This Australian Ceramicist’s Style Is ‘Maximalist Wanting to be a Minimalist’

published Feb 19, 2020

This Australian Ceramicist’s Style Is ‘Maximalist Wanting to be a Minimalist’

published Feb 19, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Square feet
Sq ft

Name: Chela and Ocean
Location: Jan Juc, Victoria, Australia
Size: 1690 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months

Ceramist and store owner Chela first started her creative career in textile design. After graduating in Melbourne in the early 2000s, she moved to New York, eventually working for big brands like Vera Wang and DKNY for five years. But after finding success in textiles, she turned her creative talents to ceramics, moving back to Melbourne and starting Takeawei, a company making “fun, functional, hand-crafted ceramics for home and hospitality.” Along with designing and making beautiful ceramic homegoods, Chela also teaches ceramic workshops. The house she shares with her baby daughter Ocean is located on Australian’s surf coast, and is filled with a lovely collection of ceramics and art.

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colourful and eclectic

Inspiration: I love warm spaces that are homely, cozy, and calming.  I’m drawn to unexpected color and swoon over the colorful works of artists like Sonia Delaunay, Charlie Harper, and Henri Matisse. I’m inspired by Modernism and Japanese Modernist architecture and interiors. I’m a maximalist wanting to be a minimalist. I like the simplicity of spaces that are functional with bold color, natural timber, and textures. 

Favorite Element: The painting in the dining room by Christopher Jewitt; I bought it to celebrate the arrival of my daughter Ocean. 

Biggest Challenge: The rooms are on the small side, so it’s a challenge to keep them uncluttered and functional. 

What Friends Say: I’ll have have to get busy childproofing before Ocean starts crawling.  

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m messy and messy x 10 with a baby. Of course I clean up for visitors and photos. 

Proudest DIY: Making ceramic lamp shades for the kitchen and dining. 

Biggest Indulgence: Most of the pieces are secondhand but I do like to spend where it counts, like artworks, my dream Jardan sofa, and handmade furniture like the “hide the TV” unit I had custom built by Form Concrete Artisans. 

Best Advice: Follow your own taste; you are the one who has to live with it everyday. And put your money into key pieces you absolutely love and will own forever.   

Dream Sources: 



  • Dulux: Grand Piano Quarter — All over; the house came like that except for a ‘tennis ball green’ wall I painted over in the dining room. 



Objects in shelving:



  • Timber floating shelves and kitchen island — Form Concrete Artisans
  • Ceramics — Alison Frith, Cecile Daladier, Brooke Thorn, Connie Lichti, Kim Russell, Takeawei
  • Ceramic pendant lights — Takeawei
  • Timber and tiled sideboard — Kyo
  • Side Board Large vessel — Andrew Allen x Takeawei
  • Bar stools — Kyo
  • Artwork kitchen window — Marcus Lovell
  • Artwork on kitchen bench — Sue Fraser
  • Artwork on floating shelves — Elle Burguez


  • Otomi orange embroidered wall hanging — Mexico markets
  • Linen — Bed threads
  • Cushion — Rigby’s Homewares
  • Bògòlanfini (mud cloth) — Garage sale
  • Pier stump side table — Romanis . Trinham
  • Terracotta lamp — Takeawei
  • Photo McCarren Park — Kisha Bari
  • Mid-century modern shelving — Mum
  • Grey lava vase — Sharon Alpren, Pepite
  • Eye on plinth — Kim Russell
  • Water glass — Yonobi
  • Woman’s head lamp — Fort Greene Market
  • Neriage bowl — David Pottinger
  • Small lustre bowl — Greg Daly
  • Enamelled Bangles — Melanie Rice
  • Heart vase — Tessy King
  • Pink Bowl — Kate Rohde
  • Candle — Takeawei x Dress Up
  • Enameled jewel box — Family heirloom 
  • Gold ear — Anna Roszko 


  • Cane bassinet and vintage change table — Mood_Objects
  • Triangle shelves — I designed and Like Butter made them for a market display, repurposed as Ocean’s toy and book shelf. 
  • Moroccan rugs — One from Rahba Design and one secondhand from a friend
  • Salt Lamp — Chinatown
  • Stripe woven baskets — Cowrie market
  • African animal mobile — Baby shower gift
  • Orion Brass mobile — Juno + Ace, Arizona Living 
  • Pastel Artwork — Marita Hämäläinen


Thanks Chela and Ocean!