BLACK BARN CUBBY – A FOREST PHOTOSHOOT
Black Barn Cubby House
We have been long-time admirers of Black Barns. An inherently British farm building, the Black Barn has been widely adapted in more recent years by architects and savvy individuals looking to transform the classic features of big open space, high ceilings, bold lines, and the contrast of a modern-meets-country home.
Basically, we would kill to live in a house like this (sleep with one eye open black barn owners, seriously). Realistically though, we are a long way off this dream, so I decided we just HAD to build a mini barn!
Introducing: The Black Barn Cubby
We were never in doubt about who we wanted to be our photographer, Nikole Ramsay is a consummate professional in her field. Her images are rich in colour and contrast, and her ability to capture the essence of children is inspiring.
We spent a few months planning and trying to find the perfect location, and it was Nikole who suggested this property in Barwon Heads, Victoria. The location was perfect, and somehow in the midst of high winter we were blessed with an uncannily warm and slightly overcast day – ideal shoot conditions. We can forgive the slight (massive) issue of forest mosquitos who apparently did not subscribe to Darwin’s theory of evolution – these enormous bad boys were definitely pre-historic.
For this shoot we wanted to create a complete sustainable kid’s play space, something that encompassed true country living from a child’s perspective. Our plan was to create a little farmlet, a house (enter black barn) to keep you warm, a space to grow your veggies, a place to cook and to eat, and even a little space to hang out the washing. You know, I love the little details. Lucky for me, Jon smartly vetoed my wild idea of bringing in FARM ANIMALS. What’s that they say in show-biz about working with children and animals?
Along with the barn we designed a new premium mud kitchen, brought in a couple of our picnic tables, a few planter boxes for the veggie gardens and Jon even whipped up a clothes line just for the occasion.
Our shoots are only ever as good as the team that we have working on them and the team for this shoot was strong. My amazing assistant and fellow stylist Kashia Kennedy was 38 weeks pregnant and still working and styling like a boss! You might recognise our ever dutiful children, Jethro (5) and Shepard (3). These boys live and breath cubbies on the daily, and yet come shoot day they enter our spaces with as much enthusiasm and awe as if we didn’t do this for a living. We were also joined by some patient and adorable local kids and mums, who responded to our model call out. Our shoot would not have been the same without them!
A massive part of our organising is bringing together product from our favourite brands to bring the shoot to life. We are so lucky that they are always enthusiastic about being involved, and we love being able to spread the word about small local businesses, just in case you’re late to the party on discovering them!
This time around we approached our favourite kid’s clothing brand Children of The Tribe – a Byron Bay based business. We knew their super cool and earthy style would be perfect for this setting, and thankfully they agreed. Their current collection is the perfect mix of pinks and mustards (our chosen colour palette for the day).
Our country vibe would be nowhere near complete if it wasn’t for our friends at Olli Ella. Their gorgeous basket wares were a necessity and the only issue we had was not completely going overboard with baskets everywhere! Another of our favourite Byron Bay brands, these amazing ladies are at the top of their game.
A beautiful HomeDay tan leather chair adorned the decking, which we added to extend the play area and connect the entrance to the side servery area. A few Pop and Scott round velvet cushions brought in the pink and mustard colours again.
The Woodsfolk pink ‘Hello’ door mat was the perfect welcoming to the Barn and completely drew you in.
I was able to use my own Pony Rider flag from home to adorn the inside of the main wall in the Cubby. It was the exact size and gave the interior texture and boldness. Unfortunately, shipping issues meant we didn’t get to use all the Pony Rider products we had planned, but we will save that for the next shoot! Yep, we are already thinking about the next shoot … I also loaded up the car with heaps of my own styling items from home including hanging plants, vintage finds like this lamp and stool, and a few items I raided from Kmart on the way to the shoot (nothing like a last minute dash to Kmart!)
We are soooooooo lucky to have such amazing friends at LaManna Supermarket in Essendon Fields, they always load us up with yummy treats for our shoots. This time we stocked up on fresh fruit and veg for the market boxes, baked goods for our mud kitchen and breads and fresh products for our picnic table. Not only did this bring our shoot to life, but once the photos were over we all tucked in and devoured the tasty treats.
The barn was begging for a vintage inspired light for the side wall and once again we knew the perfect piece from our favourite vintage lighting company, Fat Shack Vintage. I have used their lights for a few of my own projects and knew exactly what I wanted, the copper and brass colours of this outdoor light matched our colours perfectly.
Of course we needed cookware for our kitchen and some stylish tableware for our picnic feast. We visited Vintage and Nostalgia Co. to borrow some classic white Falcon enamelware, and Rob – who is a also a props stylist – loaded us up with a huge stash of vintage pieces from his own collection. Rustic enamel kettles, jugs, and pans, old milk bottles and caddies, and an assortment of bowls just made the whole set up more authentic and charming. What legends! And I am THIS close to swapping out all my crockery for enamel …
We have designed the Black Barn cubby house to encompass everything amazing about country living, with a modern designer edge. All of the features you would expect of country style – including authentic sliding door hardware and classic barn door designs, as well as gas strut windows – have been thoughtfully added. Head over to our Black Barn product page here to find out all the details on size and price.