Luxe, raw and simply beautiful – Lisa Madigan’s Kangaroo Valley cottage is the weekender we all need in our lives
Who lives here
Kangaroo Valley, in the Southern Highlands of NSW.
Warm and inviting, natural inspiration and luxury and calm.
The lounge room, as it has a beautiful fireplace and a lovely big bay window.
As if THE COTTAGE's serene country setting and beautiful décor wasn't enough! Lisa is also offering SITCHU readers a complimentary bottle of wine and platter on arrival when you book direct. Just quote the SITCHU offer at the time of booking.
Travel down a winding road bounded by untamed bushland to a place where verdant countryside and weathered cottages have stood the test of time. Here, in Kangaroo Valley, on the outer edges of the Southern Highlands, is where artist and creative director, Lisa Madigan, transformed a humble cottage into a stunning home filled with warmth, calm and relaxation.
“I love the South Coast, there was always something lush and enticing about it to me. But, I had never been to Kangaroo Valley before. On our drive into Kangaroo Valley from the highlands, my breath was literally taken away,” says Lisa.
That and the cottage’s original beauty wooed Lisa into making a move. Lisa set about making the place her own, bringing her raw, yet luxury style into a space that was first to be their home, before becoming an Airbnb.
On the road into town, THE COTTAGE Kangaroo Valley, with its twin pitched roof, sits amongst leafy green trees and in the shade of a towering palm tree. Built in the 1880s, inside, the original floorboards and fireplace were a standout. Recent extensions, including the studio and front dining room, add to the charm. And with plenty of natural light flooding the rooms, the cottage was seemingly made for easy-going days.
“I love that it feels a million miles away, but you can still walk into town to get a coffee, or walk to the river. Everything in the Valley is surrounded by green, so it always feels so lush,” says Lisa.
“THE COTTAGE itself is a space of calm and rejuvenation. A lot of love has been poured into it, and we’ve held some wonderful experiences there. It has everything to make you feel welcomed, pampered and inspired.”
In a style of raw country cottage meets contemporary warm luxury, Lisa wanted THE COTTAGE to have an immediate connection with nature while being a simple and luxurious oasis. And that is exactly what she achieved through one-off pieces that are old, new and custom-made.
“THE COTTAGE kangaroo valley is chameleonic in that it can happily be a summer house with windows opened wide, or you can curl up and get cosy in winter with the open fireplace. It’s intimate in size and big of heart.”
Lisa is renowned for her creative work across editorial and events, and she doesn’t hold back in the styling of THE COTTAGE kangaroo valley. Using a lot of white, Lisa balances it with depth, neutral tone and texture. She honours the old while mixing in the new; think original hardwood floors meets stainless steel and concrete kitchen.
“Our colour palette is quite subtle and neutral, focussing more on texture, shape and the inherent quality of materials. Strong pops of black but keeping it incredibly open and fresh with ample whites,” she says.
THE LOUNGE ROOM
The beautiful fireplace and big bay window are the backdrops to the oversized lounge from James Lane, which is mixed with collected vintage chairs and plenty of natural elements. It’s one of Lisa’s favourite spaces. And with pieces such as the light fittings (which she made), and the antique mirror (that was a well-fought auction piece), there is a lot to love about it.
Open and light-filled, the bedroom evokes a sense of sleeping beneath the trees. It has a lush, big signature bed with IN BED white linen, plus one of Lisa’s hand-made light-fittings. It really is an ideal setting for a perfect night’s sleep.
THE DINING ROOM
A versatile space with a whole lot of charm, the dining room can either host up to 10 plus people for dinner or be a private oasis, thanks to the ever-inviting day bed. Functional and practical, the day bed not only doubles as a storage space it also serves as a bed or reading spot.
“Our biggest saving in the cottage would have to be our dining room table. We custom-built it with timber given to us from a friend’s property. Everything in a good interior should have a story.”
A real foodie’s delight, the kitchen is a striking contrast of original 1880s features and stainless steel and concrete elements. It’s the room that Lisa splurged on the most. They created the kitchen themselves, even pouring their own concrete benchtops.
White with natural wood elements, the bathroom is raw, yet every bit luxurious. Overlooking the lush garden, the bathtub and rain head shower is one enticing place to be. Especially with Aēsop products on hand.
A place where Lisa once worked, the studio remains a place for other creatives to write, muse, paint or just be.
“I toyed with the idea of turning the studio into a second bedroom, but there’s something in the walls once it’s been a living breathing artist’s studio. We thought that was something worth preserving for our guests.”
GET THE LOOK
Not one to follow trends, Lisa set about creating a space to sit in harmony with the natural surrounds. All pulled together with pieces that are loved or pre-loved that have warmth and integrity to them.
“I really love to hunt out things in unexpected places, antique treasure troves, little tucked away stores on my travels and work from artisans. Having said that, my favourite store close to THE COTTAGE kangaroo valley is without a doubt Amara Home, and their beautifully curated pieces.”
THE COTTAGE kangaroo valley sleeps two people, with weekend rates starting from $795 per night including a breakfast hamper and artisan teas and coffees.
118 Moss Vale Rd, Kangaroo Valley, NSW, 2577