Lisa Black and Robert Bleakley


Today’s family home in Byron Bay is one of the most spectacular houses we’ve been fortunate enough to visit.  It belongs to jewellery designer and landscape architect , her husband Robert Bleakley and their two teenage children. Characterised by rich textures and a moody colour palette, an impressive art collection and antiques sourced from all corners of the globe, it is surrounded by meticulously maintained lush tropical gardens, with a 180° view across untouched hinterland to Cape Byron.

In a word, it’s epic.


29th July, 2015

The incredible Byron Bay home of jewellery designer Lisa Black and family.  Spectacular view across to Cape Byron. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Living / family room. Geoffrey Hardcourt leather tub chairs (designed for 2001 Space Odyssey!) with Lisa’s favourite turquoise Saporiti chair (far right) and Bhutanese Snow Leopard mask in the background. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Looking from dining room out to entrance veranda. Ancient timber Javanese wagon wheel and Burmese Martaban pottery. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Looking from kitchen through dining to Lisa’s favourite ‘hang’ spot – the concrete window ‘box’ with views out to Byron Bay. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Kitchen window, where the lush garden is ever present and forms part of the interior space. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Lisa and family’s favourite ‘hang’ spot – the concrete window ‘box’ with INSANELY AMAZING uninterrupted view out to Byron Bay. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Living room detail. Robert has a background in fine art – he is a true collector, and has filled every corner of the house with treasures collected from across the globe. Above – Papaya painting with Karnataka wood dance wands, NE Arnheim land Atauro ancestor figure, NW Kimberly woomera on arts and crafts sideboard bought in London. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Artworks including Lisa and Robert’s Yirkkala bark painting on a NE Qld rainforest shield, contrasted against the blackbutt ply panelling throughout the house. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

TV room. Moghul pink stone Jali window from Rajasthan, Cameroon stool, Yirawala Skeletons Bark and Bobby West Tingari painting. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Faux bamboo armoire and Bill Yaxley naive painting in Lisa’s son’s bedroom. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Highland New Guinea shield and a Senufo /Ivory coast stool on verandah adjoining Lisa’s son’s bedroom. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

One of Lisa’s favourite details – a timber screen with built in pocket door to bathroom / shower with matching outdoor timber window screens. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Lovely native timber decks connecting all verandas. Step through garden, allowing the garden to come ‘into’ the building. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Swimming pool nestled in Lisa’s incredible garden. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Studio and headquarters for Lisa’s business, . Marilyn Hochhauser and Emma Walker artworks,  Admiralty Island canoe prow and highland New Guinea ceremonial wand. Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

The breakfast spot, especially in winter, as the deck faces North East with protection from cooler South West winds.  Photo – , production – Lucy Feagins / Btslive.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 29th July 2015

This is the home of jewellery designer and landscape architect , her husband Robert Bleakley and their two teenage children. The family have lived on this property for about 15 years, but finally built their dream home here five years ago.  Perched high on the hill with spectacular views across to Cape Byron, it’s a truly breathtaking place to visit. And an overwhelming place to photograph!

Lisa and Robert first came across the land here while staying with friends in Newrybar over a school holiday period. ‘Exploring the region we found this amazing property over-run with lantana and camphor laurel, and an original old Queenslander intact, but in a dilapidated state’ recalls Lisa. She and Robert were living in Sydney at the time, and purchased the property with long term plans to move to the coast ‘one day’. However, after falling in love with the property and its stunning surrounds, Lisa remembers ‘it seemed more and more like a better place to bring up children than the city’.  The family eventually relocated much sooner than initially anticipated.

When Lisa and Robert first moved up, they lived in the old Queenslander cottage. They renovated and extended this building not long after moving in, also renovating an old farm shed to create a studio for Lisa, and accommodation for the inevitable influx of guests that come with moving to this beautiful part of the world!

Lisa’s jewellery studio is a charming old building with rustic appeal – it was renovated using old recycled windows and doors, and reclaimed timber. ‘My studio became my sanctuary, my go-to creative space where the inspiration for my jewellery came into being’ she says. This eclectic out house was also where the family planned and designed their new home, with the help of Lisa’s architect brother from California,.

Originally trained as a landscape architect, the land and climate here inspired Lisa to create the most incredible lush garden enveloping her home.  ‘The space here provided an open palette for me, and our garden started to take shape from the moment we arrived’ she says.  Originally hailing from New York City, Lisa’s adopted home has provided a welcome opportunity for her to work with an incredible variety of tropical plants and foliage, which can be seen from every verandah and window in the house.

‘I love how the outside appears to, and in some cases actually does, come inside, and how one feels very much a part of the landscape living here’ says Lisa. ‘Watching the weather come and go, and the vegetation responding to this, is wonderful. The view is fairly humbling as well, it nourishes me each day and fuels my creative spirit’.

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