Shining Light on the Founder of BuildHer Collective's home (and why she chose our very own Pendant)
Nothing lights us up more than seeing our pendants in their forever home. It's a privilege to know we are the first thing that gets turned on in the morning and the last thing to go off at night. The heart and soul of any home.
So when we recently spotted our P O T T Totana Pendant in the new home of Rebeka Morgan, Founder and Director of BuildHer Collective (sourced via our friends at Lights Lights Lights), we nearly fell off our seats. Not just because of the honour of being selected to light up such a pivotal space, but also because of the sheer beauty of this home.
We just had to find out more about her new build and hone in on the importance of lighting so we cornered Rebekah and asked her a couple of questions.
1. First and foremost, before we even get into lighting, we need to chat about your amazing exposed brick wall throughout the house. Was this a vision from the start or a decision made along the way?
Ahh, you are so kind. We love working with recycled materials and in particular recycled bricks. They add a warmth and texture to the home. In this project we wanted to work with a fairly clean pallet, tonal and textured but in a calm and inviting way. The white bricks where used inside and out and were part of a few core materials that we repeated; painted brick, terrazzo and walnut timber.
2. Being the founder of BuildHer Collective you are no stranger to construction. Be honest, was the process of designing and building your own home a walk in the park or did you have to overcome surprise obstacles along the way?
Every project has a story and as this is our home it had an intensely personal one too. We have a small pile of children with us, ranging from 21 to not quite one. This means that we have a unique set of spaces that we require and range of activities to fit on one smallish block of land.
Our first design included a basement with car parking, a rumpus, two bedrooms and a bathroom for our older two children. However, when Kitty (number 6) was only a few weeks old we hired a house boat for a weekend as a family. About 15 minutes into our weekend our 2 year old fell from the top story to the bottom deck, he was concuss for about 5 minutes, fractured his skull and broke his collar bone. My protective mamma bear instinct swung into full force and I deleted the basement as we were living in a house on the block and the thought of having a 3 metre deep hole in our backyard for months was no longer a stress I could bear.
Fast forward and we complete our family with the most wonderful surprise baby and now we have a four bedroom house and 6 children living here. So, it’s a good thing we all love each other a lot!
I would say that knowing the process and hiring around me a fantastic team is imperative and makes the journey so much more enjoyable. We engaged a wonderful architect in Bellamo and Cat, fantastic landscape architect, Plume Studio and of course incredible lighting designer in Danielle from Lights, Lights, Lights.
Then I worked with Rachel and Blanca from our BuildHer Collective team and Co.Kitchens to design the joinery and talk through the finishes. A collaborative approach is how I like to run projects and our own home is no different!
3. Let's talk lighting! We are very blessed to have our handmade POTT Totana Pendant (sourced through Lights Lights Lights) pride of place in your dining area. What was it about the Totana that caught your eye?
The Totana is such a beautiful, elegant light, and it has a lovely warmth and materiality to it that made it the front runner. It is our belief that beautiful pieces do not have to scream ‘look at me’ in the space, rather they work to enrich the overall fabric of the room without competing. The Totana did just this added a richness with an understated scale that was just perfect.
4. Talk us through other lighting choices throughout the home? Was this all cohesively planned with our friends at Lights Lights Lights?
I wish I could take credit for the choices, but we engage experts to provide a design based on the many, many years of experience.
Working with Lights, Lights, Lights is such an obvious decision for us due to their amazing understanding of light and space. We both share a love for clean lines and clear ceilings, so using uplights and sculptural lighting to enhance the form of the house was key. The one pendant used is the Tontana as it was allowed to shine.
Danielle always says lighting is like jewellery and we agree. How a space is lit in both artificial and natural lighting effects your use and experience of a space, and quality light fittings that are designed specifically for your home and family is key. Like most areas of the construction industry residential building follows commercial.
Commercially we have know how important the use of appropriate lighting is to a space, it can change the way you feel and move, we are so excited to see that now this is becoming more widely translated into our residential builds, after all we spend so much of our time in our homes, particularly now, so we need these spaces to be designed by professionals who can translate the technical requirements into beautiful aesthetics.
5. On a scale of 1/10, how important is lighting when building a new home? Do you find people often think of it as a bit of an after thought or right up front?
10, this is a 10! By thinking about your lighting design from the beginning you have such an opportunity to really craft the experience of your space.
Luckily, we now need to provide lighting plans as part of the Building Permitting process, so this is forcing people to at least think about lighting in the beginning, but if you want to take your space to the next level, then please hand it to the experts – this service is here for builds of all scales, no longer is it out of our reach.
6. We are all about women supporting women! Please tell us all about your new book and how we can get our hands on it?
Ekk, thank you, yes! Renovating or building your own home is one of the biggest investments (financially and emotionally) you can ever make. For years, we have helped women around the world make this a fun, rewarding and an empowering experience.
In this book, we share our building expertise, for women of all experience
levels. Whether you’re contemplating a renovation, or are flipping your third property, this book is catered for varying levels of experience in building and construction. (Even those of us with zero experience!) Using case studies and stories from our BuildHer community, we show how anyone can achieve their goal and become an accomplished BuildHer.
The BuildHer Book can be purchased here.