There’s no denying that Christie has sprinkled her home styling mastery across these sweet holiday spots & has created an everlasting experience for her guests. Located in Denmark, Western Australia, this is definitely on my bucket list of Aussie locations to visit. I’ve been so excited to get to know Christie a little more & delve deeper into her story.
G’day Christie! Your accommodation interiors @_theslowdrift combine a feeling of warmth & wanderlust, how did this business come to life? How did you decide on the style aesthetic of these lovely spots? Is this similar to your personal home styling or a separate outlet?
G’day to you too! Oooh warmth and wanderlust, possibly the most beautiful way I've heard The Slow Drift described - thank you! Well really it just boils down to loving where we live. We saw a niche in Denmark for something a bit different on the accommodation scene, I was pining for a project to sink my teeth into (young babies, re finding myself in motherhood and all that jazz HA!) and the extra income it could bring in was the decider.
The Slow Drift style is that of nostalgic Summer holidays, the place where the family hand-me-downs ended up, the eclectic mix of different styles which somehow take us right back to sunny memories of those old fibro shacks at the heart of our childhood holidays. The wonderful Sarah Andrews online course The Hosting Masterclass helped me pull it all together and translate that style into a story and ultimately, bookings.
My home in the old 70’s shack next door shares the nostalgic Australiana holiday feeling of The 'Drift, with more colour (and much more wood!). The 'Drift has been my creative outlet, and being a new build (on an old shed slab) meant we could make styling and design decisions that we just couldn’t next door, with the existing boundaries of an old house and family living.
Image: Christie Collis, @_theslowdrift
For those that haven’t heard of Denmark (guilty as charged before finding your page), how would you best describe it & sell it as a must-see spot?
Ha! You certainly aren’t the only one, I was asked if I had learned the language when telling friends I was moving here a decade ago! Denmark is a small rural town on the South coast of WA, 5 hours drive from Perth. Located on the border of traditional lands of the Minang and Pibulman people, on Noongar Boodja (country).
An old timber milling town and renowned for hippie living and surf culture through the 60's/70's, it has grown to become a world class wine region loved by many as an escape from the city and nearby farming communities. We are so lucky here, with incredible Karri forrests reaching down to the sea, rich lands producing incredible wines (Reisling and Pinot Noir lovers unite!) and produce, pristine coastline and waterways to explore with abundant fishing and many a world class (but still quiet) wave. Have you booked your ticket yet?!
One must-see is too hard to choose down here! Most people have heard of the William Bay National Park, you can’t really go past those spots, though my favourite would have to be the wild and rugged Lights Beach for raw beauty and a sense of connection to country.
Images: Rebecca Rose, @sugarshack_bec
Tell us where you source all the gems at your accomodation? The beautiful homewares, paintings & then your methods of tying that all in together?
Oh my favourite part of styling! I am a collector by nature, a lover of old and eclectic pieces with stories to tell, the way they change the feel of a space draws me in every time. My home, like The Drift, is a constant revolving door of new found pieces, colours, kitchen configurations artwork and I love it. Change is as good as a holiday, right?
My home tells the story of Bougainville artisans (where I was born), Mum and Dads 80’s hand-me-down rugs and leather chairs, carvings by my Opa, Oma’s old danish armchairs, artworks by friends and much colour. The Drift features old work benches that came with the 70’s shed, vintage store/gum tree finds (the Denmark tip shop is a gem), friends photography (check out Kerby Browns ocean imagery - raw, incredible), artwork by the beautiful Phoebe of Shelter and Gather and a lot of DIY’s - Empire basket as a light pendant perhaps? I like to break up the vintage with beautiful handmade pieces such as Winterwares ceramics and lots of texture (good linen is a must for this!), for a warmer feel.
How I pull it all together is anyones guess really ha! Sometimes things work, often they don’t, I am not afraid to keep changing pieces, layout and paint until I find what feels good and makes me happy in the space, even if it is step outside of the current trends.
Image: Rebecca Rose, @sugarshack_bec
Image: Rachel Claire, @fieldnotes__
What is your dream day, from when you wake up to when you go to sleep? GO!
It absolutely starts with a sleep in, (linen sheets obvs!) and coffee. Then another! Iced long black with a dash of cream, thanks - on our deck, kids snuggled in on me in the morning sun (probably fighting on top of me lets be honest!), not a breath of wind and the sun just hitting the Nullakai over the Wilson Inlet. Somehow I would then be teleported to being on the boat with my dad rolling over the swell out the back of the Ningaloo reef, chasing schools of tuna working and whales putting on a show. My happy place - that deck, that boat, those seas… An afternoon spent watching my family happy in our backyard from my vantage point on the deck, this time bathed in afternoon sun whilst I devour a good book. Interrupted only for an impromptu BBQ with mates who are also neighbours, kids with sparklers around the fire, late nights, good food, good wine and even better company. Happy *sigh*.
What has been the most memorable piece of feedback you’ve received from a guest who has stayed at your holiday spot?
We have been overwhelmed by the beautiful feedback we have so far received. It is always a hold-breath moment reading a review, you are putting your creative self out for public review on a nightly basis - it is terrifying actually! A stand out for me is when guests say that it has inspired them in how they want their own spaces to look and feel, but the best feedback by far is when people fall in love with our little patch of paradise in this seaside town we call home, just as we did those many years ago.
Image: Rebecca Rose, @sugarshack_bec
Reviews from guests who have stayed @_theslowdrift prove that Christie isn’t providing just temporary accomodation but a little safe place, sanctuary & friendship through her biz.