Away with Plyroom: The Bootmaker’s House, Nannup, WA

Away with Plyroom: The Bootmaker’s House, Nannup, WA

Here at Plyroom we try to encourage bringing a sense of retreat and sanctuary into our homes and our everyday lives. We even created our Escapism Digital Zine to explore the concept of escape, questioning if we should work hard and live for the moments spent away or design our lives to negate the need for escape all together?

But after last year we’re all probably ready to travel a little further afield. And while we aren’t currently able to travel overseas, we might as well use this as an opportunity to explore some really exceptional regional places right here in Australia. After all, sometimes it’s the places that are right under our noses that are some of the most spectacular of all.

As part of our journey towards a simpler way of living we are sharing beautiful homes available for short stays and introducing you to the people who’ve created them.

First up, we’re headed to a small town in South-west WA called Nannup. Located on the Blackwood River, this old milling town is surrounded by forests of Jarrah and Marri trees. Artist Zoe Martyn bought and restored an old cottage in town that originally housed the local bootmaker, a man called J Pickering. She has created a thoughtful space which mirrors the colours of the surrounding landscape. Dotted with family artefacts and mementos, the space invites gathering with family or friends for a shared meal or cozying up with a book by the fire.

‘The cottage has gone through a few different hands and needed a lot of work when I bought it. Initially, I was just sort of renovating room by room, which I wouldn't recommend. I had a lot of different ideas for it, but I think the underlying thing was just to keep it quite neutral, bring back the beauty of the space, and then let it be whatever it needed to be. There was a process of sort of stripping it back and letting the building speak for what it is and what it wanted.

I thought about colours of the town and the nature outside, the Blackwood River and the forest. So I tried to incorporate those kinds of colours into the house.’

‘The bedrooms needed a lot of work, the walls were literally falling apart. So in those spaces the walls had to be completely pulled out. I put some French doors in to let in a bit more light. It was a really dark house so I was just really thinking about bringing light in and opening it up.’

‘My favourite space in the house is probably the kitchen. I love sitting in that booth seat while somebody is cooking and being able to chat. It was a difficult space to design because there are four doors. Every wall has a door coming into it. Plus it has the big old Metters stove, right smack bang in the middle. Yes, it was a really tricky space to design, but it's actually become one of my favourites and I think the one that most people congregate in. It's the heart of the home.

There are a few special pieces in there. I have like some paintings, bush scenes, which my grandfather painted in watercolour. And I inherited a bit of furniture like the old sewing machine. It’s nice to have bits and pieces like that in the house from family.’

‘Nannup is a one street town, it's a very quiet place. But the nature around there is beautiful. My favourite place would probably be about 5 or 10 minutes out of town called Barrabup pool. And there's another one called Workers Pool. They’re these big natural swimming holes which are incredible. And they're just ringed by the bush all around them. It's a beautiful spot even in winter.’

Find out more about The Bootmaker’s House and book a short stay here.

Interview and introduction by Amy Snoekstra

Images by Jessica Josie and Rae Fallon