We wanted to create an escape where from every angle inside you are connected to the outside land. The 100 acre bounds mean you can turn the music up, laugh as loud as you want and never have to worry about neighbours! - Taliah
We sit down with the owner and creative director of Byron Beach Abodes to talk about her latest endeavour MICALO one hour south of Ballina in Yamba, NSW.
Taliah and Sein Lowry celebrate at Micalo's first party. Captured by Raegan Glazner
Q: Can you explain in your own words how this project came about for you and how yourself and Sein came to choose the Yamba region?
We were looking for about a year or so for a property that would combine country, nature, water ways, and privacy. We followed the mighty Clarence River from as far as Tabulum all the way to Yamba. Although we saw some great properties we were mindful about not being too isolated and not being able to use the property enough being too far away from everything. So when we found Micalo we rejoiced as it had all the privacy and seclusion, yet was only five minutes away from the best coffee, restaurants and beaches.
Q: When did this project commence and how long did the build take?
We had initial ideas to do a simple renovation of the existing homestead, at each crossroad these simple ideas developed and expanded and evolved quite quickly into a much more grand plan with the collaboration of our builder, Greg Lyon and our architect, John Burgess. The projected finish date was late 2021 but was finally completed by the end of 2022.
Q: What would you say has been your greatest inspiration driving the execution of the build and styling for MICALO?
Our greatest inspiration was to create a place where friends and family of all ages wouldn’t be limited by the constraints of a suburban house block. A place where we feel comfortable and intimate enough just for us to lounge, have a spa or swim, a slow cook up by the campfire riverside, or to celebrate with a few families and friends while enjoying the freedom of privacy and space within the house or grounds.
We wanted to create a home where almost from every angle from inside you are connected to the outside land. Its 100 acre boundaries mean you can turn the music up, laugh as loud as you want and never have to worry about neighbours!
I’ve always loved various styles, we never tend to go with one style or theme. Micalo is very much a mix of aesthetics that somehow flow together. We played with limestone floors, recycled timber, light filled rooms, dark and moody spaces, a mix of new and old, modern and vintage art…
Q: It is rare these days to have such privacy and your own “play compound” of this luxuriousness, what is your favourite thing to do when you spend time at MICALO?
We love cooking with friends and family whether it’s inside the modern kitchen, slow cooking a scotch fillet on the woodfire poolside or cooking up the flat head and mud crabs on the campfire riverside.
I love lounging by the pool and having a spa while watching Sein drive balls on the fairway from the practice T next to the pool.
Our boys' favourite thing to do is shoot hoops on the basketball court or play a game of pool in the snooker room.
Q: The attention to detail at this property is next level, every aspect has been thought of, right down to the stovetop “pot filler” – what is your favourite “little detail” at MICALO?
For me It’s hard to choose between the circular media room or the traditional hot rock sauna that’s big enough for ten people.
I do love our custom round black timber dining table and built in dining seating … and the beautiful Ralph Lauren wall light in the studio.
It’s hard to choose as most of the features and furniture are all custom built for Micalo, these pieces are very personal touches that we are very fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented craftsmen to create.
Q: Let’s chat about Yamba! You are so widely known for your work with your luxurious accommodation with Byron Beach Abodes, what has drawn you to Yamba?
Although we love Byron and continue to make Byron our home, we have been drawn to the Yamba coastline for many years for the surf, the rock pools, the river ways, the fresh seafood and being foodies - some of our favourite restaurants and cafes. It really has everything that we love and is only an hour south of Ballina.
Q: What are some of your favourite “experiences” in Yamba?
We love renting a boat and going fishing, walking down to Angouri point and the rock pools. We love the farmers market and finding little secluded beaches with great surf.
Q: Amongst all the chaos and stress of a new build and meeting deadlines, what is your favourite way to GROUND yourself?
Ahhh, I couldn’t get through anything without my beloved Hot Pilates which has had a huge impact on my mind, keeping me grounded and focused throughout the last few years. Probably the only reason we haven’t moved to Micalo full time as the studio is in Byron.
But this is why we built a sauna big enough so when we do escape for a few days I can still continue my practice.
And finally…a little insight into you and your current favourite things for the Summer holidays….
Favourite holiday tipple? Whisky Sour
Favourite swimwear? Zimmerman
Favourite sunglasses? Celine
Favourite song to chill to? Lonely in the Rain - Tell Me ft. Benji Lewis
Favourite flower? Tulips or peonies
Favourite Summer Bed Linen? Hale Mercantile
Favourite Parfum for Summer? Anything from Le Labo
Favourite thing to throw on after the beach? A sarong
Favourite sweat method? Hot Pilates
Favourite holiday read? Currently reading my uncle's book “A Leaf in the Wind”
If you would like to stay at MICALO or any of Byron Beach Abodes stunning properties visit them here...