Days spent at The Nun’s Room begin as the sun starts to rise over the Western Australia bushland. Jake the whippet stretches his long, slim legs and slowly makes his way out of the bed, giving Sarah some space to follow lead. After Sarah prepares a cup of strong black coffee, the twosome sit down under the gumtree or take a walk through the bush down to the beach, where Sarah plays in the waves, while Jake chases seagulls.
You may remember designer and stylist Sarah Andrews for Captains Rest, the fisherman’s shack in Tasmania that she restored and now escapes to for moments of pure solitude by the sea. The Nun’s Room, in turn, is the original tomato growers’ shack on her parents’ property, a place that Sarah has called home on and off her whole life. The 270-square-foot weatherboard was built over a century ago to house a family of five. During Sarah’s lifetime, the shack has molded itself from a childhood playhouse to a teenage retreat, and now finally, to Sarah’s most permanent residence. It has become a soft spot to land after travels, adventures, relationship disasters, and well, life. While Sarah rents out Captains Rest to kindred spirits, The Nun’s Room doesn’t accommodate anyone else — it’s a place so deeply personal, meant just for her.
During the day, The Nun’s Room lends itself perfectly to many a project, which Sarah busies herself with before spending dinner-time with her parents in the main house. When there’s time to just be, she picks up a book to read in the hammock, daydreams about what’s next or reorganizes her suitcase for upcoming travels, never quite knowing when she’ll return.
When dusk begins to set, and the last rays of sun filter in through the shack’s old windows, it’s time for Sarah to curl up in her favorite chair by the fireplace. She listens to piano music, draws and writes love letters, most of which never get sent. As dusk turns to darkness, Sarah lies down in the tiny bedroom nook at the far end of the shack. She looks for stars and constellations that she’s seen in other parts of the world, at other times in her life. Except for the light snoring from Jake, the world under the giant dome of twinkling stars is silent, and still.
As a full-time nomad and part-time hermit, Sarah knows she’ll never stay forever. When it’s time for a new adventure, she shuts the windows and locks the door to The Nun’s Room. Until she returns, things stay as exactly as they were left, and dust gathers. —Sofia
Image above: In the morning, the daybed in front of the shack is the best spot to bask, drink coffee and ponder the day. Sarah’s dad has always called the old tomato growers’ shack The Nun’s Room. “I think partly because of me,” Sarah says — “I’m a bit of [a] hermit here on my own, and because of the tiny bedroom, which would be the size of most people’s wardrobes.”
SOURCE LIST Most things in The Nun’s Room are vintage, antique, collected and treasured.