A Set Decorator’s Home in a 100-Year-Old Former Wool Mill

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Name: Ineke Hutter and sons Leo and Arlo
Location: Collingwood; Melbourne; Victoria, Australia
Size: 139 square meters (1,496 square feet)
Years lived in: 10 years; Owned

For interior stylist and set decorator Ineke Hutter, living in a 100-year-old wool mill is something she still gets a kick out of, 10 years after she first moved in. She and her two sons share the space where many moons ago factory workers sorted the wool that came in from farms outside the city. Ineke shares, “Our floorboards still bear the scars of where the machinery stood and where the lanolin stained it, all surrounded by the original crumbling red brick walls, large sash windows, lining board ceilings and tin roof. It is this incredible sense of history and aged imperfection that makes it such a warm and comfortable home.”

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Having worked on many films and television shows as a set decorator, Ineke has had the opportunity to build up a wonderful collection of pieces from sets to fill her home. Custom-made, retro-inspired elements as well as restored Mid-century furniture give this super cool space a rock-n-roll vibe. But it’s also a fully functional family home, with a wooden slide made for the boys by their dad to go from the entry down into the main living area and a mezzanine level replete with reading nooks for quiet moments.

(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I love a home that is reflective of the people that live in it. It’s where we lay down our memories. Our apartment is filled with furniture, artwork, and ephemera that have been collected from various film sets, markets, secondhand dealers, talented friends, and travels, along with the precious items that the boys have made. I now get why my mom and dad held on to all my weird childhood pottery creations; the things your kids create, really become your favorite possessions. There was no overriding plan or direction when it came to decorating. The outcome is a constantly evolving, adapting, mish-mash curation of everything we love. The warm timbers and leafy abundance make us feel super snug.

Inspiration: In terms of people, definitely my parents. They both have an incredible sense of style. My father was an awe-inspiring graphic and exhibition designer who worked with the likes of Grant Featherston. Even his handwriting is envy-inducing. He is still one of the most clever and talented people I have ever met. I would love to have half his skills.

In terms of interiors, it may be cliché, but god those Danes do it well. It’s a beautiful mix of clean, precise, timeless, functional design, with a gorgeous, layering of natural elements such as leather, ceramics, and timber.

Favorite Element: Definitely the nest-like nature of our couch. We all congregate there to snuggle, eat, and watch a hundred movies.

This warehouse apartment is part of the historic Foy and Gibson Wool mills that where built in the early 1900s. Our little section was where they did all the wool sorting, and our floorboards still bear the scars of where the machinery plugged though and where the lanolin stained it, all surrounded by the original crumbling red brick walls, large sash windows, lining board ceilings, and tin roof. It is this incredible sense of history and aged imperfection that makes it such a warm and comfortable home. Nothing is overly precious here. Everything is already used, scratched, and dented, so we are free to truly live in the space without damaging anything. It is our place to relax and be ourselves.

Biggest Challenge: It does tend to rain inside on stormy days. That’s the problem when your roof is 100 years old.

What Friends Say: Another glass of wine, please.

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m not embarrassed by anything in our home. It’s meant to be imperfect and flawed. I actually think that makes it a more comfortable space. Life is messy and disorganized. When an environment is too perfect I begin to feel self-conscious and stiff. Having said that, the boys really know how to trash a room, and sometimes when people come over it does look like we just narrowly survived a natural disaster.

Proudest DIY: Painting this place included some Evil Knievel, ninja-like moves.

Best Advice: Make a home that enhances your routines and rituals. Making it easier to clean, play, organize, and create.

Dream Sources: The Junk Company, Fossil Vintage, and Angelucci 20th Century for all my vintage finds and Hub Furniture for everything that is deliciously beautiful and splurgy. I am also a massive forager and collector, so I would definitely love to stick my beak into all the incredible markets around the world.

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When Ineke first moved in, the warehouse was just a shell. (Image credit: Sophie Timothy)



Walls: Dulux Antique USA


  • Stepped bookcase: custom-made by the boys’ father, Hans Van Dyck
  • Slide: custom-made by the boys’ father, Hans Van Dyck
  • Wooden birds: Kristian Vedel
  • Large painting: Amiee Francis
  • Portrait of the boys and Ineke: My Little Tribe
  • Green and blue print: Belinda Marshall
  • Baby kangaroo portrait: Sharon Montrose of The Animal Print Shop
  • Love Conquers Fuck All print: Sandra Eterovic
  • Robot pastel picture: my little fella Leo Van Dyck


  • Dining table: vintage teak table from Fleur Aristoc Furniture: a gift from my parents—it’s a prototype from when my father worked there.
  • Dining chairs: Thonet
  • Large teak tray: vintage via The Junk Company
  • Print: from a film set


  • Bunk bed: My Place from Domayne
  • Flags: vintage off a film set
  • Boat kite: bought on the beach in Bali
  • Linen: IKEA
  • Bookshelf: custom made by the boys’ father, Hans Van Dyck


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Thanks, Ineke!