An Australian Photographer Embraces Her House’s 1975 Retro Roots

published Dec 10, 2020

An Australian Photographer Embraces Her House’s 1975 Retro Roots

published Dec 10, 2020
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Name: Abbie Davis and Tristan, with kids Johnny (6) and Richie (3)
Location: Williamstown — Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 2 years

Abbie and Tristan have embraced the retro history and vibe of their family home. Where most people would want to tear down the original wallpaper and paint the walls white—Abbie, who is a photographer and creative director, has added even more color and fun vintage decor to their home of two years. Abbie actually grew up in the area, riding her bike in the local streets and daydreaming about living in the house across the street from this one—but she is super happy to live where she does for a lot of reasons, one of which is she now gets to look at that house everyday from this fun home.

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Along with the vintage furniture and retro vibes, their home is also filled with some of Abbie’s bright floral artworks. Her debut series, “Romance” was created in collaboration with Melbourne florist Bloom Boy “to create prints worthy of lovers homes.” Her work hangs alongside prints from other photographers and artists.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: “Never too much.” I’m a maximalist to the core.

Inspiration: Liberace, Jayne Mansfield, Elvis, and all the homes they lived and loved in. 

Favorite Element: The color and pristine time warp of the house. Built in 1975, it features incredible wallpapers, wooden feature walls, and curved corners. It reminds us of childhood memories at Nana’s house. Perfectly preserved. It’s also 100 meters from the ocean, the sea breeze adding to its charm. 

Oh, and the house is lit like old Vegas.

Biggest Challenge: The era of the house can at times get tiresome. Sometimes I, too, wish for plain white walls and fresh appliances. The thing about Nana’s house was… you always eventually left.

What Friends Say: It reminds them of their childhood, or that they want a fondue/key party. They also cannot believe how well it’s been maintained, which is like new.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of toys I allow my boys to own; when you take into account their dad’s old ones that he’s kept and the new stock coming in… it can be a lot, with nowhere to store.

Proudest DIY: My newest bookshelf for the kids, to display all their “books of the month” facing outwards; I love being able to showcase their incredible covers.

Biggest Indulgence: The art. We have some really excellent photo prints from some great photographers… including one in each room shot buy yours truly.

Best Advice: Commit to color and all the textures you wish. Don’t be afraid of velvet around kids…. they learn to eat and live on the floor hehehe.

Dream Sources: Vintage markets, Gumtree, and estate sales. Etsy and IKEA for finishing touches.



  • Mickey mouse head lunchbox — eBay
  • 1989 White Bear Vintage BMX
  • Blooms — Bloom Boy
  • ”Ronny and Loretta”— Flower print by Mrs White photos
  • ”Just Enough” — Artwork by Brian Kaspr




  • Vintage tins
  • All Cabinetry by original owner
  • Artwork on pinboard by Mr. Johnny White
  • Banana neon by Electric Confetti


  • Bunks — IKEA
  • Bedding — Pottery Barn Kids and Vintage Ebay
  • Toys — From Disneyland
  • Car burnout artwork — By Simon Davidson
  • Kiss Vintage tour jacket — Etsy



  • Kiss cardboard cutout — ebay
  • Kids Drumkit — By Diamond
  • All toys collected from travels and childhood, Lego and Playmobil
  • Shimmer wall — Poppies for Grace

Thanks Abbie, Tristan, and family!

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