Tête-à-tête | Emma Lane from The Farm Byron Bay on Building a Sustainable Life

What began as nostalgic reminiscing of childhoods spent roaming free with nature, of freshly baked cakes, veggie gardens and beach hangs – sparked the Lane’s permanent move to Byron Bay to pursue life in the Hinterland with the beach at a stones throw. They now have a collection of stunning properties (including The Farm) that each explore sustainable living, and connection to food, farming and the beach; their passion for travel has inspired the look and feel of each place. We recently had a chat with co-founder Emma Lane who gave us a little insight into the inspiration behind it all.

You are involved with some incredible projects, from The Farm, a book and two sought after stays in Byron Bay - The Range and The Beach House. Can you tell us where it all began?

It all began over a conversation at the dinner table with our children. We were discussing the childhood myself and Tom had experienced. One of open spaces to run, where you had some sort of connection with the food you ate, cakes were freshly baked, you had time to play with animals and lie in paddocks watching the clouds make shapes, or just an afternoon to hang at the beach. This led us to buy a farm in Byron where we spent every school holiday doing all those things and importantly giving our children that childhood, as well as growing our own food. This sparked a more permanent change when our four kids asked if we could move to Byron Bay and live. This is when we decided to set up The Farm Byron Bay and give other kids a chance to learn where their food comes from. Our passion for travel has defiantly been a big part of dreaming up our ideas and the inspiration for some of the look and feel of our properties. Ideas for us often happen when we step out of our everyday lives. We now have a collection of properties that explore sustainable living, food, farming and the beach – our favourite elements of living in this region.

The Farm Byron Bay

Sustainability is at the heart of both The Range and The Farm, aside from a sustainable ethos — what other values inspire the projects that you undertake?

Community is important as individually we can only achieve so much, I love the saying “Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean” describes the wonderful outcome of working as community. This has been the backbone of the success of The Farm, a community of like-minded people working towards a common goal of ‘grow, feed, educate and giveback’. 

 

I love the saying “Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean”- it describes the wonderful outcome of working as community.

Another important value is resilience - for us and our children. We live in a world that wants instant gratification, we need to understand when things don’t go our way or don’t pan out exactly how we want, in the time we want. It is good to learn patience and resilience to bounce back and find the other ways around when things don’t quite go your way.

The Range Byron Bay
The Range Byron Bay

Both you and Tom knew that one day you would own your own Finca. What inspired this?

Partly my childhood travels to Spain. We had a little holiday house there growing up in England. It was a little hop, skip and a jump to visit so we enjoyed it as a family most school holidays. Tom and I also spent some time living in Spain in a town called Cadaques, just north of Barcelona just below the French border. We love Spanish architecture and particularly the country houses on farms that are called Fincas. Traditionally these would consist of a number of out buildings and an orchid and the Range has both these elements. We love the practicality of the earthy colours and the rich terracotta’s that works so beautifully with our rich red earth here.

The Range Byron Bay

The Range Byron Bay
The Range Byron Bay

Can you share a bit about how your ethos has influenced the interior of The Range and The Beach House?

We believe in reusing and upcycling as much as possible so with all our projects we take a lead from the environment and the existing buildings and see how we can evolve and improve what is there. With The Beach House we created a fresh new beach look by integrating soft rendered walls the colour of sand and timber treatments throughout that work sympathetically with the surrounding two acre coastal habitat. The main building had a few fix ups and lashings of while paint which is now called the ‘beach barn’ and it’s perfectly minimal and rustic to be dressed individually for any event as it’s so simple. The rooms are decorated in keeping with the surroundings, coastal chic.

The Beach House Byron Bay
The Beach House Byron Bay

The Range was created with similar thinking, we expanded the old house and reused old trusses as bookshelves, the stone work used for retaining walls and our fireplace are foraged basalt rocks from the property. The colours are reflective of the landscape – earthy tones throughout link us to the terracotta tinged earth. It’s easy to allow the interiors and finishes to blend the environment when you take the inspiration from mother nature.

The Range Byron Bay
The Range Byron Bay

What made you relocate to Byron Bay all those years ago?

Searching for a slower pace, away from the rat race, connected more to nature. Who can resist the rolling green hills of the hinterland just a few minutes to the ocean.

Between all these projects, what takes up most of your time?

As well as looking after the 3 properties and four children - thinking about the next project! We are always dreaming about what’s next and what we can create, this keeps us excited and invigorated about life and defiantly takes up time!

The Range Byron Bay

Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

Yes, we are particularly excited about a very exciting project launching out of The Farm – our education part of the business is going digital with our “Grow, Feed, Educate" program which we have created alongside Whole Beings Holistic Education, for children aged between 4 and 10. The best part of this project is that it takes children who can’t get to the farm to the farm virtually with its simple modules that link to the school curriculum. We are passionate about education and we are super proud of this project.

Tigmi means ‘my home’ in the Berber dialect. What does home mean to you.

The best journey takes you home, home is the place that you return to, a safe haven, and place to relax and just enjoy time in privacy with friends and family.

Photography: Tim Thatcher / Alicia Taylor 

Featuring a selection of our Project Chandigarh Pierre Jeanneret Re-editions and one of a kind Moroccan rugs

 

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