Ladies, have I got an amazing house for you this week! Hayley, her firefighter husband, and their three kids live on the coast of Australia just outside of Melbourne, in a house that is absolutely breathtaking. Bright light in every room, just like you would want a costal home to have, and the most gorgeous color palette — every picture I clicked on made me want to repaint my own home.
Hello! I am Hayley and I live here with James and our three children, Chloe, Baye & Floyd — and our dogs Cookie and Jaffa, both 2 year olds. James and I met in our late teenage years, we both grew up in Sherbrooke Forest about an hour outside of Melbourne.
I am the co-founder of Australian-based bedding and homewares brand called Kip&Co, which launched in the US earlier this year. (If you’re reading from the US, maybe you’ve spotted it? I hope so!). James has spent many years in the construction industry building us several homes on the Australian Coast, including our current home. Recently, James had a change in career and joined the Fire Brigade as a firefighter.
The kids and James are avid surfers and our family is right at home in the seaside village about 2 hours out of Melbourne. Chloe 11, loves craft and is currently setting up her own little blog diary of her crafting. Baye and Floyd aged 7 & 8 respectively, love surfing and fishing. We all love to travel, and spend some time each year at our vaction home in Bali, Indonesia.
Life is good! We’re raising our kids on the Australian coast and holidaying in Bali annually. No complaints from me!
Our family lives in the seaside village of Barwon Heads on the Victorian coast about 2 hours drive from Melbourne. We moved here around 12 years ago during our search for a place we could make our own and grow our family. We fell in love with this sleepy hollow and were instantly attracted to the village lifestyle, cosy population, beautiful beaches, and salty fresh air. What’s not to LOVE in our town!?
We have a deep passion for a life by the ocean and all that it has to offer. We started by renting our first home. Then, within a couple of years we purchased a dilapidated seaside shack. Then, we moved once more.
We now live close to the river in Barwon Heads, and walking distance to the beach, on a lovely eucalyptus lined street. We have recently creating a new family home, making over and rebuilding an old red brick house built in 1973. The area is close to some of Australia’s best surf beaches and our family enjoys warm summer evenings eating fresh fish and chips after a fun day on the coast.
The area is also close to many great wineries, and the entire peninsula comes to life over the summer months when Melbournians join the lucky locals for a month by the beach.
We purchased the home 2 years back after selling the last project. We generally sell and buy on a whim — hah! And the purchase of this home was no exception. We sold and bought in the same week. The house wasn’t much to fall in love with, but location-wise it was perfect.
James and I have built several houses together and have learnt to make compromises!! I like to think of James as in charge of what happens on the exterior of the home and I take care of the interior. If we both remember this, then usually the process is much smoother.
We really do feel on the same page, usually from the beginning of the building design process. Our taste in homes is actually very similar, although I like to experiment more with the interior design, while James prefers to keep things simple. So we find a balance somewhere along the line — and typically our budget provides limitations on how much I can deck out the interior.
My textile company was born over many glasses of bubbly, following an inspirational trip to the US in 2008. It was both exciting and hard work starting a new business. The dreaming and brainstorming took around a year, and we were then ready to jump in the deep end and place our first purchase order with our new suppliers. Six months later, the first collection of Kip&Co hit Australian shores. Happily, it proved to be just what the Australian public were dreaming of and injected high impact colour and print into the Australian bedding market.
We still love creatively directing and designing everything we do at Kip, from the prints, to the colours, photoshoots, product development, buying, and look book/collateral creative. Our team of three loves travel, art, fashion and food, and we draw inspiration from all these passions in our life. All of us have a love for colour and design, so the ability to express this through our work is something we all really enjoy.
Running my own business, although busy at times, enables me the flexibility I need to stay really involved in the kids lives and be around a lot for them. They luckily are three of Kips biggest fans so they love seeing what designs are coming up and being involved in our shoots.
More than anything we hope they have memories of growing up in a loving home with lots of cuddles, nurturing, and support. We know they will remember always lots of fun times in the pool, cosy nights in front of the fire all snuggled under blankets in winter, sitting together sharing meals with us and friends and family.
There’s plenty we hope they don’t remember so clearly! Being parents of 3 children all born close together definitely requires patience at times!!
It’s sometimes hard to remember life without the little crew… the giggles, the constant high energy, the cuddles, the tears, the milestones and all the “firsts.” We love almost every minute, especially the unconditional love they give us.
Thank you, Hayley! Who’s ready to quit their job, sell everything and move to the Australian Coast? I’m packing my bags already. Everything in this home seems so carefully chosen and curated from the curved concrete backsplash behind the kitchen island to the burl wood tiles on the walls in the bathrooms. Just breathtaking. And I for one am ready for more pink in homes. Pink furniture, pink walls, pink tiles — everyone looks better in pink.
And I am so impressed with how Hayley and her partner were able to start their business while their kids were small. I know it’s easy to use that as a reason to push things off, (There’s no way we can possibly start this business now! The kids are too young.) It’s impressive that they were able to pursue that dream and make it successful while raising small ones.
Are you the kind of person who has chased your dreams no matter what? Or are you more of a “times and seasons” kind of person? As in, I’ll focus on raising small kids now and I’ll go after that goal when they are a bit older?
Bedding throughout is from KIP&CO (naturally)
Floral painting in reading nook from Sam Michelle
Bedside Wall Sconces (made from Emu eggs!)
You can see more of Kip&Co here or on their IG page. Living With Kids is edited by Josh Bingham — you can follow him on Instagram. Would you like to share your home in our Living With Kids series? It’s lots of fun, I promise! (And we are always looking for more diversity in the families we feature here. Single parents, non-traditional parents, families of color, gay parents, multi-generational families. Reach out! We’d love to hear your stories!!) Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.