Anne and James Howieson left behind their Teaching careers and moved to Margaret River in 1987 where they ensconced themselves in the Margaret River Tourism industry by first establishing Boranup Fine Furniture and Art Gallery, Boranup Furniture followed by Boranup Chalets and then Boranup Lodge.
Each of these ventures was designed and handbuilt by James and Anne in a distinct ” Margaret river Style” of blending rammed earth walls and timber in bush surroundings. The Boranup venture is nestled in the heart of the Boranup area of the Leeuwin National Park just 20 mins south of Margaret River on Caves Rd.
Boranup Gallery and Boranup Furniture are both still owner operated today and the former has built a reputation as being one of the leading regional art Galleries and the latter one of the finest Bestoke Furniture Companies in WA. One year the complex was a finalist in “The most Significant Regional Attraction in WA” category in the Sir David Brand Tourism Awards. James has exported his unique style of handcrafted furniture throughout the world over a 30 year career.
James love of creating and design has seen him become a Registered Builder and Master Craftsman naturally progressing in the building industry with a particular focus on energy efficient housing. In their own residence and with Baudin Heights Apartments, James has achieved a minimal net energy use. Baudin heights utilizes the combination of Rammed limestone walls and Thermal mass, Double glazed windows, LED lighting, Solar pool Heating, Solar PVA energy system, orchard and insulations to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
He takes a ‘hands on’ approach to a whole new level utilizing his own Bobcat, compacter, laser level, design capabilities, Furniture company, Rammed Earth company, energy use knowledge and hand tools to construct his very own distinct style of buildings which can be seen dotted around Margaret river including the Rammed Limestone commercial ” Reef center” in the township of Margaret river and numerous private residences in Gnarabup.
Anne who shares his love of creating and of design, after rearing their two boys and bearing the brunt of James’ mad schemes has now been able to embark on her own journey into art and has achieved a unique style based on Mandella art.
James, if he is not hard at work creating or running his ventures, will be otherwise found on or under the ocean enjoying his insatiable love of all things aquatic; look west to the outer reefs where more than likely he will be diving, kiting or surfing. Anne will be on land, walking Shylo, painting or busily readying the apartments for our next visitor. Her love of the arts still finds her at the coal face a few days a week working the gallery.