your homes unique potential, to create what I consider my ultimate professional responsibility; a home designed to feel as good as it looks.

Dad's genius use of yacht stanchions to hang their Tracey Deep artwork

I believe Space Healers are gifted listeners and decode using their innate sense for colour, placement, texture & purpose to bring spaces and their clients alive.

Treasured family heirlooms we had recovered 

They are the beacons that warn of poor decision.


Space healers don't impose their style. They dig deep to help their clients find their style. 
All their original furniture fit as if it were meant to be.

It is the ‘why’ before the ‘what’ that makes an extraordinary unique & whole home.
Space Healing is the art of helping uncover this very ‘why’ to design a meaningful & nurturing ‘what’.
Had you asked me last month if I successfully Space Healed my parents Neutral Bay apartment, I would have excitedly drafted a 10 page list of 'how' and 'why'.

After walking into my parents new Bellingen home this month, my thoughts on this have grown.

I can offer Space Healing without doing it all!

And more significantly, in not doing it all, I give my client the space to add that extra special touch of magic.
Mum wanted to 'surprise' me with her new kitchen despite many
phone calls begging her to disclose what she was up to. You nailed it Mumma!

My first impression of Mum & Dad's home was astonishingly radiant.

I was quite literally blown away!
 The designer in me resisted pointing out irrelevant niggly design annoyances; because really does the lazy splashback installation showing the adjoining edge matter? Well in some spaces and for some clients it would. But in this case it certainly did not.
What mattered, was that Mum and Dad truly found themselves in this home. A home they created together. A home they invested much time, intention and love into. A home that authentically spoke their truth and reflected their essence and supported their ever evolving journey.
"Beautiful Mumma" by family friend and Bellingen local Karlee Rawkins
Karlee said she wanted to paint a tree that spoke of my Mum - strong, generous & soft.

Whilst I was available to advise on paint colours, flooring and the general technical & creative stuff, they took the ultimate rein.

I could never have achieved the same essence if I took the reins completely, blinding them from the process.

Dad's incredible table he built. He specifically wanted the seat bench so his grandkids could run up and down.
It worked a treat.
 I am so proud of them.
I understand more deeply the gifts both of my parents have imparted to me; Mum's innate bold style and sense for warmth, and Dad's innate sense for design & function.
And always giving, as parents do, they gave me this journey to witness the truth I am continually seeking in my vocation. Helping cement my thoughts and techniques around my Space Healing design philosophy.
In the past, economics and design deliverables have dictated that I, 'the designer', take ultimate control. This used to be my client of choice. 
But successful Space Healing is even more potent with the client I would have shied away from in the past. One who is willing to get their hands dirty, willing to invest some time and willing to be guided & challenged along the way, with a coach, a 'Space Healer', always available.
Dad and I discussing the next stage of the Bellingen remodel;
their master suite extension!
More than ever I am seeking that special client who wants a Space Healer, so together we can create true magic. Magic that surpasses both our imagination.
 What a gift that would be.
Below are some of the before shots of this happy Bellingen home....

Before shot Bellingen

Before shot Bellingen

Before shot Bellingen
Before shot Bellingen

Before shot Bellingen

And to finish, a few final pictures of how we use the space now....
Dad and my son Hugh playing chess. Edge of extension table without extension leaf seen here.

My husband Jas and our daughter Darci on Christmas day 2014

Mum's Christmas table all set
Grandkids with the Christmas pinyada on the font lawn
I hope you enjoyed the tour.
Until next time Lovers!


  1. This is my third attempt to comment ... I didn't just enjoy, I LOVED it Bron. How fabulous is your parents home - beautiful functional inviting calming. I could dive right into every space. I really love that some of their cherished pieces are with them and look like they are meant to be there. Also love that they created (with your gentle influence) it themselves. What an interesting learning curve you are on with Space Healing and how clever are you to recognise the learning. Many designer's egos would not enable such clarity of thought. Anyway, can't remember what I wrote the first two times, but here's hoping third time lucky xx

    1. You're so beautiful Lyn. Thanks for your comment and persistence. It means a lot to me. I am on a learning curve. It is such a privilege to be able to step back from work for a little bit to really see this new perspective. It kind of feels like my sabbatical. x


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