Last month, we experienced our first visit to Orange – a small city located in regional New South Wales. Before our trip, we'd heard wholesome stories from close ones who’ve enjoyed the area’s highly anticipated vineyards, quaint markets, and charming inns, and so a feeling of intrigue and genuine enthusiasm swam within us. For our relaxing three day staycation, we were booked in at The White Place’s boutique accommodation on Casey Street, situated on the very edge of the country town’s CBD.
The White Place is a unique, white-themed homewares store that also provides warm and contemporary holiday homes, events and styling. Think: Byron Bay meets country minimalism. If you’ve seen Netflix’s Grace & Frankie, their beach house interiors is a solid example of the styles on offer in The White Place’s homewares store and residences.
The White Place founder, Alex Pilcher, said what started out as an idea to offer beautiful homewares has since evolved into a lifestyle store with a curated range of homewares, furniture, fashion, and jewellery. Initially inspired by a family holiday in Greece over a decade ago, her mother, Fran, opened the store in 2009.
“The Central West has always been our home and when we had to choose where to establish the business 12 years ago, Orange made sense seeing as it was really starting to gain momentum as a food, wine, and travel destination. Orange is now a booming regional location, and our store has become somewhat of a homewares sanctuary with a lot of people dropping in during their travels,” she said.
Alex took over the business in 2016 and has since expanded the brand for a ‘shop, stay, and style’ experience, all via The White Place.
As we approached the store, we realised we were stepping into interior design heaven, and instantly fell in love with the shop’s lush furniture, styling, and home embellishments. From English pear candles and linen dresses to soft pink champagne flutes and whimsical bungalow pots, there truly is something for every woman with a beaming desire to create a beautiful life. The store is set up as a house with two bedrooms, a dining room, lounge room and two other rooms, filled with dreamy brands including Papaya, Alessandra, Scent of Home, Citta, Indigo Love, Toni May, Wonki Ware, Studio Billie candles and Alexandra clothing.
Alex says jewellery is probably the most popular item they sell. “We are adding new pieces daily and we offer a diverse range. Closely followed by jewellery is clothing, furniture, mirrors, lamps and candles.”
Our personal favourites from the store was the Who is Elijah? 'His/Her' perfume (a sensual unisex scent boasting wood and spice aromas) and the Jones & Co Saturday vases (handmade earthenware vases sporting a unique shape with pops of colour). If we could buy the whole store, that would be a dream come true.
After just a short walk from the homewares store, we arrived at the Casey Street residence: a gorgeous mid-century brick home sheltering the modern oasis inside. The store being a teaser of what to expect, major bursts of excited curiosity brewed within us we were unlocking the door. And there it was: the perfect holiday home. A lavish living room fitted with a rustic fireplace and window seating; a white contemporary kitchen with everything imaginable; two chic bathrooms embodying a New York spirit; and four minimalist bedrooms sporting different themes. An effortlessly relaxed atmosphere. Choosing a bedroom was our only stress!
Alex and The White Place team are the brains behind the styling of the two homes. She said: “The colour palette is inspired by the minimalist seascape of Greece, but composition was key to create a very clean, luxurious, and welcoming space. As a curator and forecaster for interior design, you can trust the look and feel will always be reflective of the most popular trends of the time with a classic undertone.”
I decided to take the far left room that overlooks the street (and takes in the best morning light). With blends of soft blue, dusty pink and tanned tones, this was the most feminine of the rooms. The elegant touches of tree branch, coffee table books and warm lit lamps created an intimate environment.
My friend, Chelsea, felt indecisive and stayed one night in the room next to mine, and the second night in the first room closest to the front entrance. Her room on night one was the most spacious and boasted an organic, Gold Coast feeling (tropical plants and cream-coloured fixtures – perhaps the most ‘white’ room in our white place), and her room on night two had a more sensual, wild vibe with burnt orange throws and cushions, gold home decor, and inspired artwork. She said her favourite was the latter – which came to her surprise, as the first seemed to fit more of her personal style. In fact, the orange and gold Safari themed boudoir was more suited to my taste, so for me to not choose that room was quite interesting – it’s like we switched personalities!
Alex said with their accommodation offerings, they wanted to create an experience for their guests (one that wasn’t so traditional, and offered a bit more charm than your average hotel chain). “We’ve picked up on the resurgence, or increased desire, for personal touches and homely finishes, which is the essence of both our houses on Casey Street and Byng Street.
“Byng Street is a beautiful federation home with ornate ceilings and Casey Street is a mid-century brick home – but both are modern, open plan sanctuaries that we have styled with premium interiors and homewares found in our store. The only pronounced difference between the houses is that Byng Street is the more expansive of the two, with the entertaining deck and in-ground swimming pool offering further refuge for family and friends.
“Both houses are an extension of our store, so everything inside is for sale. Our guests often fall in love with an artwork, lamp or piece of furniture and decide to purchase during their stay. It also means that both houses are continuously changing and evolving!”
We spent our evenings on the outdoor terrace with our favourite tunes, homemade nourishment, and good wine; chatting away for hours about life whilst embracing the cool, seasonal air. Honestly, It felt like a crime to leave our luxurious home for a night out in town – we wanted to make the most of everything our place had to offer. Even the more trivial touches had us in awe, like the ceramic crockery for our morning coffees and the vintage toaster we used religiously for our breakfasts and cheeseboards. It felt like a home away from home – except, a lot nicer than our actual homes in Sydney!
Alex says their signature point of difference in comparison to a lot of other Airbnbs, bed and breakfasts, or hotels in town, is that they're that touch more modern. “I also think it is the style and attention to detail that makes it stand out. We have invested in luxe pieces, such as linen bedding and our guests love that they are able to stay in a modern, contemporary home in Orange.”
After falling in love with our recent stay at the Casey Street residence, we're already making plans to come back this year with a group of close girlfriends. We can’t recommend this place more for its stylish home touches, charming personality, and above all comfortability.
Thank you for welcoming us, and more importantly, making us feel at home.