Renee Keeps Green! (Renee Blackwell Design)

When she’s not travelling the globe to source rare vintage treasures and semi-precious stones for her signature jewellery collection, Renee Blackwell is living the green dream in Queensland’s lush Sunshine Coast hinterland. Situated outside Maleny, Renee’s charming rural property ‘Hazelwild Retreat’ is self sufficient in terms of energy and water and proudly constructed from eco-friendly materials.


“We can all do something to improve our green credentials. It can be as simple as changing household products to chemical free or buying and supporting locally grown food, rather than cheaper imported food. For us it was about creating a richer and deeper connection to where our food and water and power come from.”

Renee's house exterior

“My husband Chris and I both designed and built the house. Our dream was to establish an organic retreat. Now, 11 years down the path and lots of hard work later, all of our domestic power requirements including computers and refrigeration run off our extensive solar system.”

“This is my studio ‘Harmony House’. It’s where I work every day and design my jewellery collections. It’s about a three-minute walk from the house, and also 100 per cent solar-powered. We built the jewellery studio on our property so I wouldn’t have to drive or commute to work.”

Renee's chooks

“These are our chooks. We get about a dozen eggs a day which we eat ourselves and either sell or trade with friends. All of the food we eat and plant is 100 per cent organic, as we do not use sprays or pesticides anywhere on the property.”

“We have several gardens which we plant on a rotating basis to have garden fresh food all year round. With tropical apple, orange, lemon, grapefruit, plum, guava and banana trees there’s always plenty of fruit. We also grow macadamias.”

RBD Renee in garden smaller

“I’m proud that we have actually made an eco-aware lifestyle for ourselves rather than just talk about doing it. It’s naturally much more work than we imagined, but the end results are very satisfying.”

“Siam Red” Vintage French cut glass, Cubic Zirconia, Amethyst, “Celadon” Vintage French cut glass and Ruitilated Quartz Crystal, all set in sterling silver Prices from $245 to $325

To find out more about Renee Blackwell Design please visit:

5 thoughts on “Renee Keeps Green! (Renee Blackwell Design)

  1. Wow, this is a fabulous article. I loved seeing and hearing about your lovely home and life style Renee’. You and your husband are a real inspiration to the world. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

  2. It is so rare to see people actually walking the walk, not just . . . .talking the talk. (did I get that right?) You know what I mean.. The place looks absolutely lucious and sounds lucious with all that fresh food, too. Renee, it is so wonderful that you seek beauty in daily life and bring it to others around you.
    Cheers, darling!

  3. what beautiful pictures of where you live and work. i can imagine a lot of people being very envious of your property and surrounds. even to the point of wanting to make the move to sunny queensland.
    i wish for wonderful things for you and chris
    lots of love rayls

  4. Wow! Congratulations to Renee and Chris for having such a dream and the commitment to see it come true. The rings look fabulous. Harmony House looks such a creative hideaway, I’d love to know more about Renee’s journey in her jewellery business.

  5. Now that is the way of life more of us could do with living, or certainly would consider it given this sort of inspiration! In fact I have started to implement some of these green lifestyle changes in my own suburban home, so thank you Chris and Renee, for showing me more of how much further we can go.
    After that little taste of your jewelery (and since I’m a long time passionate fan of crystals as well as their use in jewelery) is there any chance we could see some more of your creations, Renee? What else do you create in the Harmony House?
    Many thanks for sharing your life with us!

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