sneak peek: rachel bending of bird textiles

Rachel Bending, the creative force behind Bird Textiles, lives in an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary in Byron Bay, Australia, with her partner, Campbell, and the couple’s 9-month-old daughter, Quincy. Byron Bay has been a popular vacation destination since the ’70s when it became known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back surf culture. Most of the locals, however, live in the outlying areas — the hinterland — which have become a hotbed of creativity, attracting artists all over the world. In keeping with the eco-vibe of the wildlife sanctuary, Rachel’s home is a strawbale house with solar power, solar hot water, a graywater reedbed, compost toilet and 50,000 liters of roof-catchment drinking water. There is a seamless flow between the outside and inside of the home — outdoors, there is a solar-heated plunge pool and even an outdoor bathroom with expansive views across the forest and rainforest. Thanks, Rachel, Campbell & Quincy! — Amy A.

Image above: The private location of our home allows us to indulge in the luxury of an outdoor bathing area, and the subtropical climate enables us to use it all year round. The salvaged clawfoot bathtub was a gift from a friend, and the flooring is travertine. Cushion by Bird Textile and seat benching fabric from Ici et La. This outdoor bathroom is my favorite room.

Image above: In summer, the bifolds on each end of the living space open so that the natural breeze that passes through the valley cools the space. In winter, passive solar principles ensure the angle of the sun warms the polished concrete floor, leaving the space warm and cosy.

Image above: Wallpaper by Osborne and Little, stools by Zaishu, bed by Ikea

Image above: The spine of the main corridor is a dramatic dry-stone feature wall that extends its length, separating social areas from private areas of the home. The wall was hand-built by a local stonemason, Rachel and an assistant, and is a throwback to Rachel’s heritage growing up in Wales, UK.

Image above: 1950s kitchenalia is housed in open-plan shelves. An old laundry sink found in a local reclamation yard. Hospital tapware from Enware.

Image above: Fresh eggs daily from M’Lady the Transylvanian Bald Neck/Silky highbred chicken (you asked!), with Dorothy and Glynis in the background.

Image above: Guilt-free luxury in this stunning plunge pool, filled with water collected from the roof and heated by the sun.


This. House. This house! Beautiful and striving to be low impact. and I almost hate to admit it, but i was obsessing (okay, still am) about that Ikea bed, although I think it’s no longer being made in green… This house is pretty much the house I want someday.


delighted to see Zaishu stools featured in two photos!

Julia's Bookbag

This is AMAZING!!! I don’t even know where to start with this house — the fab wallpaper?? That plunge pool? THE VIEW?? And I really really love her bookshelf set-up. Can you tell I loved this place?


Ummm, the outdoor bathing area is jaw dropping insane!

The whole house is spectacular!


Yes, my dream house, contemporary in architecture, cozy on the inside, green all over! I have fond memory of Byron Bay and Australia (I have been there twice) wish I knew about your place then, could have tested your hospitality!!

Paulina J!

This is GORGEOUS!!! That’s what I call living in paradise. I would seriously drop everything right now to live somewhere like that. Love that the doors can be opened to let the breeze in.

Carlo Craig

Wow, amazing, everything. The tub, the pink plaid chair, those big glass folding doors, that bookshelf, and the chickens!


There are not words to convey how i would love to move my family into that home, area, country! How does she have such an amazing house with a young un? even more amazing!


The web ate my comment. {insert gushing paragraph here}. I love this. I want to live there. Wonderful. I haven’t had a new fave sneak peek in a long time.


Lovely, but you’d have to live in Byron Bay…


Missheliotrope – I’d love to live in Byron Bay. Any day. Also been lusting after a Zaishu stool/table of my own. One day.


Simply stunning – not sure bathing outside would be quite the same in rainy UK!

ps… in the UK we call silkie cross Transylvanian Naked necks, Showgirls! Too cute!

Farmgirl Susan

Definitely one of my favorite sneak peeks. Love everything about it, especially the outdoor bathroom and the plunge pool. Thanks for the beautiful tour. :)


I can’t get over the bathtub!!! This house is so wonderful with so much personality and charm.

linda Blackmore

I love this. It is beautiful. My only “thing” while I was admiring the open living and tub was, “Doesn’t Australia have a lot of deadly snakes?” hahahaha

Bec (In Australia)

sometimes i forget how lucky i am in live down under… gardening is so easy!!


no time to comment; I’m packing my suitcases – outdoor bath I’m coming, bald-neck and feathery silky chickens, I’m coming, darling Rachel, I’m coming!
This must be the most exciting, beautiful, natural and totally cool place you ever featured!
Thanks from all my heart


The moment I saw the leading photo I knew it was an Australian property. One can tell from the light! Lovely, lovely, lovely! I live in nearby Murwillumbah and it is, indeed, a wonderful part of the world!

Eileen 2

Liking that framed lettering graphic above the wooden stairs