Talking slow living, cabin design, and connection to space & place with Shelley Kennedy, owner of Upland Farm in Denmark.


Shelley and husband Tyrone felt the strong pull from the city to farm and set about creating four beautiful cabins in Western Australia’s Great Southern region so that people could feel the deep restoration that comes from country air, the sunrise through the valley and that peaceful pause. 

The beauty of the land and the way it makes them feel is reflected in the design. The cabins seamlessly invite the outside elements in through layered natural materials and expansive windows complimented with objects weaved through the interior, intentionally selected for their purpose in encouraging this welcomed slower pace. Upland Farm is a spectacular collaboration with interior designer Lara Staunton and her team at Lahaus studio. A captivating landscape, thoughtful design and good people bring you a very special experience. We talk with Shelley on her passion for design, space & place. Read more below.


A captivating landscape, thoughtful design and good people bring you a very special experience. 


Tell us about the inspiration behind Upland Farm, and why you created it?

Living the city life, we craved the slow living lifestyle that many of our friends were living on their own farms. We became so curious on how they lived their lives in the country, the community that surrounds them, their humble characters and the simplicity but also the resilience of living off the land. The urge for a tree change and the curiosity of living life a little differently continued to grow. 

Denmark was an easy choice for us with its stunning rugged coastline, cooler summers, high rainfall and vast farmland. Nothing seemed to tick the boxes when we started to search for properties in Denmark and the beauty of farmland here sent us on a journey to find the perfect vacant land instead. With a construction business in Perth, the idea of building independently on the land fell naturally into our ideas and from there the idea of sharing our land continued to grow. 

We started with one cabin and now have four to share with guests. A place where guests can experience that excitement that we felt, waking up on a farm, the sun rising through the valley and cattle grazing in the nearby paddocks to experience life a little more simply and that deep restoration you feel in this landscape. 


We love that materiality ‘organic cotton, linen and timber’ all play a role in nurturing the calm atmosphere of ‘Upland Farm’. How do you feel Cisco and the Sun ceramics further extends on this? 

Our vision for the cabins was a natural aesthetic with undertones of agriculture and pared back luxury. We used warm, neutral tones and textural layers inspired by the farmland and rugged coastline of the Great Southern region to create inviting spaces that feel stripped back. From concrete, to brushed stone, slate and timber, the materials are stripped back to their bold forms. The expansive windows enhance the resounding beauty of the farmland, rolling valleys and neighbouring vineyards allowing our guests to feel completely immersed into the landscape. The outlook enhanced by our inquisitive herd grazing in the nearby paddocks. 

Australian made soft finishings including linens, arts and ceramics enhance the agricultural qualities of the dwellings. Moments of stillness and ritual subtly invite those wanting a deeper experience in their stay. The Cisco and Sun teapot is the perfect example that tempts individuals to slow down and sparks the curiosity of slow living. Supporting Australian small businesses is peppered throughout the dwellings. Less is certainly more in our cabins - you won’t find cluttered cutesy corners but pieces that have each been lovingly selected for their beautiful form, function, sustainability and business ethos. We have spent hours researching the right pieces that seamlessly compliment the cabins, run by Australian businesses that are in line with our own values. 

What are some of the sustainable design considerations you made along the way?

Sustainability was at the forefront of the design of the cabins. Each cabin was designed to capture all the weather systems that cross the farm to reduce their energy expenditure. Cross ventilation and orientation cool the cabins in the warmer months, and warmth in the winter months from the expansive double glazed windows and wood fires that run entirely on fallen wood from the property. The property captures 400 000L of rain water which supplies our cattle troughs, reticulation and cabins. The native gardens were sustainably designed but also create a bushfire protection zone to the cabins. The grass fed cattle play a vital role in establishing good pastures on what was once a rundown poorly fertilised property. We use toxic free cleaning products and reusable personal bathroom products in the cabins. Our sustainability journey is not linear, we take pleasure in continually learning and creating better choices for our farm as the years go on. 

 You can experience Upland Farm, by clicking here.  (    


Upland Farm cabin photography by Paris Hawken

Family photos of Shelley, Tyrone, Clover, Mavi and their border collie Banjo by

Jenna Mason 

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