Byron Bay Art Retreat

A while back I had the greatest weekend at the beautiful Villa Rustica in the Byron Bay Hinterland. I had the please of staying here after stumbling across their art workshop and accommodation on offer. I saw the images and the workshop on offer within a couple of days of the workshop starting and as I was heading down to Byron Bay for the week anyway, I thought that this may well have my name on it.

Jayne and Greg Furney have lovingly restored this Moroccan-inspired residence and done such an incredible job. The villa has a history of art and so they began running weekend art workshops here to utilise the magical spaces available to them. They also offer the spaces for styled photoshoots and private events which all make for spectacular imagery and experiences.

I was fortunate enough to stay in this exotic Jaipur Suite on my own. No husband, no children…nope! Just me on my own being in a little slice of heaven for the weekend, which as you can appreciate was a delightful experience.

Simple white walls and timber floors mean that all of the intricate details of Jane’s styling becomes really evident.

The reading and tv corner where I read and relaxed outside the art workshop hours. I love the mix of the natural earthy colours of the leather sofa, Moroccan pouffe and rug mixed with this vibrant blue cabinet. The hints of gold in the frames ties in perfectly with the rug and cushion. 

I enjoyed the details of all the styling elements that made the place unique and special. I loved this blue peacock artwork above and the patterning on these frames. The colour combinations are so beautiful.

Okay so check out this gorgeous bathroom with a difference. You would be very hard-pressed to find another bathroom like it in Australia at least. So I hung out in the bath drinking champagne by candlelight in this bath. It’s okay if you like that kind of thing….which I do of course.

A quaint bathroom nook like no other. Blissful.

My writing desk looking out to the lush gardens was perfect for me. I journaled, read and generally felt alive and inspired. I felt special and quite inspired working from here.

This is our workspace where the art workshop took place. How gorgeous is it? No stuffy, bland indoor conference rooms for us ladies.

Preparations for the botanicals workshop. Off we went to collect plants from the extensive garden which we would need to create our art. Having studied horticulture means that I always love wandering gardens and finding all the hidden gems in someone else’s garden. 

Oh, so here’s the view out to the pool from our workshop space. We spent the afternoon sipping on Aperol Spritz by the pool post workshop and…well….. it was a strenuous day so one should expect a bit of rest and relaxation.

Some of the artworks produced. We pressed leaves onto a gelatine plate where we made prints using quality paints. The process is remarkable and one I’ve never tried before. It’s a bit like screenprinting but quicker, smaller scale and one that allows the art to show a ghosting effect.

I played a bit with pattern, using a tile to make the patterned effects that you see here. The plants you see are coriander that I pulled from the herb garden.

I decided to try just using one colour and layering effects. Here I used an old carved Indian block for the peacock effect and then reeds from a pond for the plants you can see. The white dots are the thick seeds that stop the paint from touching the surface.



I had the most wonderful time while also making a lovely friend with Jane and Greg Furney who has his ceramics studio in the northern section of the villa.

You can find out more about Villa Rustica Byron Bay here.

Until next time,

Love your home and those within it,