This Gorgeous Australian Home Has the Most Beautiful Plant Covered Wall We’ve Seen Yet

updated Dec 19, 2019

This Gorgeous Australian Home Has the Most Beautiful Plant Covered Wall We’ve Seen Yet

updated Dec 19, 2019
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Name: Sarah Woodhouse and Brad Nicholls and kids Tom and Angus. Dog is Barney and guinea is pig Timmy.
Location: East of Melbourne, on the foothills of the Mt. Dandenongs. 
Size: House is on 100-acre farm
Years lived in: 4 years in the first build, 7 years after the fire.

One minute you are in outer Melbourne suburbia, then you turn a corner off the main road and drive onto a long gravel driveway, where you are surrounded by green hills and farmland and are greeted by a happy dog named Barney. Sarah, Brad, and their family live on a 100-acre property and run their furniture making / design business called Nicholls Design from a nearby shed, only a short walk up a hill from their home.

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They have been living in their current home for seven years, after a fire destroyed their previous home they had built four years before that. Most of the structure and contents were ruined; the only wall that remained unscathed was the rammed earth wall between the dining area and two bedrooms. Despite the tragic fire (and being under insured and on a tight budget), Sarah and Brad were able to rebuild their home, quite literally. The house is filled with amazing furniture—built and designed by Brad, alongside the kitchen he built, too. You can see more of their furniture creations on Instagram.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our house has a modern country style with mid-century, Scandinavian, and Japanese influences. Our style is earthy, relaxed, eclectic, and homely. We like things that are original and handmade.

Inspiration: Nature, texture, native gardens, greenery. 

Favorite Element: Vertical garden on rammed earth wall. Our large windows, which capture the view and let so much light in for indoor plants to thrive. The windows are made out of recycled timber, which was salvaged from an old foundry in Spencer Street in Melbourne. 

Biggest Challenge: Rebuilding the house after the fire. We were very under insured and had to do a lot of the work ourselves to save on costs. Very stressful time of our lives. 

What your friends say: “I feel so calm when I walk into Brad and Sarah’s home, it’s a naturally nourishing space for body, mind, and spirit. I love the natural light, the colors and textures, and the way the distinction between inside and outside is blurred. Everything about the place invites me to be myself and enjoy life. The home itself has an identity, which comes from the way its creators have woven beauty and functionality into every space, every piece of furniture carefully made (just meters away in Brad’s workshop), the plants bursting with vitality through Sarah’s attention.  There is something very special about a home that has not only been designed and built by its occupants, but where much of what is within has also been handmade by them too.” —Alison and Leigh Arnold. 

“Sarah and Brad’s place is a great reflection of the family that lives there: unpretentious, earthy, interesting, and refined. Everything is made manifest with love and consideration, but it never feels precious or stuffy.” —Sarah Stewart 

“Sarah and Brad have created a fabulous home; it’s relaxed, comfortable, and bright. I love the wall of plants.” —Joan Worsley

Biggest Embarrassment: Our crotch-sniffing dog Barney! 

Proudest DIY: The house was designed and most of it built by us.

Biggest Indulgence: Hydronic wood heater that heats the floors and the whole house. Big expense but so worth it.

Best Advice: Make sure your house is properly insured! Especially its contents. We insured our contents only thinking of being robbed not losing your house in a fire and having to replace everything.

Dream Sources: @intothewild_plants for all things planty; @louise.jones_ for beautiful Australian soft furnishings and wallpaper; @lillypillypottery; @angusandceleste for great planters; @mikenicholls for sculpture and paintings; and @tjanpidesertweavers for beautiful woven baskets



  • Colour was made up. It’s a warm white.


  • Artwork Mike Nicholls
  • Bench Nicholls Design
  • Bark painting brought back from Tahiti by Brads mum. 


  • Lounges by Nicholls Design
  • Bookshelf Nicholls Design
  • Carpet Bremworth cavalier New Zealand wool
  • Curtains from The curtain nook
  • Artwork Mike Nicholls
  • Old shelving belonged to Sarah’s dad with old family photos and treasures
  • Wall hanging gift from Brad’s mum from her travels to Africa 


  • Table and chairs by Nicholls Design
  • Vertical wall garden — Plants from here there and everywhere. 
  • Basket behind dining table from Tjanpi basket weavers in Alice Springs
  • Other baskets came from  Eumundi market in Qld


  • Honed black granite bench tops
  • Recycled hardwood cabinetry made by us 
  • Splashback Academy tiles
  • Shelves knick knacks from here there and everywhere. 


  • Bed Nicholls Design
  • Pink Archie armchair Nicholls Design 
  • Shelves Nicholls Design
  • Knick-knacks from here there and everywhere
  • Cushions Louise Jones


  • Concrete bench tops made by us
  • Cabinetry by us
  • Furniture by us
  • Angus and Celeste hanging planter

Thanks Sarah, Brad, and Family!

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