An Artist’s 1920s Australian Home Mixes Natural Woods, Muted Colors, and Interesting Forms

published Sep 11, 2020

An Artist’s 1920s Australian Home Mixes Natural Woods, Muted Colors, and Interesting Forms

published Sep 11, 2020
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Name: Ellen Maire, Patrick, and little Joni
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

Ellen, Patrick, and Joni live in a 1920s brick house in Melbourne, and it’s flush with original details such as cornices, ceiling plasterwork, Art Deco design, and lovely wooden window frames. It’s an architectural style that suits the couple’s nature and vintage aesthetic perfectly.

Ellen is an illustrator, painter, and botanical enthusiast who (like many people) has been working from her home, and yes, her artwork does adorn some of the walls. She’s not the only one creating things for their space, though; Patrick works with wood and has crafted smaller items found in their home such as the bedside tables and a shoe rack.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, vintage, natural woods, muted colors, and interesting forms.

Inspiration: Mid-century (of course), ’70s (the good bits), and traditional Japanese influence.

Favorite Element: Our wooden windows, fireplace, and sunlight that fills the house most days.

Biggest Challenge: Keeping the house tidy; we are continually picking up after our tornado toddler.

What Friends Say: I had one friend tell me our house is like a museum, as there was so much to look at in each room.

Biggest Embarrassment: That I tend to blu-tac posters a lot of the time.

Proudest DIY: I can’t make anything other than my artwork, but I absolutely love the beautiful wooden bedside tables that Patrick made that live in our bedroom.

Biggest Indulgence: Linen bedding.

Best Advice: Not to take house styling too seriously. Not everything has to perfectly match; sometimes contrast ends up working the best. 

Dream Sources: Heimur, Woodchuck (Netherlands), CIBI, Frank Lloyd Wright, Pop & Scott.



  • Wooden hat stand — made by Patrick.
  • Wooden chest of drawers — vintage
  • Wooden peg rail / shelf — Woodchuck (Amazing designers based in the Netherlands)
  • Artwork by Ellen


  • Couch — IKEA (secondhand)
  • Futon pillow — Tombo, Fitzroy North
  • Coffee table — Vintage
  • Speaker/Amp table — Vintage (we know it’s mango wood though!)
  • Lamps — Vintage (Mid Century teak one from Market Bazaar, Waverley)
  • Cane Chair — Vintage (owned by a family friend)
  • Joni’s kitchen — IKEA with op shop furnishings
  • Baskets — LeFlairVintage on Instagram
  • Plants — Plantsmith
  • Artwork by Ellen


  • Table— Dog’s breakfast, Fitzroy (doesn’t exist anymore I don’t think though…)
  • Chairs — Vintage
  • Ceramic pot — Danny Murphy (amazing potter based in Katherine, NT)
  • Fruit bowl — Vintage
  • Botanical display box — Vintage from Market Bazaar, Waverley



  • Futon bed — Back To The Futon, Preston
  • Linen bedding — Bed Threads and In Bed Store 
  • Bedside tables — Made by Patrick
  • Desk — Vintage
  • Chair — T H Brown 
  • Vintage pinboard — Gifted by a friend
  • Shoe shelf — Made by Patrick


  • Towels — Bembooka and Sheridan
  • Plant stand — Vintage
  • Plants — Rhupsalis from Plantsmith, Hoya a cutting from a friend
  • Wood soap holder — Vintage


Thanks Ellen, Patrick, and Joni!

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