A Fabulous ’50s Suburban Melbourne Home

updated Feb 20, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft
Post Image
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Name: Dawn Lindsay
Location: Bayside; Melbourne, Australia
Size: 3 bedroom house (around 1300 square feet )
Years lived in: 17 yrs owned, with my husband.

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Dawn is a very talented lady of fabulous style and her home is a homage to an era she lives and breathes, be it as Dawn Lindsay, entrepreneur-around-town, or her alter-ego Dolores Daquiri, Queen of Burlesque! Dressed from her own vintage collection, Dawn welcomes me through the cherry red door and into her home. If I was disappointed not to be treated to a show of shimmering boas and feathers, I hid it well— after all, I can catch her working the Australian Burlesque Festival this month! And yes, that was a shameless plug, so come inside, let’s see Dawn’s home..

1 / 38
A cherry welcome. (Image credit: Leanne Bertram)
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

This home is delightful, and curated with care. Years of collecting and scouring markets for just the right fit make the home personal and inviting. I especially coo over the colors and collections. Dawn probably didn’t want me poking around the office too much among the vintage girlie calendars and a most excellent pinboard of burlesque and hotrods… but it’s the little things that make a home and I can spend all day looking at a bookcase… ditto a glamorous dressing table of perfumes.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

A life hidden away might be neat and tidy, but a life revealed and on display is a life glorified. Thankyou for revealing your layers, Dawn—bit by bit by bit..

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style:

1950s aesthetic, vintage pieces and décor.
I really like bringing life back to something forgotten or pre-loved.

I very rarely buy new and if I do it has to blend in with my current furniture or bric-a-brac. I love items with a history that has lived a life prior to making its way to me.


I take inspiration from people who are creative and passionate about collecting vintage and are not afraid to be free with expression. I love colour and interesting things. I read magazines like Atomic Ranch or home/lifestyle 50s books. Anything to get the juices flowing.

Favorite Element:

The kitchen and lounge room because these two rooms we spend most of our time in and we designed and decorated them ourselves.
No beige in our house.

Biggest Challenge:

The kitchen as we gutted the old 80s one and rebuilt a 1950s style kitchen. There were lots of challenges and we had to alter quite a few design ideas for it to work in the small space.

What Friends Say:

Warm, inviting, mid-century flavor, eclectic, bright, fun.

Biggest Embarrassment:

The bathroom. It is very old and needs a full restoration.

Proudest DIY:

We are most proud of the kitchen as my husband and I designed it and we love the final result.

Biggest Indulgence:

We like to buy secondhand vintage pieces that have a history and character. My biggest indulgence was the Heywood Wakefield sideboard I purchased over a year ago. It’s one on my favourite items in the house.

Best Advice:

Buy things that you love rather than what is expected. Be patient decorating your home as you find inspiration in all sorts of wonderful places. Wait until you find that special item before purchasing. Go to markets, rummage through second hand stores, source unique shops. I have waited years to find items that go with other pieces in the house.

Dream Sources:

Atomic Ranch, ‘old’ books and magazines, Retro Renovation.


(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


Walls: 1950s colour palette samples

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


  • Seals: Antique market San Francisco
  • Light fittings: Ebay Australia
  • Cane furniture: Antique market Melbourne
  • Wall Display: Local markets
  • Artwork: USA & local artists.
  • Ceramics: Thrift stores & markets
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


  • Rattan Furniture: Antique Warehouse Mornington
  • Artwork: Ooh La La Vintage on Facebook, and Outre in Melbourne
  • Planter: Plasma in Prahran
  • Side Buffet: Ebay Australia
  • Ceramics: Mainly antique centres or flea markets USA
  • Table setting: Plasma in Prahran
  • Speakers: Own design
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


  • Kitchen: Own design
  • 50s canisters: Chapel St Bazaar Melbourne
  • Wall plaques: Flea markets and ebay
  • Bric-a-brac: Flea markets, thrift and antique stores Australia and USA
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


  • Bedroom Suite: Plasma in Prahran
  • Dresser: Smith St Bazaar Collingwood
  • Linen: Sanderson UK
  • Artwork: USA antique stores and Paris galleries
  • Bedside Lamps: Chapel St Bazaar
  • Dresser Lamp: Antique Centre USA
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)


  • Turntable: Frame made by my husband
  • I Love Lucy Doll: K Mart

Send us your own:

Share your home with Apartment Therapy: House Tour Submission Form

Are you a designer/architect/decorator? Share your residential project: Professional Submission Form.

→ And see all of our past house tours here

Updated daily with fresh tours full of photos for you to pin & enjoy!

Thanks, Dawn!

*Tour previously published