Living on a remote island is my secret recipe
Resourceful, inventive & original.
Banjo Beale is an Australian Interior Designer based in the Scottish Hebrides. Winner of Interior Design Masters, Banjo is the host of Scotland's Home of the Year on BBC, author of a forthcoming book and star of a brand new TV series premiering in Summer 2023.
Banjo combines unique finds with clever design to create sustainable, characterful and collected spaces for his interior design clients and TV projects.
Banjo's new book, released in October 2023 champions design that doesn't cost the earth and celebrates wild, isle style from the the British Isles to the Antipodes.
A new television series following Banjo as he launches his design career in the Hebrides is set to air in summer 2023. The series follows Banjo as he renovates incredible properties in remote locations including a lighthouse, castle and bothy two hours walk from the nearest road. Banjo battles wild weather, straight talking locals and tiny budgets to create characterful spaces in spectacular places.
The outlandish tale of how an Aussie boy ended up on a Scottish island and onto Interior Design Masters on BBC.
An Antipodean Hebridean, Brendan ''Banjo'' Beale grew up in central west Australia in the middle of nowhere.
Banjo found his way to the big smoke, working in advertising, eventually landing the plum role of 'Ideas Director'. He was quite literally in charge of coming up with ideas, a role that suited this perpetual dreamer.
Born Brendan, he earned the nickname "Banjo" from his partner Ro. Apparently because he is highly strung. Banjo begs to differ. But the name has stuck nonetheless.
In 2014, Banjo and Ro hatched their wildest idea yet, to buy a one-way-ticket to Sri Lanka, thus embarking on a voyage around the world that has never quite ended.
Lowering the anchor into Tobermory Harbour, Banjo now calls the Isle of Mull home. Arriving as broke backpackers on a cheese farm, they quickly fell in love with the people and the place. Isle of Mull Cheese is a traditional, family run dairy, led by it's fearless 80 year old matriarch, Chris Reade. Quickly, Banjo and Ro made lifelong friends in Chris and began to host charity nights to raise money for their yak farming friends affected by the Nepal earthquake. Now firmly part of the community, the boys joined Woolly Wednesdays knitting club and twice lead an expedition of locals to Nepal to teach the art of cheesemaking and deliver fundraising projects.
The following year, Chris invited Ro and Banjo to lease the café and farm shop - a gorgeous vine filled barn erected by the Reade family in the 80's. Ro was the cook and bookkeeper and Banjo, the stylist behind every plate, picture and latte art. The Glass Barn is a playground of curios and collections and a constant canvas and it was here that Banjo learned the art of reimagining whatever was at hand, into something useful or unusual.
Returning to Australia for a year, Banjo began the first chapter in his Interior Design journey, convincing an unwitting group to let him design their office, art gallery and cafe. But the call of the wild west coast of Scotland was too loud, they had to return to their spiritual home.
Fast forward and Ro is a big cheese, managing the the production of the award winning Isle of Mull cheese and helping the family create a distillery, turning leftover whey into spirit. For Banjo, no two days are the same, whether he is mucking in to feed goats (and tourists) in the cafe, playing with clay in the pottery, pottering in the garden, turning cheese in the cellar or styling a photoshoot.
In between farm life, Banjo is a creative director and Interior Designer, unlocking stories behind people, places and spaces. A storyteller, wily stylist and space creator, Banjo weaves a little bit of magic into everything he touches, from sourcing vintage furniture and objects to creating characterful interior design schemes.