A Designer’s Hilltop Home in Mansfield

Images by Tasha Tylee

Perched on the top of a hill overlooking lush countryside is Mansfield House; an off-grid haven designed and inhabited by the talented Robbie Walker and his young family. Our photographer Tasha Tylee spent a morning admiring the view with Robbie and his daughter Indi and captured the space as clouds rolled in over the hills. We chatted to Robbie about the design of this ambitious project as well as some of his favourite pieces in the home.

“We’ve been living here for two years now, there’s still small details to finish off but it’s working well so far. We love watching the way the building works, and helping it get through the different seasons.”

In terms of his creative process, Robbie harnesses the functionality and beauty of simple materials. The house itself is made mostly with steel, concrete, glass and plywood. “I get the most enjoyment out of finding simple and beautiful uses for basic materials. I’m still working on it, so trying to take on the right projects that allow me to keep sharpening up details I’ve been trying to get right.”

I get the most enjoyment out of finding simple and beautiful uses for basic materials.

“I was lucky we did this project before covid. I'm not sure we could have used so much steel now that prices have doubled. I love the simplicity of steel and this project was a combination of details I have been trying over the last 12 years.

“I was also lucky that all the tradesmen and builders from this town take so much pride in what they do, they were all interested in the vision and that it made it a really enjoyable process. A milestone for me was realising the building worked. Being off grid I was a little worried it may feel cold with so much concrete and steel but the house has been performing really well.”

Robbie’s bed is dressed with IN BED 100%  linen in Dove Grey.

“The bedrooms in this house were designed to be very simple, but I did make the master a little bigger for my wife. It’s still simple but has an ensuite, a lot of storage and a large window with views of Mt Buller. The large window lifts with the help of gas struts and gets a nice morning sun.”

Indi’s bed is dressed with IN BED 100% linen in Lilac.

“The kid’s rooms are small, I like the idea that bedrooms are for sleeping in and that the living room is where most of our time is spent, But I love their raw simplicity and think it is a perfect backdrop for all of Indi’s favourite colours.”

Robbie’s design skills were not only put to use building the structure of the home but also much of the furniture inside it too. “The latest piece is a folded steel chair” he tells us, which takes pride of place in the living room and is the perfect spot to soak in the ever-changing landscape.



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