When photographer Lauren Bamford and her Tassie-born husband Keith traveled back to Hobart for summer holidays, weekends and Dark Mofo trips, they would stay in Keith’s teenage bedroom. While exceptionally grateful for the parent-in-law hospitality, it wasn’t quite the grown-up holiday vibe the pair were seeking!
At the same time, Lauren and Keith were hoping that Hobart might be their opportunity to get into the property market. Initially, they looked at purchasing an apartment, but the search proved elusive in a ‘super competitive’ market. And so, at the suggestion of friend and collaborator Stephanie Stamatis, they floated the idea of building something entirely from scratch.
Lauren and Keith perused land online to see what was out there, and ‘the first block that came up ticked all the boxes: location, character and price!’ Win win win! The pair flew down that weekend, put in an offer, and three years later – hey presto, Slow Beam in complete! Well, kind of. The first year saw a lot of back and forth on the design, and finding a builder to execute the vision. The next was ‘permits, permits, permits! City Council hell’, recalls Lauren. And the third was the build!
Slow Beam in West Hobart is a collaboration between Hearth Studio (Sarah Trotter), architect Murray Barker and Lauren. She highlights that Sarah was brought onto the project ‘literally straight away’, and the resulting outcome is a combination of Lauren’s love of colour, pattern and mid-century design; with Sarah’s subdued, earthy aesthetic. The resulting outcome is a moody bunker, ‘a cosy hideout, circa 1960s Italian style.’ Bellissimo in the dramatic Hobart bush!
‘It was important for me to invest in good pieces, made locally, by Australian designers,’ tells Lauren. The interiors are grounded in the incredible Esther Stewart carpet in the living room, which was custom made for Slow Beam. Lauren describes how this ‘hand-tufted, pure wool, wall-to-wall artwork’ came to influence the colour palette for the entire house. Furnishings and textiles were then added from Grazia and Co, before including the work of a whole swag of Australian creatives. The home is indeed an incredible showcase of local art and design, with pieces from Anna Varendorff, Ebony Truscott, Henry Wilson, Kirsten Perry, Ali McCann, Fred Ganim, Idle Hands, Eleanor Louise Butt, Jo Duck, Sarah Ellison, andSharon Alpren, amongst many others. What a lineup!
Lauren explains that designing a holiday home from scratch allowed her to be experimental, and embrace bold design. ‘I wanted it to stand out from the crowd, and be a place that people wanted to visit, not just a place to sleep.’ With these dramatic interiors, matched only by spectacular vistas of the Derwent River, this has got to be one of the most unique and breathtaking getaways in Tassie!
Book Slow Beam in West Hobart for your next Tassie trip here!