Shelley’s Slice of France in Melbourne

published Sep 9, 2015
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(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Name: Shelley Collins, Mali, Emile, and Barkley the Wonder-Dog
Location: Clifton Hill; Melbourne, Australia
Size: 90 square meters (968.7 square feet)
Years lived in: 13 years; Owned

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Before we start a home tour inside Shelley’s light-filled home, we need to go back to a restaurant in San Francisco in 1996. It was here that Shelley and her then-partner Stephan first saw the large-scale, vintage French posters which have driven her decorating style and led her into a life of collecting. Eventually her passion evolved into a business which sells beautiful vintage posters from France.

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Across the kitchen bench [counter] leading to the bathroom and entry hallway — vintage posters from The Galerie (Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

After living in New York for a few years, Shelley and Stephan returned home to Melbourne in 2002, moving into the home they’d bought in 1997. It is here that Shelley is raising her two boys, Mali and Emile, along with their dog. Their home is a double-fronted Edwardian weatherboard [clapboard] house with three bedrooms and an open plan kitchen, living, and dining room. Posters take pride of place, combining with beautiful vintage and industrial furniture to complete Shelley’s signature look of bold color and design. The house had been renovated when they bought it, but all these years later Shelley is looking forward to updating the kitchen, bathroom, and en suite — all designed around her beautiful French posters, of course! If you love Shelley’s style be sure to take a look at The Galerie Fitzroy as well as Shelley’s latest online adventure, Poster Gal.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Flea market meets High Street — an eclectic mix of old and new.

Inspiration: I’m an old-school interior mag devotee — my favorite is the UK’s Livingetc. And, of course, Instagram is a never-ending treasure trove of inspiration. I adore brick and mortar retail shops, checking out the fit-outs along with the wares! (the first time I discovered Anthropologie in Chicago 20 years ago, I thought I’d died and gone to shop heaven). I am an avid real estate app follower, too.

Favorite Element: I’m surrounded by my favorite things, I can remember every single purchase or find, everywhere I look reminds me of places I’ve been or where I was at a particular time in my life. Our bedrooms are sanctuaries.

Biggest Challenge: Living with orange floors; being patient enough to wait and save for the small reno/makeover changes that I carry in my head. I know exactly what the end result will be and it’s going to look amazing!

What Friends Say: The house is unique, with personality, soul, and warmth.

Biggest Embarrassment: Besides the orange floors?! The early ’90s kitchen — the bench [counter] is humongous and very dated.

Proudest DIY: To be honest, besides throwing together the odd piece of IKEA furniture on my own, I prefer to save and get the experts to do it. When my sons were little, they were both the proud owners of the most beautiful nursery ever… all furniture I’d collected well before they were born. It included a wicker chest of drawers and chair, which are now in Mali’s room, belonging to my Nanna. I remember painting those while heavily pregnant…

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the red-wood gum Nicholas Dattner dining table, which funnily enough is so far removed from my typical aesthetic. I like having something big, posh, and boardroom-y with odd flea market and high-end chairs.

Best Advice: I honestly can’t think of any…

Dream Sources: Living Edge, Jardan and Space Furniture in Richmond, ABC Carpet & Home in NYC, Clignacourt markets in Paris, Tarlo & Graham in Fitzroy, 20th Century Scandanavia, and Douglas & Hope in Brunswick.


(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • White: Dulux Whisper White
  • Kitchen: Dulux Black
  • Shelley’s bedroom: Porter’s Blueball
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Vintage children’s wagon used to store magazines: Petaluma Vintage
  • Eames rocking chair: Living Edge
  • Industrial lamp: 21st Century Scandanavia
  • Bertoia wire chairs: Knoll
  • Cowhide rug: 21st Century Scandanavia
  • Coffee table: Richmond Relics
  • Couch: Domo Collections
  • TV stand: Richmond Relics
  • My Mum Rocks card: Able and Game
  • St. Raphael bottle: Clignacourt markets, Paris
  • Other vintage and industrial pieces: collected over time from Tarlo & Graham and now-closed stores
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Dining table: Nicholas Dattner (no longer open)
  • Vintage Penfolds mirror: bought on a trip in Western Australia
  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Grey locker: Tarlo & Graham
  • Vintage Australia Post sorting table used as sideboard: Richmond Relics
  • Large S: Tarlo & Graham
  • Face cushion: Beci Orpin from Douglas & Hope
  • Tolix yellow chair: Thonet
  • White bentwood chairs: found on the street in New York
  • Louis Ghost chair by Philipe Starck for Kartell: Space Furniture
  • Red children’s chairs: Tripp Trapp by Stokke
  • Small galvanised cupboard: Alameda Flea Market, San Francisco
  • 1950s kitchen stand used as computer games console: Alameda Flea Market, San Francisco
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Vintage wooden stools: Smith Street Bazaar
  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Berkley 1920s water fountain: Alameda Flea Market, San Francisco
  • Clock: Restoration Hardware
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Artwork on bedside table: Kat Macleod
  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Green pigeonholes storing books and shoes: Tarlo & Graham
  • Bed: IKEA
  • Bedding: Southwood Home
  • Cowhide rug: 20th Century Scandinavia
  • Old vases: collected over time
  • Personalized lamp: by Mirka Mora from Heide Gallery
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Artwork: by Mali
  • Wicker chair: Shelley’s Nanna, painted by Shelley
  • Bookshelves: IKEA
  • Vintage industrial furniture: collected over time
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)


  • Vintage French posters: Shelley’s personal collection (similar can be found at The Galerie)
  • Library Depot sign: Tarlo & Graham
  • Artwork: by Emile
  • Ice cream print: by Dawn Tan
  • Bookshelves: IKEA
  • Vintage industrial furniture: collected over time

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Thanks, Shelley!