Name: Angela Henley and her dog, Tex
Location: Lauriston; Victoria, Australia
Size: 30 square meters (323 square feet)
Years lived in: 1 year; Owned
Earlier this year, a friend posted a few photos of her friend's home in Lauriston, which is a cute, wee town about 1.15 hours from Melbourne. As soon as I saw the old W-Class tram and vintage caravan on the property, I knew I had to find out more so I followed The Shack on Instagram and took a drive in the countryside to meet Angela and visit her unique home.
Angela bought the property just over a year ago, complete with the one-bedroom shack and tram in situ. The shack itself is compact, with one main room which houses the kitchen, dining room, and living room with a fireplace/wood-burning stove. Off that is the bedroom and a small bathroom with a shower.
Earlier this year, Angela started restoring the old tram and created a sitting room in the middle of it and a bedroom at one end. Since my visit, Angela has added another bed at the other end of the tram. There are also several old sheds on the property in need of some love. In one, she has created a tiki bar, complete with a retro boat bar and a collection of tiki mugs and other retro items.
She also towed her vintage caravan onsite for additional accommodation. There's a bit of a story behind the caravan: after searching for years on Gumtree and eBay, Angela spotted a listing for a 1952 Globetrotter caravan on the notice board at the supermarket in Daylesford, where she was living at the time. It was parked in her backyard in Daylesford for 6 months, and was often used as an office space for her publicity business, but when she moved back to Melbourne it sat in her sister's suburban driveway for a few years. Now it sits proudly in front of the Lauriston Nature Reserve.
In February of this year, Angela listed her home on Airbnb and has regular weekend bookings. During the week, she lives on-site unless she needs to travel for work into Melbourne — Angela runs her own publicity business for music festivals — or if someone books a mid-week stay. With a small budget, Angela has managed to furnish her home with many quirky secondhand, op-shop, and eBay finds, and the results are endlessly fun and fascinating.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Junk shop playground.
Inspiration: My goal was to feel as though I was on a holiday while at home. Inspiration came from old caravan parks, scout camps, and the bonfire nights my family and friends used to regularly have when I was a kid. Also the resort in Dirty Dancing has been my dream "home" for as long as I can remember. I was lucky enough to have travel website AWOL describe the property as "like something out of a Wes Anderson movie" and "a tiny country amusement park", while Countryphiles compared it to "Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree, it's a place for creative joyful minds to experience adventures." I'm quite happy with all of that!
Favorite Element: My tiny 1952 Globetrotter caravan set against the Lauriston forest, which has been the backdrop for many friends' and Airbnb guests' Instagram photos.
Biggest Challenge: Thanks to the tram and caravan, the property can accommodate eight guests, but the bathroom and kitchen facilities are located inside the teeny tiny house. Turning a very modest two-room shack into a space that could comfortably host up to 8 guests around a dinner table took a few configuration attempts but thankfully I've finally nailed it. It's perfectly snug.
What Friends Say: Can I please have my birthday party here?
Biggest Embarrassment: All the junk locked away in the sheds... because I might need those scrap materials, broken tools, and almost-empty paint cans one day!
Proudest DIY: I whipped up the tiki bar within an hour ahead of a photo shoot for frankie magazine. I had told the photographer that I had hoped to turn one of the sheds into a bar ahead of her arrival, but ran out of time. On the day when she asked where the tiki bar was, I said, "it will be ready shortly," and ran off to the hardware store to collect bundles of bamboo and garden torches.
Biggest Indulgence: Jean Claude Van Tram. Renovating the old W-Class tram ended up costing a bucketload more than expected, but Jean Claude has turned out to be the highlight of the property. I adore him!
Best Advice: Make it, grow it, fix it, trade it, thrift it.
Dream Sources: The Dirty Dancing set, everything in The LuWOW tiki bar in Fitzroy, fancy stylists' Pinterest and Instagram accounts. If I had money I'd purchase everything in the Mid-century furniture store Modern Times in Collingwood.
PAINT & COLORS
- Previous owners, but trying to match the green on the tram has proven difficult
- Yellow bench: Savers in Brunswick
- Campfire cooking equipment: Ray's Outdoors
- Picnic basket: Daylesford Mill Market
- Badminton set: gift from my grandma to my dad and his brothers, handed down to me
- Sporting equipment: various op-shops
- Bow and arrows: on loan from a friend
- Metal detector: Daylesford Mill Market
SHACK LIVING ROOM
- Couch: eBay
- Record player: Shepparton junk store
- Record stand: vintage
- Bookshelf/post office pigeon holes: my grandma's friend's garage sale for $5
- The Swimmer movie poster: gift from boyfriend
- Rug: Kabinett Vintage in Kyneton
- Alcohol cabinet/buffet: Daylesford Mill Market
- Digital radio: Bush
SHACK DINING ROOM
- Dining table: Brotherhood Of St. Laurence Op-Shop in Brunswick
- Kitchen chairs: Daylesford Mill Market
- Deer vase: Etsy
- Brown kitchen stand: vintage
- Vintage crockery: collected over time
- Larry David and Elaine fridge magnets: made by friend and artist Lisa Dottore
- Bedside table: Geelong junk store
- Blanket: The Outpost in Fortitude Valley
- Green wall bookshelf: repurposed desk file from Lost & Found Market
- Alice In The Cities movie poster: gift from boyfriend
- Tram renovations: Kyneton carpenter and friend Ed Hyde
- Yellow armchairs: Kyneton Buy, Swap, Sell Facebook group
- Brown armchair: eBay
- Brown rug in bedroom: Bunnings
- Grey rug in bedroom: Ikea
- Blankets: op-shop purchases
- Green peacock chair: Daylesford Mill Market
- Peacock side table: Ikea
- Ship bar: Geelong Mill Market
- Tex's Bar and Grill sign: gift from boyfriend, made by Callum Preston
- Cane display stand: Ballarat Mill Market
- Paper lanterns: Typo
- Pineapple hanging lights: Typo
- Tiki mugs and wooden fruit bowls: various op-shops
- Bamboo lanterns: Home Hardware
- Bamboo wall lining: Home Hardware
- Jug and glasses: vintage
- Caravan itself: found on a notice board at the Daylesford supermarket
- Deck: made from wooden pallets
- Horse compact mirror: gift from caravan guest and friend Lisa Dottore
- Vintage fan: gift from caravan guest and friend Dan McKay