Jo & Hamish's Cozy Cottage Charmer in Melbourne

Jo & Hamish's Cozy Cottage Charmer in Melbourne

Leanne Bertram
Apr 21, 2016
(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Name: Jo of Violet & Rose, husband Hamish, Beth (13) & Alice (10), Rosie Posie the dog, and kitty Florence
Location: Ringwood; Melbourne, Australia
Size: 650 square metre block; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Years lived in: 13 years; owned

Jo's a bit of a Melbourne icon in the making. Her vintage and rustic candles scent more homes than I can point a camera at. From the little vignettes she shares when showcasing her wares on her social pages, I knew I wanted to get a foot in her door. Snuggled in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I visited on a cool winter's day and was invited into a home of warmth.

Vintage but fresh, Jo combines current trends with her her own style and eye for pulling the old & new together. Every item has been hand picked and collected over time with much care. There are no quick-fixes here, this is a home for the long haul. Like creating a painting, layers are added and erased. And the wait is worth it.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Always a work in progress, as old homes are, Jo & Hamish extended this 1930's Californian Bungalow themselves to allow more room for a growing family and accommodate friends and visitors. With the front area of the house divided into quaint individual rooms of personality, it is down the hallway to the main living area where the family gathers to recharge before the next big dance recital or sports event.

In the bedrooms, Jo has encouraged the girls to find their own style.
While sometimes a risky move, Jo reports they have pretty good taste and
that she has never had to live with a "Dora the Explorer" doona cover. As expected, candles dot the house in wonderful groupings of vintage jars
and an array of scents.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Vintage yet modern, with a touch of quirk.

Inspiration: "Inside Out" and "Country Style" magazines & Instagram.

Favorite Element: My bedroom. I love my bed, it calls to me.
I love nothing more than climbing into bed with lots of pillows and cushions and snuggling in to read.

Biggest Challenge: Always money! And time. We really like to do things ourselves, and as our girls get older we have more commitments to sport, music and dance on the weekends, and less time for the house.

What Friends Say: Most comment on the girls bedrooms because they probably have the biggest “wow” factor. They often say how much their children would love to have bedrooms like that.

Biggest Embarrassment: Definitely the back yard. We are building a garage at the moment, so I am looking forward to landscaping. We have big windows that look out onto building materials and mess.

Proudest DIY: Easily the complete renovation of our home. When we bought, the kitchen, laundry and toilet were out on a built in verandah.
We dis it all ourselves under the watchful eye and advice of a great builder, and Hamish did all the painting, wallpapering, tiling etc.

Biggest Indulgence: I keep going back to it, but it has to be our bed.
I had admired the wrought iron beds at Scout House in St Kilda for a long time. We had a very 80’s chunky pine bed head and frame and I was completely over it. So to buy the new wrought iron bed and mattress felt so indulgent but I don’t regret it for a second.

Best Advice: Be guided by trends, but don’t be a slave.
Keep up to date by adding accents that compliment what you have and what you love. I think it’s really important to fill your home with things that are “you”. If you are like me and work from home, that's a lot of time to spend looking at something that you feel a bit ho-hum about.

Dream Sources: Cranmore Home, Scout House, Morris Brown, ( all for beautiful homewares, art and handmade treasures ), Adairs, Aura Home, ( linens, cushions, throws ) Down that little lane, Robert Gordon Australia ( gifts and home decor )

For vintage finds, I like White Nest, Blairgowrie, The Impakt Emporium, Hampton, Metisse Olinda, Waverley Antiques Bazaar, and The Vintage Shed, Tyabb.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Resources of Note:


Main Paint colour – Dulux Iconic.

Birch Tree Wallpaper - Cole & Son

Butterfly Wallpaper - Sandpiper, Eco chic range

Both wallpapers purchased at Wallpaper Brokers


Bed from Scout House

Chair - a wedding gift from an aunt

Crucifix and Deer decorations - Morris Brown

Bedlinen - Florence Broadhurst doona cover and blue throw from Adairs. Cushions from Adairs, Morris Brown, Aura Home and Aunty Cookie


Kitten & Rabbit lamps by Heico

Map Bunting - Vintage Prints

Ladder Shelf - vintage market find


Church Pew - my father-in-law picked this up on the side of the road
when an old church was being demolished in Brunswick in the 1970’s. They were leaving them out for people to take. Absolutely unheard of these days.

Mirrors – the gilt edge one belonged to my great aunt, the pie crust ones have been collected from opportunity shops.

Knick knacks – Letter R from Provincial Home Living , Candles from Violet + Rose, Animals from Morris Brown, Robert Gordon Australia , and White Nest Blairgowrie


Good Thoughts" banner from Honey and Fizz

Trophies - eBay

Globe - bric-a-brac sale at the school fete


The mirror, chair and prints are all from second-hand places
around Melbourne
Bath from Recollections

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Thanks, Jo & Hamish!

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