This Fun Shared Australian Rental House Is Filled With Colorful Art and Crafts
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“According to the current lease agreement, it’s been an on-going sharehouse since 2012, with people obviously coming and going throughout the years,” begins crafter, photographer, and all-over creative person, Phebe Rendulić. “I was excited when I was accepted to move in because of the size of it and the location. I find Brunswick West sounds ‘cool’ because of the Brunswick part, but the West part is actually pretty suburban and boring and quiet and I love it.” What’s NOT boring is the interior of the home that Phebe has rented for six years, and roommate, artist Michael Gromm, for one. They created a cohesive home full of color, art, and craft supplies.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Phebe – Colour forward eclectic maximalism or ‘is this a craft store or a bedroom?’
Michael – A natural accumulation of found objects, DIY, and repurposed/recycled materials — my desktop is made up of unused off-cuts of Vic ash from my day job. And I believe its legs came from an old staircase.
Inspiration: Phebe – Interior artists Memphis Group, Patricia Bustos, Danielle Brustman and fabric designers Melody Miller, Alison Glass, and Tula Pink
Michael – Function and form. Having as much quality/interesting artworks/artifacts as possible. And I do love a good ready-made.
Favorite Element: The size! The tall ceilings, the wooden floorboards, the weird concrete backyard, and the stained glass in the windows of the two front rooms.
Biggest Challenge: Phebe – DUST!!! The house is on a main road, and due to the age of it, there are a lot of cracks in the walls so dust gets in and just parties non-stop here.
Michael – I’d have to agree with Phebe on this one. The dust does come to party here.
Proudest DIY: Phebe – The ‘blob patch’ ottoman I’d mended after spilling a drink on it and it ended up featured in frankie magazine! [Phebe has had many DIY projects in frankie magazine.]
Michael – My towel rack is literally a dowel wedged between the wall and the bookcase. Also, special mention must go to my hand-pieced fabric stool cover. Which was a collaboration between Phebe and myself — I did approximately two percent of the work.
Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? Phebe – My bedroom was originally designed to be the living room as it has French doors along the wall where my clothes racks are but I believe it’s been used as a bedroom since it’s been a sharehouse. This then makes it a four-bedroom house but the spare room is now used as a work from home office space.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Phebe – My bed has a gas lift base, which a lot of my yarn collection is hidden in as well as my suitcase and bed linens and quilts. I highly recommend a bed base with storage for anyone needing space. Also, because I have a rather large fabric stash, I wanted to make a feature of it so I got a glass cabinet from IKEA that provides both a display and storage function.
Michael – Buy art, not things that need to be stored and then there is no need for storage. Store things on your walls, it’s better for you. You’ll thank me later.
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Phebe – I used to work for an online furniture company and would help customers with designing and decorating their spaces and one thing that always bugged me was how afraid people were of doing anything ‘different’ like choosing velvet over linen or a green sofa over a beige one even though it was clear they wanted to. It’s your space! Don’t be put off by what other people might think because they’re not the ones who live there. Do what makes you happy and if it means you put big googly eyes on your desk lamp to make you chuckle because you have to look at it all day, then so be it.
Michael – I’m not a massive fan of “new” things. I like a bit of wear and tear, so I guess mine would be to recycle as much as possible.
- 3 + 8 = 11 circle painting — Made by Michael for Phebe
- Plant stand — Found on the side of the road by a previous housemate and given a fresh coat of paint by Phebe
- Planter — Tea towel Michael wrapped around the pot
- Scandi Flower mirrors — Fox and the Rox
- Seagull painting — Turbo Brown
- Python painting — Josh Simpson
LIVING & DINING ROOM
- Advertising Took All the Fun Out of It painting — Michael Gromm
- Tapestries — Made by Phebe Rendulic
- Flapper Ottoman — Circle Home
- Untitled painting — Michael Gromm
- Penis mugs — Old Fella Fired
- Worm & Gorilla With Flower risographs — Tim Meakin
- Apollo Paper Vase — Octaevo
- Jelly Planter — Angus & Celeste
- Modern Hexie Table Runner — The Patchwork Pear
- Frank Dining Chairs — Brosa
- Slayer denim vest — Embroidered by Phebe Rendulic
- Poppy 4 Seater Sofa — Brosa
- Junior Boucle and Lumbar Velvet cushions — Hommey
- Giant Ice Cream Cone Planter — Third Drawer Down
- Small tapestries taped around the room — Made by Phebe
- Solange King Size Bedhead (discontinued) and matching Queen Size Gaslift Base — Brosa
- Jelly Roll Race Quilt — Made by Phebe Rendulic
- Velvet Petal and round gingham cushions — Kip&Co
- Embroideries — Made by Phebe Rendulic
- Bouquet Tea Towel — Shibuya Moon
- The Art of Feeling Free print — Naomi Murrell
- Hell Yes! Risograph — Yellow Owl Workshop
- Dried flower arrangements — Everbloome
- Heart vase — Lovestar
- Grape Acrylic Vase — Lenzo
- Pink head screenprint — Jake Holmes
- Crocheted Blankets — Made by Phebe Rendulic
- Tote bag — Romance Was Born
- Tennis racket — Thrifted
- Retro Basket — Sunjellies
- Locker — Kmart
- Backpack — Melissa
- Rudsta Glass Door Cabinet — IKEA
- Philip Glass artwork — Gift from Emma Sara Darbyshire
- Crème and Bublè candles — Lè Lit Collection
- Giant Hair Bows — Made by Phebe Rendulic
- Blob Patch Ottoman — Upcycled by Phebe Rendulic
- April and Freddie candles — TRIKL. Candles
- Arch Rainbow Candle — Life in a Candle co.
- 80s Desk Clock — Vintage German Clocks
- Overemotional Risograph — Floss Burns
- Magnus Electric Chord Organ — Thrifted
- Giant Pencil — Typo
PHEBE’S SEWING DESK
PHEBE’S WORK DESK
- Large blue painting — Bundit Puangthong
- Small pink and blue abstract painting — Charlotte Ivey
- Dog and clown paintings — Matt M Benjamin
- Small dark painting — Mitchell Asquith
- Medium striped painting — Gromm
- Pink landscape — Chanel Sohier
- Ceramics and stoneware — Sailor Boi, Doubly Studio, Raphy, and Charlotte Watson
Thanks Phebe and Michael!
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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