Episode 63

63 - Kim Swinyard on establishing a sustainable luxury retreat shaped by a background in - and love for - design

Posted September 28, 2022


Perth-based Kim Swinyard is no stranger to adversity. Having for many years dutifully performed the role of primary carer for her chronically ill Mum, she sadly also endured the premature passing of her Mum several years ago, prompting her to re-evaluate her life’s priorities.

With that perspective in tow, Kim and her long-term partner Jeff established their building design practice, Studio Atelier, in 2012, and have since accumulated an incredible portfolio of projects, with a focus on working with existing structures and upgrading them rather than demolishing and starting over.

It was only in recent years that Kim and Jeff decided their significant design and renovation experience might well lend itself to the set-up of a holiday property, so after quite an arduous, at times drama-filled search, they in 2021 purchased a sizeable plot of land with a modest shed on it in Western Australia’s Denmark region, now known as Stillwood Retreat.

In the months to follow, with two young kids in tow and at all times closely informed by their commitment to sustainability, they painstakingly converted the shed into a luxury adults-only retreat, running solely off rainwater, using upcycled / secondhand fittings and furniture wherever possible, integrating natural stone offcuts into the design and much more.

And it all paid off, with Stillwood now enjoying a 100% occupancy rate only 4 months after opening and 80% of bookings being made directly.

I enjoyed every moment of my chat with Kim last week and I’m sure you will too.

Show Notes

Stillwood Retreat Studio Atelier