For Johnny and Claire Greig, living in the country does not mean taking the slow lane by any stretch of the imagination. This couple live a double life as racing car drivers on the weekend (it’s in the blood for Claire, her family the Davison’s are famous for it) while building their design and construction business Greig and Greig and child wrangling Gussy, 6 and Sophia, 4 during the week. The ‘designer tin shed’ that they have recently completed was built to integrate business and family life by incorporating the office into the home design. With the design and construction team working out the annexe to the house, Greig and Greig feels very much like the third child in the family home – for Johnny in particular.
Having known these two larger than life characters since school, I have watched their style develop over the years – as it naturally does for all of us. What has always been consistent though is Bear’s country upbringing and its influence on her love of timber and the open spaces, mixed with Johnny’s love of the solid square set form, particularly in concrete, which he pours himself. The exterior of their handsome new home built on the outskirts of Geelong in Victoria, is a contemporary take on the iconic tin sheering shed seen scattered across neighbouring farms.
The Greig’s have built themselves the quintessential Australian home, set amongst the gum trees with a verandah out the back – but with no rocking chair?! Concrete floors and thick concrete benches add to the refined rustic aesthetic of this bomb proof, child friendly home and perfectly compliment the partially sanded, recycled timber panelled walls. Timber sourced from the old Geelong wool stores have been given a new lease of life as a backdrop to an eclectic mix of family antiques and modern retro furniture.
Given Bear’s earlier career in biodiversity with Landcare, the garden that is yet to be planted is almost guaranteed to be a natural landscape of hardy mixed natives. Of course anything else would look out of context against the great Australian shed.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Tara Pearce
STYLING: Stephanie Stamatis