This Designer’s Australian House Is ‘Colorful, Joyful, and Cluttered (But in a Good Way!)’
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Name: Emily Green, husband Louis, two kids Lotte (7) and Jens (5) and dog, Mitzi
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Size: 750 square feet
Type of Home: Three-bedroom, one-bathroom weatherboard house
Years Lived In: 8 years, owned
“The things I love best about our home are the wooden floorboards and how light and bright the living area is,” begins designer Emily Green, who also co-owns a gift and homewares shop called Pinky’s. The home, which she and her husband, Louis, bought about eight years ago, is a three-bedroom weatherboard house in Melbourne’s northern suburbs with a big backyard, a lot of charm, and privacy, too. “Although we’re on a busy main road the house feels private and separate from what’s going on out the front. Double glazed windows were a great investment we made when we first moved in!”
“It’s a real family home and has filled up a lot as we have grown,” writes Emily. “When we were first house hunting it felt like we were out in the ‘sticks’ after having rented much closer to the city but as the years have passed the suburb has really changed and evolved. There are now great restaurants, ice cream shops, cafes and stores around. After we opened Pinky’s and once Lotte started at the local primary school, my connection with the area has strengthened too. Lots of our mates live locally and I now know other business owners and also often bump into customers of our store around the neighborhood.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I would describe our home as colorful, joyful, and cluttered (but in a good way!) with lots of greenery. I love to play with pattern and color in my work, and the interior of our house is another medium in which to express my style. The rooms in our house are constantly changing as I bring new pieces in, swap other pieces out, or rearrange collections of artworks.
Inspiration: Color is a constant source of inspiration for me. From fashion to art to nature to the exteriors of houses, I am always taking photos or screenshots of great color combos. I love how our color trends are ever-changing and how exciting it is to discover new combinations and experiment with them in our home. Right now I can’t get enough of caramel brown, orange, and clean, citrusy greens.
Favorite Element: My favorite part of our home is the mantelpiece in the living room where I display the best bits of my ceramics and glass collection. I also love how our living room is turning into a bit of a jungle as the plants and vines grow around the walls.
Biggest Challenge: With two young kids who love Lego and crafting (and therefore make a lot of mess!) as well as all of my stuff, our house often feels small and squishy so keeping things organized and tidy is a neverending battle. We installed Like Butter pine shelving in the kids’ rooms, which has been great for displaying and storing their artworks, books, and toys and keeping them out of the living area. I am also a bit obsessed with Ay-kasa storage crates for organizing the kids’ toys. It’s easier to keep the place tidy when everything has a home.
Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Stackable storage crates from Ay-kasa have been a game-changer for us for storing and organizing the kids toys as well as our art and craft materials. They come in a great range of colors that coordinate with the décor in different spaces.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? It’s a bit like choosing a favorite child but my current favorite pieces are my ceramic sculpture by Luke Ryan O’Connor and painting by Melbourne artist Christopher Jewitt. I love the yummy, oozy drippy glazes in the sculpture and the dancing scribbly lines and bright color palette of the Jewitt piece.
Does your home reflect your home country/city in any way? I LOVE color, pattern, and ceramics and after being a designer/maker in Melbourne for the past 10 years or so and from opening Pinky’s I have become friends with a lot of other designers and makers. Our house is filled with the work of local designers and artists whose work I love. Melbourne has an incredibly strong design scene and a lot of people who aren’t afraid to be bold and experimental with color. Our home is very much a reflection of this!
What are your favorite places to shop for home décor that can only be found in your country?
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Don’t update all of your furniture and artworks all at the same time or from the same place or your house will look like an IKEA showroom / time capsule. I love a home where the decor changes and evolves over time and where the pieces are a reflection of the owner’s changing interests, experiences, and relationships.
I also believe in buying statement pieces from local designers when you can afford to. The affection and connection I feel towards pieces I have had commissioned or that are from designers whose work I love are more enduring than those pieces I have bought from chain stores or bigger manufacturers. Having said that I recommend going practical with your sofa if you have young kids as they are so grubby! A collection of fun cushions can make up for a not-so exciting sofa that you’re likely to replace in a few years.
PAINT & COLORS
- Lotte’s Bedroom — “Lily Legs” Dulux
- Sage Green Midi Locker — Mustard Made
- Magnet Set — Georgia Perry from Pinky’s
- Bench — Pop and Scott
- Bag of Oranges Print — Alice Oehr
- Ceramic Block — Kirsten Perry
- Brass Vase — ACV Studio
- Ceramic Moth — Togetherness Design from Pinky’s
- A Treats A Treat Artwork — Robert Bowers from Lamington Drive
- Platform 3 Plant Stand — Idle Hands Design
- Checked Planter Bag — Lauren Brown from Pinky’s
- Alva Velvet Armchair — Sarah Ellison
- Tiled Coffee Table — P0ly Designs
- Everyday Sofa — Eva
- Flower Foldy Table — Dowel Jones
- Golden Checkers Cushion — Bonnie and Neil from Pinky’s
- Sunflower Cushion — Togetherness Design
- Painting Above Mantelpiece — Emma Lipscome
- Landscape Watercolor Painting — Jennifer Tyers
- Puerto Angel, Fallen Flowers Photograph — Hilary Walker
- Glass Confetti Plate and Lawn Bowls — Pinky’s
- Orange Checked Vase — Togetherness Design
- Black Lillypilli Vase — Togetherness Design
- Large Black and White Vase — Iggy and Lou Lou
- Piped Vase — Ebony Russell
- Block Party Wooden Tiger – Andy Remeter x Areaware from Pinky’s
- Ceramic Sculpture – Luke Ryan O’Connor from Modern Times
- Round Glass DOS Vase — Yo-Dan from Pinky’s
- Shelves — Like Butter
- Pattypan Pink Side Table — Idle Hands Design
- Jex Record Stand — Idle Hands Design from Pinky’s
- Storage Crates — Ay-Kasa from Pinky’s
- Cake Screen Print — Alice Oehr
- Painting — Christoper Jewitt
- Bag of Lemons Photograph — Hilary Walker
- Ceramic Face Wall Tile — Louise Kyriakou
- Checked Brown Throw — Bonnie and Neil from Pinky’s
- Bed Base — Koala
- Medallion Floral Pillowcases — Baggu from Pinky’s
- Amphora Vase — Iggy and Lou Lou
- Painting — Elizabeth Barnett
- Apricot Bedside Lamp — Lightly
- Daisy pillow — Milly Sleeping
This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form