Dearne's St. Kilda Sanctuary

Dearne's St. Kilda Sanctuary

Jenny Butler
Jun 4, 2010

Name: Dearne, John & Andre
Location: St. Kilda, Australia
Years lived in: 6 years, owned

Just a stones throw out of Melbourne, this home is an eclectic mix of old and new, modern and vintage. Dearne is a successful interior designer and has also extended herself to designing jewelery. Living with her husband John and their young son Andre, their home overflows with attractive and practical design elements as well as the families personality and sense of fun.

I really enjoy Dearne and John's approach to renovating. Designing their kitchen around a vintage espresso machine and setting a deadline to have the floors stained and polished before their planned home birth which was a particular aspect driving the whole project. Whilst Dearne admits to feeling a tad embarrassed that the renovations aren't entirely complete, what renovations ever are? Being proud of your hard work and determined to achieve the next phase makes a house feel like your home.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My/Our style: Eclectic, cozy, comfortable, with a touch of contemporary

Inspiration: International modernism and particularly Australian Modernist design, as well as our lifestyle and our family

Favorite Element: The dark stained timber floors in our hallway and bedrooms, and the café size commercial coffee machine in our kitchen. And the original timber lined ceiling in the kitchen/studio.

Biggest Challenge: Budget constraints — every designer's challenge!!

What Friends Say: Comfortable, spacious, welcoming, warm. Someone recently said "rustic" — I'm not too sure if that was a compliment!

Biggest Embarrassment: The outstanding jobs that need doing, like peeling paint on walls with rising damp and unfinished floorboards.

Proudest DIY: The dark floorboards in the bedrooms which were stained and polished by John, under great pressure to finish before our son was born in a planned home birth!

Biggest Indulgence: The new kitchen — designed around the coffee machine. And some of our more expensive pieces of furniture. Which I consider to be investments anyway!

Best advice: As an Interior Designer I've given so much advice out I cannot recall the "best" piece. But I have had advice from my clients who tell me to "never build a house from scratch!". But I think I would probably say don't attempt a renovation with a baby on the way or in the house, especially while still living in it!

Dream source: Corporate Culture, Bureau Furniture, Living Edge all for contemporary furniture. For fabrics Kvadrat Maharam and for rugs Designer Rugs in St Kilda.


Blanco cooking appliances
Liebherr integrated refrigerator
Vintage Bezzerra coffee machine

Pittella Door Hardware throughout
Hafele fittings in kitchen
Gessi "Energy" kitchen tap and "Kindred" commercial sink
"Spin" showerhead and "Gas" bathroom taps by Roger Seller

Entrance Hallway:
Antique Australian Red Cedar meatsafe

Master Bedroom:
"Cousins" veneer side table by Temperature Design
"Malm" oak veneer Chest of drawers by IKEA
Handmade chess set and table (by my Grandfather)

Andre's Bedroom:
Timber trunk handpainted by Dearne
"Lerberg" Shelf unit by IKEA

Living Room:
Jardan sofa with chaise
Walter Knoll "Henry" armchair

Glass shirt case by Dulton Retro Furniture

Eames Eiffel Tower chairs in black by Vitra
"X" Table base with black glass top by Walter Knoll/PearsonLloyd
Planex black metal filing cabinets
Klober task chairs by Schiavello
All other pieces throughout are vintage or antique.

All side lamps, pendant lights and floor lamp by ISM Objects
Japanese inspired Side lamp in Andre's bedroom was a gift
"Monster Lights" in Andre's bedroom from Lulu Design Store
Recessed low voltage downlights in kitchen by LED

Dulux "Vivid White" walls, trim and ceilings throughout
Dulux "Ploughed Earth" in hallway
Dulux "Slippery Salmon" to kitchen splashback
Dulux "Ballyhoo" to entry door

Original pine and hardwood flooring throughout.
Hallway and bedroom floors stained with custom black floor stain.

Rugs and Carpets
"Strib" rug by IKEA in Andre's Room
Australian sheepskin and cowhide to master bedroom

Tiles and Stone
Kitchen benches Caesarstone "Ice snow" (white)
Existing slate tiles to bathroom

Window Treatments
Custom sheer and blockout roller blinds by D&C Design
Bespoke roman blinds in bedrooms (made by Dearne)
Sheer roller blind in Andre's room by IKEA
White Eco Venetian to Living Room by Freedom

"Sinclair" solid oak QS bed by Temperature Design (Master bedroom)
Vintage teak single bed sourced from eBay (Andre's bedroom)
Bed linen by Vue (Master bedroom)
Handmade quilt by Dearne & Koo Kids sheets (Andre's bedroom)

Woven wall panel in entry hallway by Nicholas Barratt
Andre Hiep in Living Room by Anita Traverso Gallery
Kevin Oxley lino print, etching and print in Living Room (direct from artist)
"Cockatoo Capers" print by Phillip Farley
Yok and Ben Frost works in hallway and Keymi in entry (purchased at a charity auction)
Other works including framed needlework by Dearne or John
Fibreglass wrapped vessels in Living Room by Emma Davies

Thanks, Dearne!

Images: Dearne Herrenberg

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