A Sunny Melbourne House Is Full of Light, Art, and Charm

published Oct 3, 2019

A Sunny Melbourne House Is Full of Light, Art, and Charm

published Oct 3, 2019
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Name: Sarah Auld-Callinan and family
Location: Pascoe Vale South, Melbourne, Australia
Size: 1507 square feet
Years lived in: 6 years

Sarah and her family live in a two-bedroom, single-fronted home in Melbourne, which was previously renovated in the 1990s. There are details that Sarah—an art teacher and former visual merchandiser—would love to make over, but with two young children, finding the time is hard.

Having moved here six years ago from an open-plan layout warehouse, the conventional layout suits the family. Whilst the space is relatively small, it is filled with treasured artwork, vintage finds, and decor from many Australian, independent designers that Sarah loves—especially from Pinky’s Store!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: The decor of our home constantly changes as things are moved around, put away, and pulled back out. However, color and patterns are constant and lots of bits are made from local designers. Above all, the house is about things we love. Living in a smaller home means we can’t afford to have things taking up space for the sake of it. If we don’t love it or use it, we lose it!

Inspiration: I dream of living in a modernist home in our area; they provide lots of lusting and wishful thinking! The thought of living simply is constantly inspiring. Whilst a third bedroom and storage would be wonderful (and slowly in the works) we are content by the fact that our footprint is small and our home is happy and inviting because of it.

Favorite Element: The amount of light that pours through our living room. From the minute spring hits, the doors are always wide open. Also our vintage cabinet that houses our TV in the living room. It was collecting dust in an office of a company my husband worked for, getting ready to be sold. Thankfully, he got in super quick and it came home with him.

Biggest Challenge: Our home backs onto beautiful parks and a creek, which is a bonus when living in close proximity to the city. This does however mean that dust and bugs of all kind like to invite themselves indoors in the warmer months! Also, lack of storage; it’s nonexistent. 

What Friends Say: ‘How do you keep your house so clean?’ and ‘What have you moved around now?’! It’s all smoke and mirrors! We are just extremely organized because of our busy lives and living small means when a few things are out of place it can turn to chaos very quickly.

Biggest Embarrassment: That six years later we still haven’t painted the architraves or any internal doors, or replaced the brass door knobs that were a part of a stereotypical ’90s reno!

Proudest DIY: Painting the entire house with my husband, white from a horrendous cream at eight and a half months pregnant.

Biggest Indulgence: Not so much an indulgence, but an amazing gift made by my uncle. Our kitchen table that he made himself from Sydney Spotted Gum. Inscribed on the bottom with a beautiful message, it’s home to the kids’ greasy finger prints and a few wine glass stains proving it is loved and used.

Best Advice: As many would say, invest in things you love. I’ve had many a mate roll their eyes at things I’ve brought into our home, but it’s not about them or what magazines deem “on trend.” It’s about surrounding your place with objects that make you happy. Oh, and baskets to hide ridiculous amounts of Lego. 

Dream Sources: Grandfather’s Axe for furniture in Northcote. There isn’t a thing in there I would say no to or couldn’t squeeze into a corner of our place. A piece of Bec Smith’s artwork. Everything about her use of colour and shape is perfect. Pinky’s Store in Preston for homewares. It’s like my Disneyland. I often spend both too much time and money in there, but our home is happier for it!



  • Ceiling white in numerous brands as we were frantic to get the place painted before our first child arrived. As long as it wasn’t cream, I didn’t care what my husband lugged home from Bunnings.








Thanks Sarah and Family!

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