Sisters Share a Playful, Patterned Melbourne Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Name: Alice and Lucy Oehr & Otto the cat
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Size: 75 square metres (807 square feet)
Years lived in: 5 years

When sisters Alice and Lucy Oehr first took possession of their single-fronted brick cottage in the inner north of Melbourne it was an absolute “renovator’s delight.” Bought in 2011, Alice and Lucy set to work on a three-month summer holiday building project. Scrubbing years of grime from the tobacco-stained walls, re-painting, plastering, tiling—you name it they did it—along with a little help from friends and family. They have done an amazing job and over the past few years have filled their home with quirky and colourful artwork and stuff.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Alice is a talented designer and artist. The ace cushions in Lucy’s bedroom are by Alice, as is the tea towel in the kitchen. You can also find Alice on Instagram. Lucy is currently studying her Masters in Neuropsychology. Both girls have a creative and quirky eye for the unusual, collecting stuff to fill their home. They expertly layer colour, graphic patterns and elements throughout each room. Their couch in the living room is a new acquisition from an aunt.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Their home has a simple layout like most single-fronted homes from this period: There are two bedrooms at the front, a long and narrow hallway, an opening into the living room, then through to the kitchen and lastly to the bathroom at the rear. There is a small courtyard garden that is accessed from the living room and gives them plenty of room for having friends over and for Otto the cat to play. Alice and Lucy created a renovation blog whilst undertaking their overhaul—so if you’d like to peek at the before head here.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)
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Alice, Lucy and Otto. (Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Cluttered

Inspiration: The houses of well-traveled old ladies.

Favorite Element: Exposed brick wall in the kitchen—everything looks good on it.

Biggest Challenge: Mentally: scrubbing down tobacco-stained walls during the renovation. Physically: brick work in the back garden.

What Friends Say: They love all the “stuff” in it.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of stuff in it.

Proudest DIY: The whole thing. We spent months renovating it ourselves with almost no help. So it is extremely satisfying to live there now.

Biggest Indulgence: Our new-old couches. We inherited them from an auntie, but they feel indulgent because they are so big!

Best Advice: Don’t be scared of DIY—especially for cosmetic changes. So much can be achieved if you’re not worried about getting a bit (Ok, very) dirty.

Dream Sources: Bazaars and markets over-seas.








  • Vintage Japanese mobile – bought in Osaka
  • Chinese kite – bought in Hong Kong
  • Mirror cabinet – Ikea
  • Wooden block painting – Jane Oehr
  • Planters – Esther Olsson, Alice Oehr, Mr. Kitly

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Thanks, Alice and Lucy!