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  • Sydney
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  • Home Tour: The Casa, A Former Art Gallery Turned Luxurious Holiday Home in Kangaroo Valley

Home Tour: The Casa, A Former Art Gallery Turned Luxurious Holiday Home in Kangaroo Valley

A former Kangaroo Valley art gallery turned luxurious holiday home inspires leisurely days of calm and relaxation.

Who lives here: The Casa is a holiday accommodation owned by Sofia Zeritis and her family with interior design by Suzy O'Rourke.

Location: Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Interior style: Earthy, warm and welcoming 

Favourite room: The master suite. It's the most serene space and quite private from the rest of the house. During the cooler months, it's hard to overlook the pleasure of an evening drink with friends in the Parlour Room with the fire roaring, and the kids always look forward to toasting marshmallows around the firepit!

Favourite pieces: 

Suzy: The curved sofa in the Parlour Room. It was custom made for us and upholstered in a beautiful cream boucle fabric. It really echoes the essence of The CASA, texture, shape and natural tones. It's the perfect spot to enjoy the open fire with a glass of wine or a green tea.

Sofia: The oval dining table with its beaded legs, cosy built-in banquette seating and the soft light of the Murano glass pendants above. It is the perfect place to share a morish meal and bottle of wine with friends. The sumptuous curved daybed isn't too far away for an afternoon siesta! Guests also love the custom pool table in the loft. 

Once an art gallery that exhibited celebrated Australian artists John Olsen, Ningura Napurrula, John Perceval and Charles Blackman, this beautiful eco-style farmhouse has been reimagined into a peaceful country getaway, known as The CASA. Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of Kangaroo Valley, two hours south of Sydney, The CASA embraces the natural beauty of this spectacular region.

Sofia Zeritis and her family often dreamed about spending more time on the South Coast of NSW, and when they stumbled across The CASA, it was love at first sight. Soaring ceilings, grand cedar beams, white-washed mudbrick walls and eight acres of gardens dotted with fragrant citrus trees, magnolias, camellias and olive trees. 

"We loved that the property had a rich history. Beginning life as a popular art gallery, Galeria Aniela Fine Art had a strong connection with the prolific Boyd family and was visited by Sir David Attenborough and Former Prime Minister The Hon Bob Hawke," says Sofia. "But ultimately, it was Suzy O'Rourke's stunning transformation and Mediterranean aesthetic that made us feel at home."


Former owner and interior designer Suzy O'Rourke had reworked the interiors to create a holiday property that captures the family's Mediterranean heritage while creating a space that brings together family and friends. 

"We were inspired by the pared-back simplicity that the Mediterranean farmhouse-style homes have, which allow them to breathe and celebrate their natural surroundings," explains Suzy. "The imperfect character and Mediterranean style of the home called for the use of honest materials and texture that provide a feeling of warmth." 


Taking the building back to its bones, non-structural walls were removed, entire rooms were demolished, sliding doors were replaced with French and bi-folding doors, and a lot of white paint was used throughout. While outside became an entertainer's dream; a Cabana bar, pizza oven, a round plunge pool, built-in seating and a landscaped garden with views across surrounding acreage.

Bathed in natural sunlight, the six-bedroom home focuses on earthy, organic and natural materials that draw on a range of textures; stone, timber, brass, wicker, rattan, leather and linen. The custom-made furniture and furnishing were thoughtfully curated for leisurely days of quiet solitude or social gatherings.  

"The ease and simplicity of the layout and interiors allow guests to embrace a slower pace and to unwind. We love the understated elegance and cohesion of the interiors," says Sofia.


The home's multiple living zones ensure there's plenty of space to breathe; a Reading Room, a Parlour Room, and The Gallery. Then there's the kitchen and dining – the centre of the home – with its oversized island bench, three-metre long bar, oval dining table, built-in banquette seating, and beautiful arches and timber beams. Original African slate tiles connect the main living spaces, and two wood-burning fireplaces encourage cosy nights in. 

Furniture, soft furnishing and pendant lights, all custom made in Indonesia by craftspeople, are featured throughout the home. Sitting in harmony with what Suzy describes as some of The CASA's most defining details, "the six-metre ceilings, expansive use of glass, textured walls and neutral interiors that allow the surrounding peaceful landscape and the rugged escarpment of Kangaroo Valley to be the feature."


The bedrooms, a sanctuary within themselves, evoke a sense of peaceful relaxation. Comfortable with a luxurious pared-back look. The master bedroom, private from the rest of the house, features a luxurious four-post timber bed, a sunroom, an arched wardrobe and an ensuite with a custom-made tub and double basins in terracotta.


Suzy and Sofia have thoughtfully considered every detail of the home to create an immersive experience where you can step away from the world and reconnect with what matters most to you. 

"I love the anticipation of strolling down the garden path lined with gardenias and agapanthus, The CASA revealing itself behind lush green boughs. Warm, earthy tones and textures welcome you, and the uncluttered spaces evoke a sense of peace," says Sofia. "The way the house showcases both the drama and serenity of the surrounding landscape from sunrise through to sunset is breathtaking. While the veranda is the perfect place to take in the fresh air and to behold the changing lights over the escarpment."


Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, Kangaroo Valley has an untamed beauty that has a way of staying with you. Nestled between the Southern Highlands and the South Coast, Kangaroo Valley is a small country town that embraces a slower way of living.

Across the historic Hampden Bridge is a small village that's breathed new life into the weathered buildings - local corner stores, boutiques, antique stores and homely cafés and tearooms. While the enduring favourite, The Friendly Inn Hotel, is the social hub with its family-friendly beer garden. It may not take long to explore the town, but it's what lies beyond the main street that really surprises.


For breakfast: The General Store and Café is the spot for a nutritious breakfast, and while there, stock up on local produce and supplies.

For lunch: Kangaroo Valley Bakehouse for what is arguably some of the best pies you’ll have ever tasted.

For dinner: Housed in a former gallery, Jing Jo uses local produce to create authentic Thai dishes.

For drinks: The Friendly Inn is where the food is classic and comforting, and the drinks are flowing, plus it has a great beer garden.

Go-to local boutique: Valley Vintage is an antique store that’s well worth exploring.


Owner: Sofia Zeritis @thecasa.kangaroovalley
Interior Designer: Suzy O'Rourke @suzy_orourke
Stylist: Kerrie - Ann Jones @kerrieann_jones_stylist
Builder: Dean Kelly
Landscaper: Jake Baturynsky @locolandscapedesign
Photography: Maree Homer
Words: Margaret Quilter @inky.content

How beautiful is this place! We can't get enough - and neither should you. For more interior design inspiration be sure to check out our favourite new homewares buys, and style your home like a pro with the best online homewares stores.

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