It wasn’t a complete accident that Scott Balfour ended up living on his dream block of land in the idyllic Northern NSW coastal town of Scotts Head, living on Scotts Head Road, overlooking Scotts Head Mountain. He felt the place was already in his bones.
“I came up here when I was a teenager, so I knew Scotts Head just for its surf and the beauty of the place. I loved the earth of the place.”
In 1999 he was working as a carpenter in Sydney. He passed through the town during a professional kite-surfing competition when he saw a “FOR SALE” sign on the block he felt had his name on it.
“This place had everything I could ever imagine and I could see the potential that, in my line of work, was just unbelievable, There was building materials there, trees to build stuff out of and I could mill my own trees up, and the north facing aspect of the property, only five minutes to the beach and literally backing onto native National Park,” Mr Balfour says.
“I fell in love with the land, its location, the whole aspect, the climate, the rainfall. I bought it with the plan to eventually move there, to live there, and grow vegetables and build a house.”
Within five years of buying the property, Mr Balfour was re-introduced to Annie Baxter, who he had first met briefly when he was only 16. The couple began their romance and now have three children together, plus Annie’s daughter from her previous relationship, all living on 20 acres in their Scotts Head home that Mr Balfour built himself.
“I designed it myself and the whole house was built out of recycled windows and doors, the whole project was done pretty cheaply really. It’s got lead light windows, cedar sliding doors, all recycled decking all around it, with views of the ocean,” Mr Balfour says.
The sign “Living with Nature” hangs over the door of the home, and this is a philosophy Mr Balfour has been interested in for decades, and one that is woven into his home’s design to create a sense of the house being part of the surrounding bush.
“The louvre windows open it up as if you were living with the outside environment coming in. There’s more glass than wall space,” he says.
Mr Balfour has had a long-term dream of building cabins across his property so he can share his philosophy with guests visiting from the city.
“It’s about making people appreciate the bush and the view and the property and the simple things in life and the quietness of the birds, that sort of thing.”