A Designer’s Australian Home Is an Explosion of Pink, Plants, and Quirky Decor

updated Jun 20, 2019

A Designer’s Australian Home Is an Explosion of Pink, Plants, and Quirky Decor

updated Jun 20, 2019
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Name: Lara Ivachev, Adrian, and two dogs Otis and Kiku
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 1.5 years

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When Lara and Adrian were ready to escape city life a year and a half ago, they headed about 45 minutes away from Melbourne’s central business district to some outer suburbs. Not quite the countryside (though down an ungraded road), many of the homes in this area are on large properties, with houses hidden behind tall gum trees. Together, the couple created a quirky, colorful, and happy home—and the perfect creative space for Lara and her label, Eat Me Do.

With a love of travel and vintage finds—you can see their happy modern style throughout the home in their DIY home improvements. This can be seen especially in the bathrooms and kitchen, where they’ve utilized a huge enamel kitchen bowl as an ensuite basin and painted existing cabinetry in bright colors and updated handles.

Travel influences are found in Lara’s home studio—a fun space filled with artwork, fabric, and trinkets collected in Japan; she’s just created a super cute Guide to Tokyo.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Fun, kitsch, cosy and colorful.

Inspiration: My inspiration comes everywhere, from travels, objects, colors, and the general atmosphere I want to create in a space. I’m a big fan of vintage treasures and letting them determine the space; and I use them as features throughout the house.

Favorite Element: Treasures I’ve collected on my travels from around the world and my dream retro stove by Smeg. I’d also be silly if I didn’t mention all the color in our home as one of my favorite things about the space. Color makes me very happy, as you might have guessed from my very pink home studio. This room is like an explosion of pink and sparkles at the end of the dark hallway. It’s where I spend most of my time and come up with ideas and design new collections for my label EAT.ME.DO.

Biggest Challenge: Would definitely be trying to make the space feel lighter and airier than it really is. The house has very large eves, which blocks a lot of the natural light, plus the ceilings are very low, which makes everything feel darker and smaller than it really is. The kitchen was probably the darkest nook of the house, but nothing a bit of DIY painting and concrete bench tops [countertops] won’t fix.

What Friends Say: I think everyone that enters through our front door smiles and is taken back by the sense of fun and quirkiness of our home. They love how every element is a little bit odd or different from what you would normally see in someone’s home and it makes a great talking point.

Biggest Embarrassment: Hmm, probably the little furry friends that always seem to make themselves at home in our ceiling and cause a ruckus when we have people stay.

Proudest DIY: Oh we have so many DIY things around the house, including furniture, bathrooms, cupboards, and the list goes on. But the proudest I’d have to say would be my cute little cheap DIY makeover of the master ensuite. This bathroom was originally very drab, dark, and lacked any character. I thought, what’s the cheapest and easiest thing I can do just to give it a quick little refresh? So I concreted the floor, put new bench tops, painted the wall, and created a speckled enamel sink, which we converted from a bowl to a sink. It’s such a feature piece, I love it.

Biggest Indulgence: To date, this would definitely be my new Smeg stove, and it was totally worth every penny. I love it! It was my one requirement when we moved it: I had to have a large dream stove to cook on.

Best Advice: Don’t care what anyone thinks, just fill your home with things that make you happy and make you want to spend time in the space.

Dream Sources:


Dulux — Whisper White

Vintage Church Pew
Rug — Ishka

Cowhide Rug — IKEA
Ice Cream Planter – Third Drawer Down
Vintage Pictures, Chest, Table, and Chairs
Donut Bean Bag — Kmart

Vintage Dining Chairs
DIY Vintage Cabinet
Foraged Foliage

Smeg Stove
Vintage Table and Ladder
Speckled Enamel – Crow Canyon

Rattan Bed Head — Adairs
Bedding – Adairs and Kip and Co
Corn Side Table – Third Drawer Down
Dresser — Vintage
Cowhide — IKEA
Custom Pet Portraits — Gentle Thrills
99c Cuddles Print — Dirty Bandits

Speckled Basin Bowl – Crow Canyon
Large Round Mirror — Kmart

Desk and Chair — IKEA
Hamburger Stool – Third Drawer Down
Artwork – Ashley Ronning, Gentle Thrills, EAT.ME.DO, Tegan Iversen
Clothing – EAT.ME.DO

Thanks, Lara and Adrian!

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