14 December 2021
Meg and her partner Graeme Young have poured their heart and soul into their version of the iconic Spadena House – aka the Witch’s House – in California. Built in 1920 as a set for silent movies such as Hansel and Gretel, the storybook residence is a City of Beverly Hills landmark.
For the past 14 years or so, the local homebuilders have been living in a straw-bale-and-render “shed” they built shortly after buying their five-acre slice of heaven in Bullsbrook.
“It really is a beautiful piece of land, with stunningly beautiful views,” Meg says.
“And we love Bullsbrook and its community and the way people look out for each other and there’s always lots going on. Plus, the Swan Valley is on the doorstep and Perth is easier to get to than ever.”
Bullsbrook’s own Witch’s House has been a labour of love for more than 10 years, with Graeme handcrafting items from salvaged metal and timber, and sourcing antiques and curios to give the home its quirky character.
“Graeme is the creative; the artist,” says Meg, who taught herself how to use CAD software so she could draw up the house plans.
And just like its famous Californian namesake, the couple’s whimsical Witch’s House is an event, not just a home.
It boasts a host of fun features, like the surprising spy hole that enables occupants to feel, as well as see, who’s at the front door. There are elements worthy of Doctor Who and the Addams Family, and even a mini door (for “kids and elves”) concealed within the main door to the bathroom.
Set into the cool earth, the “dungeon” will become a summer bedroom offering respite from the heat, while the belfry atop the house will be bat-friendly of course.
A vet, researcher and the author of How to Choose the Right Dog, Meg runs perfectmatchpuppy.com, helping people find their ideal canine companion. She also mentors dog breeders worldwide.
Buying acreage in Bullsbrook has been an opportunity for Meg to explore her growing interest in permaculture. The couple grow a lot of their own food, including mulberries, almonds, pomegranates.
Until early last year, there was a steady stream of backpackers helping out on the property and the house build. The couple also hosted a team of specialist roofers from New Zealand who turned Meg’s iconic witch’s-hat design into a reality.
“We figured we were only going to build once so we’d make it count and do something completely different,” she says.