A Kip&Co Founder’s Stunning, Modern Melbourne Home

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Kip&Co Founder’s Stunning, Modern Melbourne Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Alex McCabe, her boyfriend Bobby, and their three dogs Freddy, Jimmy and Gerald
Location: St Kilda — Melbourne, Australia
Size: 1,345 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years, owned

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About half of the furniture in Alex McCabe’s house is vintage. There’s a “deliciously worn” 1970s brown leather lotus couch, a 1950s Danish dining table set and some super comfortable vintage armchairs. There are 1960s papier mâché pots from India, miniature corn ceramic men from the Rose Bowl Flea Market, and vintage German pottery. But it’s not all old things; Alex renovated the house last year, and the furniture and material choices are modern, unusual, and extraordinarily inspiring.

Alex, along with the other founders Kate and Hayley, launched Kip&Co — a brand offering beautiful and modern bedding and home decor — in Melbourne in 2012. Their new collection, Eden, launches October 27th.

Alex used local architect McManus Lew Architects and local tradesmen for the house’s renovation, and she feels that’s why her interiors — while modern and personal — also represent an Australian aesthetic. The home’s location also meant function was an important part of the renovation. “Melbourne can have some long dark winters so heating was a central consideration of the design, and that does inform the location of windows, and the height of the ceiling.”

Ultimately, function married form and flirts with fun on a daily basis for a home that is utterly stunning…and a reflection of Alex’s personality. “I just always like going into homes that feel like they reflect that person’s personality.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: A reflection of me — bright, globally-inspired and with a sense of fun.

Inspiration: Australia has a really light, playful aesthetic and it’s a big inspiration for my interior style in the house, and for Kip&Co as a brand. There is a really vibrant creative community here and that absolutely gives you the freedom to create a really bright colourful home.

Favorite Element: Kitchen

Biggest Challenge: It’s a small space, so making sure that there was a sense of openness while still offering different spaces for different occasions was important, but challenging. I think we also have a weird orientation. so making sure we got enough light into all the rooms was a big challenge.

What Friends Say: It’s a great party house!

Biggest Embarrassment: My house and I are still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship so it’s hard to think of anything! I did discover that in the spare room I somehow managed to forget to put any shelving at all in the wardrobes which is a pretty amateur error.

Proudest DIY: The cabinets are brass, and my boyfriend and I had an apple cider vinegar party before they went up and aged them all by hand – accompanied by some cider drinking too, for good measure.

Biggest Indulgence: The island bench is pink concrete and was probably the hardest thing to achieve in the house (and therefore the most expensive); it took me a long time to find a concreter willing to give that whacky idea a go! I also went completely over kill on heating and cooling, but if you have ever visited Melbourne, you’ll know that isn’t an indulgence, it’s a necessity!

Best Advice: You can’t have too many [electrical outlets]….but they can be color coordinated to match your walls.

Dream Sources: For inspiration or purchasing? I guess for inspiration, you can’t go past Pinterest and design blogs. But be sure not to limit yourself to just looking at other peoples houses; lot’s of commercial buildings, galleries and cafes have some more adventurous interiors. In terms of places to buy the stuff from, honestly most of my house is decked out with Kip&Co – we make awesome products for every room in the house so it is, naturally, my first stop when it comes to interiors.


Haymes Blue Eyrie, Haymes Peach Cascade

1970s brown leather lotus couch — Modern Times
All cushions on couch – Kip&Co
Pink Haze rug – Kip&Co
Noguchi replica coffee table – gift
Artwork – Fred Fowler
Smoke and black American oak parquetry floors – Royal Oak Floors

1960s dining table – Angelucci
1960s dining chairs – eBay
Artwork – Fred Fowler
Smoke and black American oak parquetry floors – Royal Oak Floors

1950s arm chairs – grandfathers axe
Storm rug – Kip&Co
Cushions – Kip&Co
Floor pouffe – Kip&Co
Side table – tigers eye top purchased in India, base custom designed by Tuckbox
Indigenous statues – gift from Elcho Island artist centre
Smoke and black American oak parquetry floors – Royal Oak Floors

I don’t have trade names for these but they were — Cabinets in hand-aged brass; Pink concrete island bench; Crocodile bamboo quartzite splash back; Brushed black tapware; Internal garden above the kitchen; Dulux eyrie blue walls and Smoke and black American oak parquetry floors from Royal Oak Floors

All bedding, cushions, throws, blankets and rug – Kip&Co
Bedside tables — grandfathers axe
Bedside lights and statute on bedside table – purchased in India
Walls Dulux peach cascade
Art – Amanda Fordyce

Thanks, Alex!

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