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    The Design Files Open House 2014 FILM!

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    DEAREST readers!  Today is the LAST proper post for the year.  Next week we’re taking a much needed break, and instead of our usual posts we’ll be re-visiting our TOP TEN Australian Homes from next Monday until Monday January 5th (2 weeks).

    So to cap off this amazing year, rather than the usual Friday interview, we’re finishing up with something special – I am very excited to share our little film about this year’s epic TDF Open House!

    Our super gorgeous TDF Open House 2014 crew!  Dressed in Armor Lux French stripes from The Standard Store and  Habbot shoes!  Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

    Our beautiful TDF Open House 2014 event newspaper, designed by Jess Lillico,  Photo – Andy Johnson.

    Annie Abbott of Habbot and gorgeous Cheryl Lin Rodsted of BusiChic at TDF Open House 2014 opening night!  Photo – Andy Johnson.

    TDF Open House 2014 opening night!  Photo – Andy Johnson.

    The Dulux Dog!  Always a crowd pleaser…!  Photo – Andy Johnson.

    It’s been one seriously crazy year around here, and as always, it feels like the past few months have been a mad dash to the finish line (isn’t it always the way?!).  In the hope of restoring our sanity and re-charging our brains we’ll be taking a little break over the next 2 weeks. As has become a bit of an annual tradition, we’ll be re-visiting our TOP TEN Australian Homes from next Monday until Monday January 5th (2 weeks!).

    AND to cap off this amazing year we’re finishing up with something special – our little film about this year’s epic TDF Open House! (View film at the bottom of this post!).

    To document this year’s event in Melbourne, we teamed up with local filmmaker Paris Thomson of SIRAP, who shot, edited and directed this buzzing behind-the-scenes snapshot – THANKYOU Paris!

    Thanks also to the super talented and on-the-cusp-of-serious-stardom Melbourne singer Martha Brown aka Banoffee who has generously allowed us to use her awesome track ‘Let’s go to the Beach’ to accompany this little movie!  I LOVE this song so, SO much (which says a lot because I’ve listened to it about 300 times this week already!). DO show your support by taking a moment to check out Banoffee’s EP on iTunes!

    Thankyou also to you ALL, dear readers, for your amazing support of this event for the fourth year running – we were blown away with the turn out and so much positive feedback!   Thank you all so much for your endless support and encouragement, for backing all our mad ideas, for reading each day, and for turning up (in droves!) to support us when we host an event like this.  It really is YOU GUYS who make all our projects possible, and for that we are truly forever grateful!


    Shot, directed and edited by Paris Thomson / SIRAP
    Additional camera - Sean Fennessy
    Music – ‘Let’s go to the Beach’ by Banoffee

    I am struggling not to do the whole enormous Open House thankyou list again… to all our amazing staff, friends and family – THANKYOU!  Massive thanks in particular to our Major Event Partner Bank of Melbourne,, and our Major Sponsors – Jardan, FiatDuluxSiemens and Royal Oak Floors for their incredible support getting this project off the ground.

    Also huge thanks to all the amazing artists, designers and local businesses who participated and supported this crazy venture once again this year – especially Cookes Food for feeding us, Seven Seeds  for keeping us caffeinated, All Saints Estate and CAPI for keeping us hydrated, Habbot and The Standard Store for dressing our team,  Sean Fennessy, Eve Wilson and Andy Johnson for documenting the madness, Jess Lillico for creating our BEAUTIFUL event newspaper, and an especially massive shout-out to our amazing publicists Esther and Emma at The Project Agency for getting the word out!

    Ok, that’s us signing off for 2014 – our biggest year yet!  Thankyou all for your readership, support and encouragement this year and always.  You really are the absolute BEST.

    Watch our film below!  (Any dramas, try viewing the film over here on our Vimeo page)

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Mark and Louella Tuckey

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    As has become our annual tradition, this week and next we’re taking a much needed break from regular content programming to catch up with ourselves!  SO from today until Monday Jan 5th, we’ll be posting the TOP TEN Australian Homes of 2014, based on your comments, page views and a little of our own bias!

    First up, we’re heading way back to the start of this year, when we shared the truly incredible beachside home of Mark and Louella Tuckey in Clareville on Sydney’s Northern beaches.  Super relaxed yet sparklingly spectacular, this is Australian beachside living at its best.

    The truly incredible home of Mark and Louella Tuckey at Clareville, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. This is the beach side/front of the house, with classic Pittwater ‘P & O’ style rounded front. Photo – Sean Fennessy Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Sitting room at front of house, overlooking the front garden and out to the beach beyond. MARK TUCKEY box day bed sofa with Megan Park and orange felt cushions, MT oxo coffee table in raw oak, 2 sets of MT pigeon hole shelves in oregon, David band trumpet print on rear wall, Borg Morgensen spanish chairs, which came from A collection of David Bromley’s Danish furniture. Tolomeo mega terra floor lamp from MARK TUCKEY. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Dining area form above. MARK TUCKEY farmhouse table in raw american oak, Borg Morgensen leather and oak dining chairs (Loeulla says these are her new favourite things, picked up from Vampt in sydney), Caravaggio pendant light from MARK TUCKEY, David bromley nude ‘charlotte’ and Mark Schaller woodcut flower still life on walls opposite. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Mark and Louella Tuckey at home with their much loved pups, Scribble and Lillydog. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    The home of Mark and Louella Tuckey on Sydney’s Northern beaches completely seduced us (and many of you!) when we photographed it last summer… and one full year later, re-visting these pics still makes my heart skip a beat!  Honestly, does the quintessential Australian beach house get any better than this?

    Mark and Louella’s home opens right onto the sand at sparkling Clareville beach, like some kind of picture-perfect film location.  It is also, of course, expertly decorated by stylist Louella, full to the brim of Mark’s distinctive timber furniture, homewares and soft furnishings sourced by the pair for their stores in Sydney and Melbourne, and artwork by many talented friends, including David Bromley, Rachel Castle, and the late  David Band.  Despite the extreme photogenicism of these surroundings, there is something so effortless and truly relaxed about this space – at heart, it really is just a rambling Aussie beach shack.

    ‘The location speaks for itself, but the house is so pure beach shack, it really is a little old farmhouse by the water’ says Louella.

    If you’re a fan of the Tuckeys’ distinctive decorating aesthetic, do check out their latest project – ‘The Tabletop Project‘, in which a host of Australian creatives share their ultimate Christmas table!

    CLICK HERE to re-visit our full feature on Mark and Louella Tuckey’s home, and many more pics!

    CANNOT, EVER, GET OVER THIS LOCATION! The Tuckeys’ front gate opens right onto the sand at Clareville. Photo – Sean Fennessy, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Fiona Richardson and Family

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Back in APRIL we shared the stunning home of stylist Fiona Richardson and her family, and I must admit this one still goes down as one of my all time personal favourites.  It is such a classic, elegant beauty, and with its generous Edwardian proportions and beautifully kept gardens, feels almost like some kind of rambling Victorian country farmhouse.  In fact, it’s just a stone’s throw from bustling Chapel st in Prahran.

    The home of Fiona Richardson and family. Above – Dining room and kitchen beyond. Ceiling lamp was purchased in France, hand-me-down bentwood chairs, Aga stove.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Kitchen, looking through to butler’s pantry. Ceiling lamp was purchased in France, hand-me-down bentwood chairs, Gervasoni desk to the left with Zuster stool, artwork by Mike Nicholls. Wall is painted in full strength Dulux ‘Juvenile’. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Butler’s pantry. Fornasetti wallpaper, old scales (a wedding present), and ‘sad basil in sink waiting to be made into pesto!’ – Fiona. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Living room opposite kitchen. Fornasetti wallpaper, Italian woven chairs from Geoffrey Hatty, Jardan Stanley Stool, portrait of Fiona’s Mum, lamp by Douglas and Bec – bought at TDF open house 2012! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Living room. Armchair from Leonard Joel Auctions, made good with Christopher Farr peony fabric, table also from Leonard Joel Auctions, painted in Dulux ‘Silkwort’, Moller chair an auction find, Armadillo & Co. woven circular rug, fiddle leaf fig tree. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    This incredible home in Prahran belongs to stylist Fiona Richardson, her husband and three boys aged 8, 7 and 3.  The family have been here about 12 years, but as is often the case, it wasn’t always quite so photogenic!  When the Richardson family purchased the home, it was a rabbit warren comprising four separate addresses, with bedsits tacked on to the back of the property.  Over the years the home has been gradually renovated, before finally, three years ago, the full renovation was completed.

    Fiona’s decorating approach here has been thoughtful and perfectly executed.  She has styled her home with a respectful nod to its Edwardian heritage, and an intuitive sense for how contemporary colour and pattern can be introduced in a period home.  The result is a residence that is grand in scale, yet feels understated, intimate and unmistakably ‘real’, with just enough eclectic detail to keep things interesting!  Fiona’s chosen colour palette of deep blue greys with blonde timbers and accents of yellow and mustard is just so spot on – she has an incredible way with colour and pattern.  With three young boys to consider, Fiona is also refreshingly utilitarian in many ways – dark grey walls have proven the perfect resilient hue for six eternally grubby hands!

    Aside from it’s great bones and strong foundation of brave colour and pattern, the real magic here really comes from Fiona’s careful layering of inherited furniture and art pieces, museum-like auction finds and hand-me-downs, new pieces and treasured hard rubbish finds!

    For the full story and many more pics of this supremely photogenic Melbourne home, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!  (Which you might recall also included our first ever Australian Homes VIDEO!).

    Front exterior of Fiona’s home. Chairs from Montreux. Photo –  Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Alice and Lucy Oehr

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Today we’re revisiting another of our favourite Melbourne Homes of this year – a sweet Abbotsford cottage lovingly renovated by two hardworking sisters, which we originally ran back in April.  This quaint, colourful little pad is home to graphic designer / illustrator Alice Oehr and her sister, Lucy, who is completing her Masters in neuropsychology at Melbourne Uni.

    The home of sisters Alice and Lucy Oehr in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Above – Alice (left) and Lucy (right) at their kitchen dining table. Artworks above by Alice Oehr, Marc Martin, Beci Orpin, Jane Oehr (Alice and Lucy’s auntie), enamel fruit bowl on table from Third Drawer Down. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy / The Design Files.

    Kitchen dining table, looking through to bathroom beyond. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy / The Design Files.

    Living room. Kidney-shaped table from Ebay, Alice Oehr printed cushions, paper tiger head by French brand Petit Pan purchased from Ganim Store, faceted ceramic planter on table by Beneath the Sun. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy / The Design Files.

    Loungeroom details.  Alice Oehr‘s ‘Lady Potato head’ created for a potato head exhibition at Ganim Store in Melbourne last year!  Still life print behind also by Alice, Andy Rementer ‘People Blocks’ sculpture, Sarah Crowest ‘Mounds’ from Third Drawer Down, seahorse and fruit bowl both from Ganim Store, Vintage French teaching poster ‘Les Reptiles’. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy / The Design Files.

    Alice Oehr and Lucy Oehr are in their twenties, and rent their home from their parents, who originally purchased the two bedroom property in late 2011.  After taking possession, these girls worked SO HARD to turn a dilapidated shell of a house into a cheerful little home – an incredible DIY renovation which they documented in an amazing blog – scroll back to Day 1 for maximum effect (its not for the faint hearted!).

    ‘Our poor home was in a bit of a sorry state when we first came across it’ recalls Alice. Luckily, uni had just concluded for the summer at the time the property settled, so Lucy and Alice had three whole months up their sleeves to spend in Hard Yakka overalls, doing the hard yakka required to bring their future home to a liveable standard.  ‘We spent 8.00am – 6.00pm (almost) every day that summer giving it a major overhaul’ says Alice.  Amongst other things, this involved removing plasterboard with a crowbar, sugar soaping tobacco stained walls, replacing rotten floors and weatherboards, demolishing random unsightly outhouses in the concrete backyard, re-building walls and ceilings from scratch, and painting throughout. A carpenter friend was called in to rebuild a new floor in the kitchen and to move the toilet from the outhouse into the bathroom.

    With the help of friends and family, Alice and Lucy completely turned their home around.  It’s pretty incredible just how much this industrous pair (plus a steady stream of handy assistants!) managed to achieve in just three months that summer. By January 2012, Alice and Lucy had laid out their favourite black and white checkerboard lino in the kitchen and bathroom, re-tiled the bathroom and installed a brand new kitchen.  In early February, Alice painted the front door a carefully selected shade of deep forest green, whilst their Mum proudly hung handmade curtains in both bedrooms.  In late February, finally, it was time to move in!

    For the full story on Alice and Oehr’s gorgeous little home and the incredible renovation they undertook together, POP BACK and revisit the original post here!

    Living room detail. Artwork above fireplace (cropped) by Keiichi Tanaami, doll cushion by Nathalie L’ete from Ganim Store, cat & pot plant in fireplace, both from Alice and Lucy’s grandma, glass dish on table is Iittala. Photo – Eve Wilson, Production – Lucy / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Ozzie Wright, Mylee Grace Fitzgerald & Family

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    GOOD MORNING AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!  If you are reading this post on Dec 25th, well THANKYOU for joining us on such a busy and important day – WE SALUTE YOU!

    TODAY, given most of us in Australia are probably well into summer holiday mode by now, it seems fitting to share another classic Australian beach house, which won many hearts when we first ran this story back in March!  This is the creative and colourful family pad of Ozzie Wright (pro surfer / artist / musician and co-owner and creative director of Vampirate Surfboards), Mylee Grace Fitzgerald (songstress of Mylee Grace and the Milkshakes) and their kids Rocky and Goldie!

    The beautiful, relaxed beachside home of Ozzie WrightMylee Grace Fitzgerald and their little family!   Above – Mylee holds little Goldie (just a few weeks old at the time of our visit!). Gorgeous, chatty Rocky was home with an ear infection when we popped in, but wore his school uniform nonetheless.  Ozzie is the most awesome, blissfully chilled out person I have ever met!  Artwork top left painted by Ozzie whilst Mylee was in early labour with Goldie. The rug on the day bed was found in Peru. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Living room – an addition in the 80’s or 90’s,  with a spectacular view of the beach.  ‘It’s by far the best room in the house as it looks out to the majestic and secluded Bungan beach’ says Mylee!  Photo - Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    The hallway is completely covered in artworks, mainly by Ozzie and talented creative friends.  All of the works above are by Ozzie except the small green print by Harry Holliday. Two of these works are part of his collection of collaborations with kids!  Photo - Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Ozzie’s studio.  Antique shark flag above door, and one of Ozzie’s art works to the right. The pink surfboard is one of Ozzie’s ‘Vampirate surfboards’, and the other board is Mylee’s Christmas present from Ozzie – a ‘gato heroi’. On top of the bookshelf is part of Ozzie and Mylee’s 1950’s / 60’s National Geographic collection. Vintage indian saris on the couch. Photo - Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Ozzie Wright and his partner Mylee Grace purchased their gorgeous rambling old 1930’s house, on a busy main road in Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches four years ago.  They found the place in somewhat unconventional circumstances – by answering a random cold call from a local real estate agent (on their landline!) asking if they were looking to buy.  ‘At the time we weren’t looking to buy at all, and nearly hung up the phone, but Ozzie asked on a whim if the agent had any properties with a view of the ocean that weren’t millions of dollars’ explains Mylee, matter of factly.  ‘He told us he had just the one, we looked at it that day, and instantly tried to work out how it could be ours’!

    Though the home itself was built in the 30’s, in the 90’s previous owners added the front lounge room with enormous windows, which makes the most of the view.  From the street you would never guess the MAGIC that lies beyond the house – namely, an uninterrupted view of beautiful Bungun Beach, one of the only beaches in the area with no vehicular access.  SO special.

    Mylee and Ozzie’s home has a distinctly breezy, relaxed vibe, which perfectly reflects the personalities of this super cool family. Art work crams the walls, alongside a beautiful mish mash of vintage furniture salvaged from the roadside or passed on from family and friends.  However, it’s not surprising that Mylee and Ozzie’s affection for this place really revolves around the ocean. ‘The best thing is definitely the view’ says Mylee. ‘It’s incredibly calming to stare out to the horizon, plus we can always see when it’s the best time for surfing’.

    For the full story and many more pics of this gorgeous Sydney home, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!

    The amazing view of Bungan Beach from Ozzie ands Mylee’s place! ‘It’s one of the only beaches without vehicle access, so it makes it extra special and secret!’ says Mylee.  Photo - Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Mark Dundon, Lisa Sanderson and Family

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Good morning!  Todays we are revisiting another incredible Melbourne home from earlier this year – situated in Camberwell, this understated 1970’s family home belongs to Melbourne’s coffee king and proprietor of Seven Seeds, Mark Dundon, his partner Lisa Sanderson and their teenage son Felix.

    The incredible 1970’s Melbourne home of Mark Dundon, proprietor of Seven Seeds, his partner Lisa Sanderson and their son Felix.  Dining room featuring rug from Loom Rugs, Kartell dining chairs. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Dining room with North facing windows looking out to the pool.  Custom made pegboard creates a centrepiece for displaying artwork and treasures collected overseas.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Breakfast nook , galley kitchen. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Mark and his son Felix kindly pose for a portrait in the kitchen!  (Sadly we missed Mark’s partner Lisa that day!).  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    The Dundon family have been here only two years, having moved from Brunswick to Camberwell just in time for Felix to start at a new high school in the area. ‘I had always had a soft spot for 60’s and 70’s houses’ expains Mark. ‘We came upon the house, which was advertised as a knock down. It was pretty much love at first sight.’

    In fact, the home was designed by Kevin Borland, a prominent post war architect who studied under Robin Boyd, and worked for a time with Harry Seidler. When Mark and Lisa took possession, aside from a kitchen renovation undertaken by the previous owners, the home was in almost original condition.

    The home encapsulates a number of clever hallmarks of modernist design, including a somewhat unconventional layout with various floor levels, and a floating mezzanine lounge room that sits above the dining area.

    It’s always amazing to chat to occupants of mid century homes – there is so often a sense of design appreciation that comes with living in houses like this, which really does go far beyond aesthetic nostalgia. Modernist houses can still teach us many valuable lessons today about living smaller and living smarter – but it’s not always obvious until you chat to an enthusiastic person who actually lives in one!

    ‘In looking at current trends in design,  you can see a lot of architects influenced by this period’ says Mark. ‘I think living in this house has shown me why it has influenced so many designers today, the comfort level and living areas of the house just work’.

    For the full story and many more pics of Mark and Lisa’s 1970’s gem, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!

    North facade of the house, deck and pool, unusually positioned in the corner of the block to maximise the Northern light.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Alex Kennedy

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    When we shared this very special Melbourne home back in August, the response was overwhelming.  You guys really LOVED this house!  When a seriously tiny, budget-consicous renovation illicits this kind of overwhelmingly positive response, it reminds us that no matter what the limitations are, any space, on any budget, really can be beautiful. Home really is what you make it.

    Today we’re getting reacquainted with the studio apartment of Alex Kennedy in Carlton, Melbourne – a delightful little home built within the footprint of a double garage.

    The tiny Melbourne home of Alex Kennedy.  We don’t often lead with a bathroom shot, BUT bathrooms are rarely this photogenic (and, are rarely found in a lounge room!).  Clawfoot bath and exposed shower head. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

    Lounge room with day bed, featuring Beneath The Sun patchwork cushion and stripes plate, and Connor O’Brien print. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

    Danish dining table and chairs in central dining area. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

    Alex Kennedy at home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

    The home of Alex Kennedy in Melbourne is, in fact, built within the garage of Alex’s childhood home – a project Alex decided to undertake after realising she just couldn’t afford to buy a house anytime soon.  Instead, she renovated the garage attached to her parents property, turning it into a self contained unit with separate rear entrance.

    Alex worked with her friend, interior architect Sarah Trotter of Hearth Studio on this innovative project.  Their challenge was to turn this cold, run down garage into a comfortable and self sufficient little home, on a super tight budget. Sarah was not fussed by the limitations of this tiny footprint or indeed, the budget, instead seizing the opportunity to create a unique home for her friend.

    ‘Sarah was incredible at capturing my aesthetic influences and considering light’ says Alex. The pair worked together for a over a year scouring Ebay, visiting recycling centres and demolition yards in outer suburbs and country towns to collect and hunt down all the fittings, almost all of which are second hand.

    For the full story and many more pics of this unique and very inspiring Melbourne home, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!

    Sleeping quarters. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Tamsin Carvan and Family

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Today we’re revisiting another truly memorable Australian home, which won so many hearts when we first shared this feature back in October!  This sweet and supremely photogenic little farmhouse set on 113 vivid green acres in Poowong East, halfway to Wilson’s Prom in Victoria’s South East belongs to  Tamsin Carvan, her daughter Martha (8 years old) and partner Allan Walker.

    Tamsin moved here almost eleven years ago, after many years living in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.  She has since created an almost entirely self sufficient lifestyle, growing her own produce and raising her own chickens and livestock to feed her little family – and the visitors who frequent Tamsin’s famed long lunches!

    The home of Tamsin Carvan of Tamsin’s Table.  Tamsin’s beautiful old dining table is on long term loan from her neighbours, the Olsens, direct descendants of the original Danish settlers in this area. ‘It was made over a century ago by a local Swedish ship builder, so that stock agents who came from all around the district to the horse sales once held here could lunch together when business was done’ says Tamsin. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    The Gippsland farmhouse of Tamsin Carvan of Tamsin’s Table.   The kitchen was designed and handcrafted by Tamsin’s partner Allan. The cupboards and shelves are made from old Baltic pine floorboards, while the workbench has a mixed local handwood top and ironbark legs. The stools were found at a recycled garbage depot ($10 for 6) – Allan replaced the vinyl seats with soft, worn Baltic pine and painted the legs black.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


    One of two oven / stoves in Tamsin’s kitchen. ‘The wood stove is a Rayburn and it burns pretty much constantly for nine months of the year’ explains Tamsin.  ‘The old cream can is where we empty the ash each morning before it goes to the chooks to dust bathe in. Al made the workbench next to the stove from an old painters plank, Baltic pine lining boards, legs from a salvaged 1920’s cedar door frame, and hand made steel brackets’.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Living area details. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Tamsin moved to Gippsland and established her farm almost eleven years ago, after many years living in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.  The inspiring story behind Tamsin’s big move to the country struck a chord with so many of you when we first shared this feature back in October! Though it must be said, this big move didn’t happen by chance.  Tamsin’s is a carefully crafted lifestyle, evolved from a nagging desire to return to a simpler way of living.

    ‘For many years I knew I really wanted to try my hand at farming, and get out of the city where I always felt cramped up and claustrophobic’  explains Tamsin.  She opened up an atlas and marked all the places across Australia within a two hour drive of a major airport, and where rainfall exceeded evaporation (she was particularly conscious of drought).  ‘Once we laid our eyes on this part of the world we were completely sold’ Tamsin says.  ‘The hills were so green that I cried. We found this farm on the internet while still in Canberra, and I hadn’t even seen it in the flesh when we made the offer on it. I just knew it would be right”.

    From here, Tasmin now runs her amazing little business, Tamsin’s Table, which sees her host an ever changing schedule of Sunday lunches, harvesting and cooking workshops, and other seasonal events.

    For the full story and many more pics of Tamsin’s beautiful home, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!

    Tamsin and her daughter Martha in their vegetable garden.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy and Family

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    My goodness. Somehow, this year is nearly up! Today is December 31st, which means 2015 is almost upon us, and our TOP TEN Australian Homes of 2014 are drawing to a close. Next week we’ll be BACK with all new content… but today, we’re revisiting another classic Australian home from the TDF archives!

    This stunning contemporary home in Sydney’s Bronte belongs to two very prominent creative Sydneysiders – Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs.  It’s such a beauty!

    The Sydney home of Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy of Dinosaur Designs. Living / TV room, featuring Louise and Stephen’s collection of books, Eames chair and Collage side table by Stephen Ormandy for Dinosaur Designs. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Front living room.  Paintings from top to bottom, from left – Stephen Ormandy at top, Peter Atkins beneath, Louise Tuckwell at bottom. Right hand group – Jane Olsen at top, Patrick Hartigan beneath, Rober Klippel at bottom. Large painting at right by Stephen Ormandy.  Rug by Designer Rugs and Dinosaur Designs, Couch from map in Melbourne, designed by Chris Connell, from left to right on shelf – sculpture by Stephen Ormandy (on top of stacked books), vases by Dinosaur Designs, sculptures by Gemma Smith.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Dining room.  Homewares from Dinosaur Designs’ current ‘Modern Tribal’ collection, chairs by Jasper Morrison, Stephen Ormandy painting, flowers by Saskia Havekes from Grandiflora. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Kitchen – assorted Dinosaur Designs homewares on the bench. ‘Miss Moneypenny’  painting by Murray Hilton.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Dining room details. Homewares by Dinosaur Designs, ghost sculpture by Nell, sculpture by Gemma Smith.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Perched up high with views to the ocean, this impressive residence in Sydney’s Bronte has been home to Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy for 16 years, who purchased the home before the birth of their daughter Camille, now 15.

    Despite its generous scale, ocean views and incredible natural light, Louise and Stephen say their home wasn’t always quite so enviable!  ‘It was originally a dark federation cottage that had had a ’70s moment’ explains Louise, who moved in with Stephen and lived here for nine years before renovating.

    Like so many homebuyers, Louise and Stephen’s first move after purchasing the original cottage was to paint all interior walls white, but aside from this cosmetic improvement, they were content to bide their time.  In life and in business, it seems these two are always in for the long haul!

    ‘During those first nine years we saved the money we needed for the renovation’ says Louise. ‘The good thing about waiting is that we knew exactly what we wanted to do; we had a vision of how we’d like the house to be, we knew where the light fell, where the wind blew, and really got into the soul of the place before we renovated’.

    Now a generous two-level property full of treasured design pieces, vibrant colour and incredible artwork, this beautiful home is, in fact, surprisingly ‘chilled’.   Louise and Stephen have created a genuinely relaxed, laid back atmosphere here, where collectible art sits happily and in no particular hierarchy alongside endless stacks of books and trinkets, and souvenirs picked up from their many travels.  Each space flows effortlessly into the next, and Skipper the sausage dog totters absent mindedly from room to room.  Perhaps its the cool sea breeze that seems to flow through every room, or those calming ocean views… either way, this is a home that really is a sanctuary for the busy family who live here.

    For many more pics of Louise and Stephen’s beautiful home, do POP BACK and revisit the original story!

    Looking from front living room to entrance hall. Rug by Designer Rugs and Dinosaur Designs, Side table on left by Arne Jacobsen, side table on right by Stephen Ormandy for Dinosaur Designs.  Gary Hume artwork, ceramic pot by John Olsen.  Mobile by Louise Olsen.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Australian Homes

    Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Martin and Louise McIntosh

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  2015!!  Holy Moley. Bring. it. ON!

    TODAY we’re revisiting another favourite from our 2014 Australian Homes archive – the incredible home of Martin and Louise McIntosh, founders and owners of Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.  With impeccable mid-century styling, a seriously impressive art collection and the most incredible array of eclectic details (Tiki mug, anyone?) it’s clear these two art and design aficionados practice what they preach!

    The incredible mid-century Melbourne home of Martin and Louise McIntosh, founders and owners of Outré Gallery!  Pictured above, Louise and Martin’s front room / record room – ‘this is the room we use for ‘best’ says Louise!  ‘Martin will often play something from his large vinyl collection in here which opens to the dining area.  It’s a great space to sit with friends after a meal’.  Green Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair (Martin’s first furniture purchase in the early 1990’s and to this day still his favourite chair!’.  Salon hung artwork on the wall includes an early 1960’s original MAD magazine illustration, a 1953 abstract by Danish artist Mogens Lohmann, an original 1967 Men’s Adventure Surfing cover illustration, contemporary self portrait in top right by US artist Charles Schneider, and George Nelson Eye clock. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    View from the front room to the formal dining area. The clerestory windows, joinery and lights are all original to the house, one of the many design features which Louise and Martin originally fell for!  The open shelves house many of the pair’s favourite glass and ceramic pieces. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Martin’s AMAZING collection of American tiki mugs, proudly on display in the ‘Den’. These mugs have been collected over many years on regular trips to the US, as well as travels around the South Pacific including Hawaii and the Marquesas Islands.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Another view of the Den!  Louise’s favourite room for the size and colour and atmosphere.  The timber lined ceiling is original, Louise and Martin added grasscloth wallpaper to the walls. A favourite artwork here (top) is by illustrator Mort Künstler and was done for an early 1960s Men’s Adventure magazine cover. Cushions are by Swedish designer Stig Lindberg.   Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Martin and Louise McIntosh of Outré Gallery live in this amazing mid century home in Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs with their two kids April and Edward, and much loved dachshunds Parker and Fritz.  Their home is a testament to their passion for all things collectible – it’s filled with the most spectacular edit of mid-century pieces, artwork by Shag and other popular lowbrow artists, and collectibles such as tiki mugs, mid century ceramics and glassware and much more.

    Martin and Louise’s home was originally designed by architects Godfrey, Spowers, Hughes, Mewton & Lobb, and built in 1964, but four years ago, Martin and Louise decided to tackle an extension / renovation, with the assistance of local architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects.  The resulting improvements and add-ons are almost indistinguishable from the original building, especially the separate guest house in the front garden, inspired by mid century Australian designer Gordon Andrew, with its facade of colour-backed glass panels. ‘We wanted something that was sympathetic to the era of the original house, and the collaboration with Nest was perfect for our requirements’ says Martin.

    Alongside the impressively preserved mid century features of the home, another popular element when we first shared this story were the beautiful mid-century inspired gardens and central courtyard, designed by local landscape gardener Matthew Bowers aka The Modernist Gardener – a fitting finishing touch for this perfectly preserved mid century gem!

    For the full story and many more pics of this truly unique Melbourne home, do POP BACK and revisit the original post!

    Front garden and separate guesthouse, designed by local architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects to complement the mid-century style of the main house.  ‘We regularly have interstate family, friends or visiting artists come and stay so it is often full’ says Louise. ‘Essentially it’s just a bedroom with ensuite, but we had a chance to do something really fun here, and Emilio indulged our folly… as this sits within our front garden we wanted something that could be both functional but also be something we liked to look at’. Inspired by mid century Australian designer Gordon Andrew, the facade is series of colour-backed glass panels with a slight slope to the roof.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Bonnie and Neil · Winter Garden

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    It’s no secret we’re big fans of local design duo Bonnie and Neil, who create the most eye-popping homewares and soft furnishings in the boldest of prints and patterns, from their workshop in Brunswick, in Melbourne’s North.

    The latest range from this industrious pair is ‘Winter Garden’, a collection of homewares and soft furnishings inspired by historical conservatory gardens, which brings together deep jewel tones of emerald, indigo and blue, with mustard and of course pink!

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

    It’s been a big year for Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie, the talented duo behind Bonnie and Neil.  The pair have just moved into a brand new studio in Brunswick, which brings with it some exciting opportunities, with more space for production, and space for a showroom – and excitingly, there is also a shop front element, which means Bonnie and Neil will be taking the plunge and launching their very own retail space in April this year.  We will definitely KEEP YOU POSTED!

    In addition to their local fans, Bonnie and Neil continue to gather a loyal international customer base, which is so great to see!  The pair have just returned from NY NOW trade show in New York, and will soon be stocking more boutiques in the US, South America and Canada – including Bloomingdales!  They have also recently started stocking stores in Kuwait and Dubai.

    Bonnie and Neil’s latest collection is ‘Winter Garden’ – a range of cushions, table linen, timber and ceramic homewares inspired by historical conservatory gardens, with their tiled floors, ornate glass ceilings and lush plant life.

    ‘These beautiful ‘indoor jungles’ were filled with huge tropical plants, tapestries and luxurious fabrics – a little plan I have for our ‘dream’ home one day!’ says Bonnie.

    The colours of ‘Winter Garden’ are inspired deep jewel tones, emerald, indigo and blue with mustard and of Bonnie and Neil’s signature hot pink.  The range isn’t quite in store yet, but you will be available online in March, and in stores from end of April.

    Bonnie and Neil are looking forward to another busy year.  After a huge few weeks of trade fairs, they’ll be spending the next 8 weeks setting up their brand new retail space, and planning for launches and showings in their new showroom.  They’ll also be taking on a few more staff, looking for a new studio puppy and having a honeymoon ‘if they have time’ !

    Good luck with that guys…!

    Winter Garden – the latest range of soft furnishings, printed plywood tiles and homewares from Melbourne duo Bonnie and Neil.  Styling – Heather Nette King, Photo – Armelle Habib.

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    Tasty Tuesday

    Roast Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    As February draws to a close, so does this month’s Tasty Tuesday – today marks our final salad in this series!

    Today’s recipe brings together a classic Middle Eastern salad combination – cauliflower and chickpeas. A stellar combo in so many versatile ways, our version is drenched in lemony tahini dressing and spiked with a little sumac for a fruity, spicy finish.

    Roast Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing.  Recipe and styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

    Salad ingredients with Marble Basics bowl. Recipe and styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

    Ingredients served on Shiko ceramics plate and The Fortynine Studio dish. Recipe and styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

    Today’s recipe brings together a classic Middle Eastern salad combination – cauliflower and chickpeas.  Humble ingredients with so much potential!  Anything you can make with a can of chickpeas is alright by me.

    Roasted cauliflower really is a revelation. It is SO easy, simply break up your cauliflower into florets and pop it on a roasting tray – no oil , no seasoning required. It’s the easiest and most delicious way to eat cauliflower, IMHO.

    Please note, I’m no food stylist (although I do try!), and for this particular recipe we quickly realised there really is nothing photogenic about creamy salad dressing, no matter how delicious it is! For this reason, our photographs above shows the dressing served on the side – for aesthetic reasons only! Before you serve your own version, do stir the dressing right through!

    This salad is super versatile, it’s great served with grilled fish, roast or barbequed chicken, or perhaps with a juicy lamb cutlet. It keeps really well too, so will be perfect in your lunchbox the next day!


    For the salad

    • ½ cauliflower
    • ¼ red cabbage
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 1 tablespoon slivered pistachios
    • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
    • 1 generous handful flatleaf parsley

    For the dressing

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon tahini
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • Pinch brown sugar
    • ½ teaspoon Sumac
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    First roast your cauliflower. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius, break your cauliflower into little florets and pop on a baking tray (no oil necessary). Roast for 20-30 minutes, they should be slightly browned when done.  When cooked, allow to cool slightly before compiling your salad.

    Drain and rinse your chickpeas. While I can often be a bit of a food prep purist, there are a few things I just can never, ever, be bothered doing (even though I probably should) and one of them is cooking chickpeas from scratch. Canned chickpeas all the way in my household.

    Slice up your red cabbages and parsley finely.  Toast slivered nuts in a dry frying pan until just golden, being sure to keep a close eye on them – they burn so easily.

    For the dressing, simply combine all dressing ingredients, tasting as you go. If you have one, use a bar mix (I think other people call it a ‘stick blender’!?) to whizz up the salad dressing. If not, chuck it all in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously! Save a little of the sumac to sprinkle before you serve.

    Pop all your salad vegetables in your serving bowl, add dressing, mix and serve immediately.

    Thanks so much for sharing another salad adventure with me this month!  Next month we have the MOST AMAZING Tasty Tuesday lined up… can’t wait to share!

    Salad ready to go, Thonet Bentwood chair in background. Recipe and styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

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    Australian Homes

    Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    They don’t make apartments like they used to.  Sean and I couldn’t quite believe our eyes when we recently visited the apartment of Melbourne artists Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter in Balaclava.  It is just SO wonderfully generous in its proportions, bigger than most houses we shoot, in fact.  Updated with restraint, and decorated with a respectful nod to its ’60s roots, today’s home strikes the perfect balance.

    The Balaclava apartment of Melbourne artists Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter and their daughter Roma.  Above – living room.  On the art shelf, paintings from left to right by Lisa Radford, Ross Coulter, Renee Cosgrave, Alasdair McLukie, Merryn Lloyd, Kate Smith, Steven Rendall and Ross Coulter. The Australian cedar oval table is a family heirloom, whilst the chairs were picked up from Sacred Heart op shop in St Kilda.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    On the art shelf, paintings from left to right by Merryn Lloyd, Kate Smith, Steven Rendall and Ross Coulter. The Australian cedar oval table is a family heirloom, whilst the chairs were picked up from Sacred Heart op shop in St Kilda.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Artwork detail, featuring work from left to right by Kate Smith, Steven Rendall and Ross Coulter. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Living room.  From left to right artworks by Michael Ciavarella, Meredith Turnbull, Milly Cobb, Meredith and Lisa Radford. Coffee table made by Ross Coulter. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Sitting room.  Artwork on the bookshelf from left to right, Melinda Harper vase, Turnbull/Coulter candelabra, Sean Peoples resin vases, woven basket from Yirrkala Art Centre, Nhulunbuy, Bridie Lunney bronze and stone sculpture, Inuit figures from Nunavut territory Canada, Meredith Turnbull sculpture and fragments from ‘Concrete Boat’ by Ross Coulter, Michael Ciavarella and Alex Ippoliti. Large panel by Meredith Turnbull for the Sievers Project, CCP, Melbourne. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


    Sitting room detail.  Planet lamp from Chapel St Bazaar, Maidenhair fern, Meredith’s collection of Sight and Sound magazines from early 1990s onwards. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Morning light in the living room (which opens on to the private patio garden). The Australian cedar oval table is a family heirloom, whilst the chairs were picked up from Sacred Heart op shop in St Kilda.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Kitchen with original floor tiles, splashback, cabinets and blind!  La Sorrentina coffeemaker (‘best wedding gift ever’ says Meredith!), harlequin op shop cookie jar, vintage Japanese earthenware pot for utensils, Arts Projects cat tile by Brigid Hanrahan. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Dining room. Thonet bar stools and chair, artworks by Dane Lovett (left) and Beth Caird (right), re-potted rescued Dracaena and laminex table. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Master bedroom.  Artwork by Meredith Turnbull above bed, Grandmother’s crochet blanket, op shop table and lamp.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Powder room adjacent to bedroom. Handmade rabbits by Jenny Turnbull, family heirloom Victorian wood inlaid sewing box, Oxfam woven basket.  All built-in cabinetry original.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Bathroom – original vanity, wallpaper and bathroom fixtures. Lemon button fern. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Meredith’s home studio. Screens by Meredith Turnbull. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Ross’s study / studio, with paintings by Michael Ciavarella (left) and Anita Foard (right). Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Baby Roma, Ross and Meredith at home! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Built in the late 1960’s, the apartment of Melbourne artists Meredith Turnbull and Ross Coulter in Balaclava is BIG.  The home comprises two generous living spaces, the biggest kitchen I have ever seen (in either a house or an apartment!), a dining room, 4 bedrooms (two are used as studio / workspaces), an entrance foyer and a lush private patio garden.  Once inside, it really doesn’t feel like you’re in an apartment at all.

    Meredith and Ross live here with their gorgeous five month old daughter Roma, and have been here for two and a half years.  When they took possession of the apartment, they also bought number of key furniture pieces from the previous owners, resulting in a lovely and somewhat unexpected mish mash of older style furniture and  contemporary details, alongside an impressive collection of artwork by creative friends and contemporaries.

    Though they have have retained many of the original 60’s features here, such as the glam lighting fixtures, kitchen and bathroom cabinetry and carpet throughout, some things did have to go!  The bedrooms, living areas, bathrooms, laundry and the foyer were all heavily wallpapered when Meredith and Ross moved in – they stripped most of this wallpaper back themselves, and had most rooms painted white.

    The pair designed a floor to ceiling bookshelf for the living room, which was built by Meredith’s cousin John Sweeney, a builder/carpenter.  One particularly clever addition was the art shelf, which spans two walls in the second living area – an ideal flexible solution to display the pair’s ever growing collection of art and collectible objects.

    Many of Meredith and Ross’s possessions are time-honoured pieces with real sentimental value – there is very little ‘brand new’ about this apartment. ‘We have combined inherited with new furniture, op shop and vintage finds alongside things we have built or made ourselves’ says Meredith of her eclectic home. ‘We have bentwood chairs with late sixties brocade couches. We love books, indoor plants and are always rotating and featuring our growing collection of artworks by friends and artists we love’.

    The kitchen table is a particular favourite, an early 1960’s patterned laminex table with brass legs which was inherited from Meredith’s paternal Grandfather.  The large white glass-topped coffee table is also a treasured piece, originally made by Ross for an exhibition he curated which featured artwork by both Meredith, Ross and their friend Sean Peoples at Sutton Project Space - the table is a nice remnant of that show, and has been with Meredith and Ross ever since.

    With so many artworks by friends and collaborators represented here, its hard for Meredith and Ross to single out ‘favourites’ from their collection, but one particularly treasured piece is a diptych of contemporary Adam and Eve figures by their friend, local artist Michael Ciavarella. A Steven Rendall painting called ‘Succulent’ from 2006 is another much loved piece, having been included in Meredith’s first curated exhibition.

    It’s so lovely that we’re beginning to see more and more late ‘60s and ‘70s homes being cherished and preserved in this way. As this apartment clearly demonstrates, there is so much to love about homes of this era, with their quirky original features, generous proportions, floor to ceiling windows and bucketloads of natural light.  ‘We love the original features, especially the tiles in the kitchen and the vanities in the bathrooms’ say Meredith. ‘It’s also a great family home because careful consideration has been given to both the shared and private spaces, and it’s easy to close a door and have some quite time or a room to yourself’.

    Huge thanks to Meredith and Ross and Roma for sharing their inspired home with us today.

    Ross and Meredith’s private patio garden. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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    Melbourne Mornings

    Raph Rashid of Beatbox Kitchen

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Today we share the second instalment in our ‘Melbourne Mornings’ video series!  This morning we’re in very different territory, as we shadow legendary local foodie Raph Rashid of Beatbox Kitchen, All Day Donuts and Taco Truck on a typical morning.

    You might have noticed, we have also launched our brand new TDF Films section today – a dedicated space to browse through all our video content.  We are SO excited to bring you many more ace films over the coming weeks!

    We launched our debut video series ‘Melbourne Mornings’ last month to such a wonderful response – thank you ALL for getting behind all our new projects, we really REALLY appreciate it!

    Today we’re following up with the second video in this 6-part series, featuring legendary local foodie Raph Rashid.  The founding father of Melbourne’s food truck scene, Raph is proprietor of Beatbox Kitchen, All Day Donuts and Taco Truck (you gotta hand it to a guy with 3 bustling businesses and no proper website to speak of!)

    Huge thanks to our filmmaker Paris Thomson of SIRAP, and to local band Milwaukee Banks for lending us the instrumental version of their tune ‘Van Gogh’ to accompany this film – you can check out this ace track with the original vocals on Soundcloud.

    This episode of Melbourne Mornings follows Raph on his typical morning routine, from breakfast at home with his family through to his busy morning with his crew at work.  All in all, Raph’s mornings are surprisingly chilled out!  You would think any household with two primary school kids would be MENTAL at 8.00am, but no… in the Rashid household, it’s eerily calm.

    ‘Each morning is slightly different, but for the most part we like to take it chill and give each other room to relax and consider what the day will bring’ he says. ‘Our routine is always changing with the kids growing up, but I still love to make them lunch’.

    We hope you love this little snapshot into Raph’s world.

    Raph’s book, Hungry For That, published by Hardie Grant, is available online and in all good bookshops.

    Raph Rashid with his brothers Rudin and Johann, and the Beatbox Kitchen burger truck.  Photo – Eve Wilson.

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    Monthly Musing

    Monthly Musing · Couch for Sale

    Zoe Foster Blake

    It’s the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for our new-ish ‘Monthly Musing’ column!  This guest column is loosely themed around our favourite topics – homes, interiors and design, and each month we invite a different writer / personality / awesomely entertaining person to share their anecdotal or autobiographical ‘musing’.

    This month we’re thrilled to welcome best selling author, columnist and founder of Go-To SkincareZoe Foster Blake to the hallowed halls of TDF!  Having lived in various apartments / homes across Sydney before settling down in Melbourne with her fella Hamish Blake around two years ago, Zoe knows a thing or two about setting up house.  Today she shares with us a few valuable lessons learned about restraint and patience when it comes to home decoration.  BEWARE the floor stock clearance section!

    Illustration by Grace Lee, an Australian illustrator currently working in Tokyo.

    You should never judge a person by his or her couch.

    Unless, of course, that couch looks like a horizontal Michelin man, and is made of red, shiny, tough leather, in which case you should judge them until you’re short of breath and damp with sweat.

    I had such a couch. It was bought in haste, and surprisingly, sobriety. I had just moved into a glorious, art deco apartment in Potts Point, and crazed with excitement, I decided a trip to the Supacenta (it’s as fancy as the spelling suggests) was in order. I flirted briefly with the idea of ordering a King sofa, cos they’re well made and present useful storage opportunities, but when I found out it’d take 12 weeks, I balked. Twelve weeks? I want to entertain this weekend! I need something in there fast. I wanna start living already! Why are you trying to stop me from living, King Furniture?!

    It was this precise juvenile impatience that sealed the aesthetic doom of that apartment. The bones were fantastic: dark wooden floorboards, ornate, high ceilings, cloudy grey and moody navy on the walls…it had been freshly renovated by people with taste; even the most simple furniture would work.

    No thanks!

    I chose to spend a whole month’s wage on a garish, bulbous red sofa instead, because it was floor stock, and they could deliver it on Monday, and I wanted ‘a stand out sofa’ which is code for :

    ‘I have noticed a brightly-coloured couch in Belle or on Tumblr and I will copy that look in a frightfully amateur fashion.’

    There were other captives taken during my violent voyage of instant gratification: a dining table (a blocky monster with bench seats that were not only spectacularly uncomfortable but hardly actually fit in the allocated space, demanding Olympic gymnastic ability from all who dared to join me for dinner), a coffee table, rug, bedside tables, and the guest room sofa bed. Apparently I thought Neale, Shayna and Darren would be sweeping through later that afternoon.

    I furnished the apartment with trinkets born of my love for the pioneering-lumberjack-hipster look popular at the time, and spent whole weekends trawling Vinnies and second hand furniture stores for whisky trolleys and kitsch vases and vintage dressers, which, coupled with my affection for loud prints and novelty art, made for a lively abode. Or as one guest said, ‘it’s a bit like being in a little museum,’ which luckily is only offensive if you’re deeply insecure like I am.

    When I moved to Melbourne in 2013, following a year renovating our new home, we began with a clean slate, and a ‘Quality Only’ policy. The era of instant gratification was over! Rooms would remain bare until they weren’t! All my urgent fictional dinner parties could wait! Only the beautiful or the practical would enter. (And that’s just the visitors, boom-tish!) (Sorry.)

    We wanted stuff we’d still love in 10 years time. Grown-up, married people stuff. Stuff that would look great whether in this house or a potential new house. Stuff that was designed beautifully, thoughtfully. We finally had the resources and patience to understand investing in quality! Except for the patience.

    As anyone scarred by renovating knows, things take for god damn ever. This does not end once it’s time to furnish your shiny new digs. So, why not buy a beautiful Arflex lounge in baseball glove tan like you always wanted. Relaaax; it will only take 16 weeks. Order some chairs from Living Edge, but be sure to custom powdercoat each of them a different colour so you add a month to production. And don’t forget to order some Kartell armchairs from Space! (Or rather, do forget, for a couple of months), then find out they also take 16 weeks, or in non-showroom speak, ‘four f**king months.’

    It has since occurred to me to order furniture while you’re still renovating, but, then again, I do like to see the lounge in place before I buy the rug, and the rug in place before I buy the cutlery, and so on.

    The perfect outcome always takes time. No great project was ever created in haste.  It takes time to find the right pieces, and even longer to be able to save for and acquire them. And as with anything you have to wait for, you appreciate them so much more.

    Which is why I am selling my red sofa for $7000, and holding it in storage for four months after it’s been paid for. Email me if you’re interested.

    Zoe Foster Blake is an author, columnist and founder of Go-To skincare.

    Grace Lee is an Australian illustrator currently working in Tokyo. She is represented by Jacky Winter.

    Illustration by Grace Lee, an Australian illustrator currently working in Tokyo.

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  • 03/01/15--11:00: TDF Collect · Fred Fowler
  • Art

    TDF Collect · Fred Fowler

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Well it’s been far too long but FINALLY we are pleased to announce we are hosting another TDF Collect exhibition very soon, and we are thrilled that our first solo show this year will feature the work of Melbourne painter Fred Fowler!

    ‘Another Day in Oceania’ is the name of Fred’s upcoming exhibition, which we’re opening next Thursday March 12th at our little gallery space in Brunswick.  If you’re in Melbourne, do join us! It’ll be the final show in Brunswick, before our little gallery moves to Collingwood next month.

    The Footscray studio of artist Fred Fowler, featuring works created for ‘Another Day in Oceania‘, Fred’s upcoming exhibition with us at TDF Collect!  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Artist Fred Fowler in his Footscray studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Detail from Fred’s studio.  Artwork is 7000 Blue Gums, Oil paint and spray paint on wood, 78 x 94 cm framed, $2950 for Fred’s upcoming show at TDF Collect in Brunswick. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Details from Fred’s studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Fred Fowler at work in his studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Details from the studio of Fred Fowler.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    The Footscray studio of Fred Fowler.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Details from Fred’s studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Feather Wattle‘ by Fred Fowler, Oil paint and spray paint on wood, 60 x 72 cm framed, $2200, for Fred’s upcoming show ‘Another Day in Oceania’ at TDF Collect in Brunswick.

    Fruit Bat Country‘ by Fred Fowler, Oil paint and spray paint on wood, 78 x 94 cm framed, $2950, for Fred’s upcoming show ‘Another Day in Oceania’ at TDF Collect in Brunswick.

    I first stumbled across the work of Melbourne painter Fred Fowler by chance late last year. I was instantly drawn to Fred’s distinctive colour palette of muted greens, greys and blues, and the floating marine-like forms. I knew his work would be the perfect addition to our TDF Open House event in December, and we were so happy to include a few of his pieces (one of which proudly graced the cover of our event newspaper). It’s always gratifying when you guys really respond well to one of these new discoveries, and indeed you did – the few paintings we had at Open House were snapped up on day one!  It seemed only right, then, to invite Fred to join us for a solo show at TDF Collect this year.  To our great delight, he accepted.

    With a background in street art, Fred completed his Masters in Contemporary Art at the VCA in 2012, and has since been practising art full time from his studio in Footscray.  We interviewed Fred late last year – do re-visit that story for a little more of Fred’s backstory!

    Another Day in Oceania‘ is a body of work which has been inspired in large part by Fred’s travels around Australia and to Papua New Guinea over the last couple of years. ‘We live in such an interesting part of the world here in Oceania’ says Fred. ‘I’ve been trying to find a way to make subtle paintings about some of the cultural and political issues that we are dealing with in this country, and for the moment the landscape is allowing me to do that’ he explains.

    Fred’s paintings are layered with semi-abstract floating forms which give rise to various interpretations.  Small animals and marine life seems to float across the canvases, whilst cultural symbols such as shields, weapons, buildings and flames give the paintings a broader context.

    ‘You know when you are looking at your house or something on Google maps, then you zoom out, and keep zooming out and it gives you this great feeling of perspective?’ explains Fred. ‘There’s just so much you can express when you pull back and get that perspective and feeling of vastness, that’s a part of what I’m trying to capture with these paintings’.

    We feel very lucky to host this show with Fred, before he jets off to Korea in July for a residency at the Gimhae Clayarch Museum in Gyeongsang. There he will work with six amazing ceramic artists, which will then culminate in an exhibition at the museum. We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop with all his news!  In the meantime, if you’re in Melbourne, do join us next week for the opening of Fred’s show!

    All the works in the exhibition are now pictured on the TDF Collect website and we are accepting pre-sales for the show via email.  All enquiries please email – thankyou!

    Another Day in Oceania by Fred Fowler
    12th – 18th March 2015
    TDF Collect
    87 Albert St
    Brunswick, VIC

    Opening night – Thursday 12th March, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

    TDF Collect is sponsored by Dulux, Cervezas Alhambra, Capi and All Saints Estate.  All are welcome to our opening night event on next week to view Fred’s artworks in person and share a drink with the artist!

    Artist Fred Fowler in his Footscray studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

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    Yvette Coppersmith · Summer Arrangements

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith is a new discovery for us, though she’s a prolific and well respected part of Melbourne’s talented community of artists, and if I’m honest, we really should have profiled her long before now!

    Yvette’s latest body of work will be exhibited at Fort Delta Gallery in Melbourne this week, in a show entitled ‘Summer Arrangements’.

    Geranium and Succulents‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on canvas, 80 x 59.5cm, 2015.

    Sculpted Head‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 84cm x 62cm, 2015.

    Roses, Masking Tape and Tennis Ball‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 71.5cm x 56cm, 2015.

    Dried Flowers, Bottle and Cup‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 66.5 x 51cm, 2015.

    Black Vase, Kangaroo Paw‘ by Yvette Coppermith, oil on linen, 61 x 51cm, 2015.

    Red and Yellow Blooms with Besa Blocks‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 61cm x 51cm, 2015.

    Melbourne artist Yvette Coppersmith completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2001. Since then, her practice has expanded and evolved to encompass various styles of painting, from working in photorealist portraiture, to more gestural figures, interiors, and most recently still life.

    ‘My influences have changed vastly over the past 14 years, it’s a case of constantly aligning my practice with the kinds of work that inspires me’ says Yvette. ‘That sense of breaking new ground – progressions and new challenges I develop through my craft – is what’s exciting’.

    Yvette cites many local artists and contemporaries as key influences in her work, they include Jake Walker, Josey Kidd Crowe, Kirra Jamison, Oscar Perry, Meredith Turnbull and Esther Stewart.  Added to these reference points are Yvette’s own life experiences, particularly a trip to Spain in 2012, where she spent time viewing a number of key works by Picasso. ‘The Cubist influence has recognisably seeped into my work’ she explains, ‘I love the flexibility to move between different ways of working’.

    Yvette’s latest body of work will be exhibited at Fort Delta Gallery in Melbourne’s CBD this week, in a show entitled ‘Summer Arrangements’. This collection of still life paintings came into being over the quiet summertime in Melbourne, inspired by spontaneous social gatherings with fellow artists and creatives.

    ‘The camaraderie of the art world is quieter over Summer, when galleries are closed, and so I invited art friends over for BBQs and asked them to bring objects from their home, or studio, or a garden picked bloom to add to my arrangements’ explains Yvette. These festive social gatherings provided a starting point for Yvette’s creative process. It was the energy and encouragement of Yvette’s talented friends, as much as the objects they contributed, which helped to inform this body of work.  ‘I have taken the objects as a visual starting point, and they’ve informed my work in the same way that artist friendships shape and help incubate creative work’ she says.

    It’s set to be a busy year for Yvette.  After this show, she will collaborate with friend and fellow local artist Sanne Maestrom to create a series of still life works depicting Sanne’s sculptural pieces.  Then, in April, Yvette heads to the Northern Territory to work alongside local communities of artists, in a residency which will see her run workshops on painting and colour mixing.  Yvette is excited about this opportunity, ‘no doubt we’ll be learning from each other, and I’ll come back with a changed perspective’ she says.

    Summer Arrangements by Yvette Coppersmith
    Open from 5 – 28 March
    Fort Delta Gallery
    Shop 59, Capitol Arcade (Basement Level)
    113 Swanston Street,
    Melbourne, VIC

    Blue Hydrangeas, Leaves in Plastic Cup‘ by Yvette Coppersmith, oil on linen, 86.5cm x 61cm, 2015.

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    Tasty Tuesday

    Banh Xeo · Vietnamese Crispy Pancake

    Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen

    The most excellent and most instagrammed new restaurant in Melbourne right now is Phamily Kitchen.  Serving up fresh and intensely flavoursome modern Vietnamese daily, this place is the business.  It’s run by Michael Pham, previously of ‘Tiny’ cafe in Collingwood… who, it seems, was always destined to return to his roots and open a restaurant inspired by his family’s heritage.

    We are SO excited to welcome Michael to Tasty Tuesday this month! We’re kicking off with my absolute FAVE item on the Phamily Kitchen menu – Michael’s prawn and pork Banh Xeo, or vietnamese crispy pancake. SO DAMN GOOD.

    Vietnamese Crispy Pancake or ‘Banh Xeo’ – recipe by Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen, photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

    Vietnamese Crispy Pancake or ‘Banh Xeo’ – recipe by Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen, photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

    For a very, very, very long time Vietnamese food intimidated me. I didn’t ever think I could cook it as well as my mother, grandmothers or aunties… so I didn’t even bother. So at home I would always cook Italian, Turkish, French, American, Chinese, Japanese, you name it, I’d try it. But never food from the motherland. Nah uh. ‘I’m not good enough!’ I thought. Then, a couple of years ago, I threw caution to the wind and went for it, and I’ve never looked back. It’s just so damn light, fresh, delicate, fragrant, and most of the time so simple to make.

    And now, there’s Phamily Kitchen on Smith St, which pays homage to these family favourites, along with nods to the Victoria St/Footscray/Cabramatta/Inala/Darra restaurants of my youth.  Bright colours, pastel pink ceilings, melamine cutlery, Chinese tea, freaky-coloured drinks, it’s all there.

    This month I’m going to feature five of my fave family-style recipes, all of which feature on the shop menu, to hopefully demonstrate that Vietnamese food is more than just Pho and Banh Mi (which we’ll show you how to make anyway!).

    Whenever my friend Nathan and I wander down to Victoria St for an impromptu feed, he always feels compelled to order Banh Xeo. Since most places smash it out in the largest family-sized wok they can find, it usually becomes a group meal – a bit of a spectacle, especially when we’re a bit rowdy. However on a recent trip back to the motherland I discovered that the ladies at Ba Le Well Kitchen in Hoi An cook them in these elegant little pans, on butane burners in a row of 12 at a time. I was inspired by this slightly daintier cooking method – it’s less of a food orgy, and far tastier than the jumbo family-woks I’ve become accustomed to.

    This dish is great for so many reasons. Besides being amazingly crispy, and easy; it looks damn impressive – the batter is easy to make, the bright yellow colour pops on the table and is certain to get mouths watering. Ask Lucy, she insisted on eating it on both shoots! (*guilty as charged! – Lucy)


    For the batter

    • 1 cup rice flour
    • 1/2 cup cornflour
    • Pinch of tumeric or two to colour
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions

    For the filling

    • 150g pork belly, 1cm pieces, pan fried until golden, and small cooked prawns, halved; or
    • grilled firm white fish like barramundi; or
    • grilled tofu


    • 2 carrots, grated
    • 1/2 white daikon, grated
    • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • Water to cover
    • 1/4 shredded iceberg lettuce
    • 150g packet bean sprouts
    • Coriander sprigs
    • Fried onions

    Nuoc cham dressing

    • 1/2 cup fish sauce
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • Dash of fresh lemon or white vinegar to taste

    For the dressing, dissolve sugar in warm water, and gradually add the fish sauce to taste – some brands will be stronger than others so go easy and add until it tastes about right. Pop a squeeze of fresh lemon or a dash of white vinegar in for zestiness. Set aside.

    Make some quick pickles. Grate the carrot and daikon, and let soak in the fridge in vinegar, water and sugar for at least ten minutes.

    To make the pancake batter, whisk together rice flour, cornflour, tumeric and coconut milk. Add 1 1/2 cups water and salt, whisk well. Let batter sit for 10 minutes, then stir in spring onions.

    Heat a small 20-24cm non-stick frypan with a little oil over near high heat. Whisk batter well each time beforehand. When oil is shiny but not smoking, tilt pan and evenly ladle a thin layer of batter on.

    Quickly add prepared fillings to the batter before it sets.

    Cook crepe until almost dry and crispy (it’s gotta still be moist enough to fold over). Add a neat handful of bean sprouts and let cook down for 2-3 minutes.

    Fold crepe over with spatula, slide the crepe onto your plate.

    Serve with shredded lettuce leaves, pickled carrot, daikon, coriander, fried onions and the nuoc cham dressing.

    Phamily Kitchen
    374 Smith Street
    Collingwood, VIC 3066

    Michael Pham of Phamily Kitchen channelling the distinctive decor of his fab little restaurant in Collingwood.  Ten out of ten for effort! Photo – Sean Fennessy for The Design Files.

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  • 03/03/15--11:00: Penny Lane
  • Sydney Home

    Penny Lane

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    Whilst we do love bold colour and eclectic details, it must be said that when it comes to houses, there is very little more photogenic than a bright white space with white painted floors. Crisp, classic, and oh so bright and beautiful.  Such is the luminous living and working space of Sydney photographer Penny Lane.

    The beautiful bright studio apartment of Sydney creative Penny Lane (yes, that’s her real name!). From left to right – Artworks on right wall (just visible) by Trudy More and Jess Racklyeft, hand painted pot by Penny under her own label, ‘Jaguar Shark’, photograph in frame taken by by Penny’s Grandfather in the ’60s, carved wooden lamp inherited from Penny’s Grandmother, Lucy Lane. Fiddle Leaf Fig plant from Saint Cloche gallery / café / plant shop in Paddington, a small block mounted print of Penny’s available for sale via her Instagram page, hand splatter-painted cushion cover by Penny’s friend Bianca Vallentine of The Vallentine Project, artwork given to Penny (i.e. left in her garage!) by former flatmate Nick Hall – ‘he is amazing! I’m very lucky!’ says Penny, artwork to far right by Noah Taylor.  Planet lamp to right was Penny’s Grandpa John Lane’s office lamp, and beneath this sits Penn’s favourite scented candle, ‘The Graduate’, by Tete A Tete Incendere, a local perfumer in Darlinghurst called Vicki Kim. ‘These are AMAZING’ says Penny, ‘…and her website is so inspiring too’. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    ‘I love the space and light in my kitchen’ says Penny, who loves to cook. Her Kylie Kwong cookbook is a firm favourite – ‘Kylie Kwong is amazing!’ she says. ‘I love the ethos that she lives / works by’. The painted plant pot to the right was made by Penny, created under her
    little label ‘Jaguar Shark’.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Lush indoor jungle in Penny’s kitchen. Hanging pot plant by Bridget Bodenham, handmade hanging pot (& pickled cherries!) by Penny’s friend Anna Slowaik, little black & gold cement tealight votive by Penny aka Jaguar Shark. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Penny’s own floral photographic artworks (available to buy in limited edition) hangs above her favourite vintage drinks trolley, found in an oldschool op-shop in Redfern. Alongside this, one of Penny’s favourite chairs – a set of two  John Duffecy Australia chairs found at a Salvo’s – initially green, she painted them laquer black.  The plant stand is, amazingly, a $6.00 Kmart find – ‘hmm should I tell people this secret?’ says Penny! Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    View from living room up to mezzanine bedroom.  From left to right – hanging macramé by Typo, little black table a favourite garage sale find which Penny later painted black.  From the same amazing garage sale Penny scored the painting hanging above – ‘its got a lovely hand inscription on the back, someone brought it back from Italy and gave it to someone I guess in Melbourne as a present in the 60s’ says Penny. Aluminium gold lamp from an opshop, little chair from an antique warehouse somewhere on the South Coast of NSW near Kangaroo Valley. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Tiny mezzanine bedroom, handpainted pot by Penny, antique Korean screen inherited from Penny’s Great Auntie who once lived in Korea, amazing Nanna quilt by Mozi. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Bathroom details. Missoni hand towel, a gift from Penny’s dear friend Kirsty Correy of Correy & Lyon. Amazing handmade natural organic beauty & cleansing products called ‘The Products‘ by local makeup artist and skincare professional Rebecca Clark (Penny swears by these and highly recommends them!). Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Penny at work at her dining table.  Ikea trestle legs, a door from Bunnings, bentwood chair found on the side of the road, placemats hand painted by Penny for her little homewares label Jaguar Shark. On the laptop screen, another one of Penny’s photographic prints from her florals series. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Penny at home.  ‘This dress is one of my favourite vintage pieces of all time – a ’40s crepe dress with gold sequin detail from Oh Henry Vintage in Perth’ says Penny.  Worn here with Gorman shoes. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

    Sydney photographer and creative all-rounder Penny Lane (yes, that is her real name) lives and works from this open plan studio apartment in Chippendale, in what was once an old chocolate factory, now known as the ‘MacRobertson building’.

    Penny shares her amazing apartment with her beloved pup Rocky Raccoon.  She’s renting, and though she’s been here only 6 months, Penny has already (understandably) fallen head over heels in love with her unique new abode. She hopes very much to be here for a long time, though she says just last week the building was put on the market, so the future looks a little uncertain for now.

    Not long after moving in, Penny set about freshening up the space with a fresh coat of white paint.  ‘I repainted all the white, and anything that wasn’t white (like the raw wooden kitchen, for instance) I painted white, white, white!’ she says.  The painted floors in particular give this space such a spectacular brightness and incredible sense of space – this is such a quick and cost effective treatment for any kind of floor (floorboards, chipboard, concrete) which has seen better days.

    After brightening up her space, Penny’s next step was to fill it with as many plants as possible!  ‘Theres no outside space here, which is the only thing lacking, so I’ve tried to bring the outside in’ she says.

    If you take some time perusing the epic captions Penny kindly shared with us (we do love an exhaustive caption), you’ll quickly realise Penny has a serious knack for fossicking.  As it happens, almost everything here has been inherited or salvaged from second hand shops in the last six months alone, since Penny previously lived in share houses, with a lot less stuff.

    ‘The furniture is all from garage sales/ roadside collection/ op shops and vintage stores’ says Penny.  ‘A lot of them have their own little story, like one day I was running late to a meeting in Marrickville, and out of the corner of my eye, piled up on the front of an op shop’s footpath I saw a set of chairs, so I chucked a crazy u-wy and parked illegally and bought the chairs, somehow fitting them into the back of my car, and I still wasn’t even THAT late for my meeting!’ she recalls proudly! ‘I always seem to be finding the best things out of the corner of my op-shop-eagle eye when I’m meant to be doing something else or running late for something… but I just can’t help it…!’

    Amongst op shop finds and roadside treasures, you’ll spot the odd obligatory Ikea best seller here, alongside a handful of artworks and prints by talented creative friends. ‘I am so lucky to have the most amazing artists as dear friends, and to be surrounded by so many creative people’ says Penny.  She’s particularly fond of an artwork by her friend Jess Racklyeft, a Melbourne based illustrator. ‘I’ve known Jess since grade 1 and she is a constant source of inspiration to me, and always gives me a kick up the butt when I need encouragement to do things!’ says Penny. (Apparently it was Jess who encouraged Penny to submit shots of her apartment for this story!)

    Penny’s own beautiful photographic prints are also represented here – we particularly love her floral series (these will soon be available online, alongside Penny’s own fledgling handcrafted homewares label, Jaguar Shark – sorry no links yet but we’ll update this post when we have them!).

    Penny is endearingly gushy about the beautiful, versatile creative space she calls home. It’s clear she’s found her perfect pad. ‘There are so many creative businesses and artists in this area, its just a really lovely, friendly, and inspirational space to inhabit.  We can pretty much do whatever we like here (events, openings, exhibitions ) and that freedom in a rented space is rare and not taken for granted’ she says.

    And whilst we could certainly end the story here, being a high-schooler of the ‘90s myself, I just have to close with Penny’s nostalgic TV reference below – gold!

    ‘I think I’m finally living out my dream that has been burning strong ever since watching Heartbreak High in high school, and drooling over Drazic, and being so so jealous of the friends living in a warehouse space…’ says Penny. ‘I’ve always wanted to live and work in an arty warehouse space and have my own photo studio in it, so all these years later its finally coming true, ha ha!’

    Living room – antique ‘Ralli’ quilt from Pakistan, from Chee Soon & Fitzgerald in Redfern.  Left artwork by Trudy Morre and right artwork by Jess Racklyeft.  Penny’s adorable pup Rocky Raccoon sits on the couch! Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


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  • 03/04/15--11:00: Wingnut & Co.
  • People

    Wingnut & Co.

    by Lucy Feagins, Editor

    OK I KNOW we’ve been featuring a LOT of local ceramicists lately. We are loving the work of so many talented local potters right now, but today we’re shining a spotlight on clever creative couple Asuka Mew and Anna Miller-Yeaman, who run their own little ceramics studio, Wingnut & Co, in North Melbourne.

    Asuka Mew & Anna Miller-Yeaman of Wingnut & Co in their North Melbourne studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    ‘Donguri (meaning ‘acorn’) is the name given to these sweet handcrafted ceramic vessels with timber lids by Asuka Mew & Anna Miller-Yeaman of Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Sweet handcrafted ceramic vessels by Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Sweet handcrafted ceramic vessels by Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Asuka Mew of Wingnut & Co at work in the couples’ North Melbourne studio.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    The North Melbourne studio of Asuka Mew & Anna Miller-Yeaman of Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    ‘Donguri (meaning ‘acorn’) is the name given to these sweet handcrafted ceramic vessels with timber lids by Asuka Mew & Anna Miller-Yeaman of Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Making the timber lids.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Works in progress at Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Handcrafted ceramic vessels by Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

    Asuka Mew & Anna Miller-Yeaman both studied art at VCA from 2008 – Asuka in painting, and Anna in sculpture. ‘We met in the workshop, and started helping each other out with our respective projects – we became good friends and have been together for six years’ says Anna. Over the past few years the pair have each undertaken varied creative jobs, acquiring various new skills between them, whilst continuing their own art practices.  Asuka has worked in heritage building restoration, picture framing and is currently a furniture maker part-time at Pierre & Charlotte, whilst Anna has worked as a picture framer, in the design industry and exhibits her installation practice at ARI in Melbourne.

    Wingnut & Co. came about after Asuka took a ceramics course at Carlton Arts Centre. After that he says pretty much all his spare time was spent on the potter’s wheel! ‘We borrowed a wheel from a friend, and started a makeshift workspace in our backyard shed in Northcote’ says Anna. In 2013, the pair established Wingnut & Co. in that tiny shed, which Anna says was ‘always a swamp-like mix of wood chips and wet clay!’

    Many of Asuka and Anna’s beautiful, functional designs are influenced by Japanese tableware – ricebowls, tea cups, beer cups etc.  Asuka was raised in Northern Kyushu in Japan, and his parents live in Fukuoka, so the pair visit Japan frequently. When they do, they spend always spent time visiting and revisiting old pottery towns across Japan, and last year Asuka also had the opportunity to learn from a master potter in Itoshima.

    What makes Wingnut & Co. distinctive is that much of the range incorporates a ceramic vessel with a hand turned timber lid.  Once the ceramic vessels are fired, their openings are precisely measured so that an individual timber lid can be turned for each one.  These timber components are created from off-cuts from Asuka’s day job at Pierre & Charlotte.  ‘We really love combining ceramic and timber in our designs and are always trying (and often failing) to find new ways for them to work together’ says Anna.  The pair are also currently trialling other beautiful materials, like brass, in combination with ceramic and timber elements.

    Wingnut & Co. products can be found at stockists across Melbourne including Mr Kitly, Shop Kinobi, Minami Store, Third Drawer Down and more listed on their website.  Asuka and Anna are also looking forward to launching their very own little  shop space at the front of their North Melbourne studio later this month, accompanied by an online shop too – keep your eyes on their instgram for updates!

    Handcrafted ceramic vessels by Wingnut & Co.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

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