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Monday, June 17, 2024

This Emerging Textile Designer Creates Handcrafted Homewares That Feel Like Future Heirlooms

Megan McNeill’s first job out of uni was at a bed linen brand, where she worked 9-5, while also running her own independent fashion label, Rouda. She put out two collections, all whilst still working her full-time job, so it’s safe to say this Melbourne-based creative was born to be in textiles!

After a stint in London working for a print studio, Megan returned to Australia over a year ago and launched her own textile brand – Trinket Solo – all on her own.

Now, she designs and tufts her collection of rich, textural cushions, rugs and blankets from a warehouse space in Brunswick that she shares with a coterie of fab, women-led creative businesses. Living the dream!

Wild Sorrel Ravioli with Burnt Butter and Garlic – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

During our recent visit to Tamsin Carvan’s idyllic home and farm in Gippsland, Eve and I were so grateful when Tamsin generously offered to cook us lunch whilst we worked. ‘Sorry, it’s just a basic pasta, hope that’s ok’ she said, apologetically, proceeding to create pasta dough from scratch, as if it were no big deal!  No fuss and no fanfare, just simple ingredients, prepared thoughtfully and without pretence.  That’s the effortless brilliance of Tamsin’s Table.  In truth, she really did make it look so easy… try your hand at homemade pasta with Tamsin’s delicious and super simple ravioli recipe below!

A Productive Acreage Turned Residential Swimming Hole!

For an inland property situated 25 kilometres north of Sydney, this magical garden could easily be mistaken for somewhere in the tropics. Matt Leacy of Landart is the brains behind this transformation of a steep and rocky block into a luscious residential garden.

Through a mix of native and tropical plantings, a converted dam pool, and some massive excavation works to wrangle the sloping site, Matt has delivered the very definition of an oasis.

A Majestic Restoration For A Legendary Heritage Garden

GardensA Majestic Restoration For A Legendary Heritage Garden

Australia’s National Trusts were established with the mission of preserving the country’s most important natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage sites. Though Victoria’s trust is largely dedicated to safeguarding the state’s notable architecture from redevelopment, its status as our leading conservation organisation also extends to protecting significant natural sites from the same fate. This Deepdene garden is one of them!

Landscape designer Ian Barker engaged in this masterful conservation effort by combining modern practices with heritage style. ‘We designed and constructed a large, sweeping lawn edged with garden beds of mixed perennials and grasses, all offset by the original, established pin oaks,’ he said. Rather than radically reorganising the large plot, the new designs respected the traditional arrangement of the original garden, and used the planting palette to rejuvenate the ageing space.

Believed to have been originally designed by William Guilfoyle (the creator of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens) in the 1860s, it was important to retain a sense of this garden’s impressive legacy. The original cork oak and restored rose arbours anchor the garden in its history, while new plantings including topiary, caradonna, purple vervain, husker red and oriental pearl create a vibrant, textured vista beyond. A serene bluestone pond is surrounded by towering topiary and an evergreen hedge, while a 13-metre bluestone bench seat clad in herringbone tiles wraps the rear of the property. The terrace, path and outdoor dining area feature large bluestone pavers, while the rest of the sturdy materials palette consists of granite rock gravel and Torquay stone.

Preserving the 135-year-old cork oak presented the main challenge to Ian’s team. They even used an x-ray machine to scan the ground around the ancient trunk pre-excavation to ensure they had a clear understanding of the root system woven under the earth!

For Ian, there is a poignant circularity to his work on the Deepdene project. ‘I used to pass this property every day on the school bus and wonder who lived there,’ he remembers. ‘So it has been one of the most rewarding jobs of my life, to help bring back the original grandeur of this 150-year-old garden.’

See more projects from Ian Barker Gardens here.

The meandering bluestone path carves a route through the established pin oaks! Photo – Claire Takacs.

Dappled light cast across the lawn. Photo – Claire Takacs.

The sprawling, one-acre property is crowded with diverse greenery! Photo – Claire Takacs.

large bluestone pavers punctuate the lawn around the residence. Photo – Claire Takacs.

The serene pond provides a moment of pause. Photo – Claire Takacs.

Ian’s team restored these original rose arbours! Photo – Claire Takacs.

Perennials in pink, blue, purple and white tones create a soft colour palette alongside the evergreen hedge and statuesque topiary bushes. Photo – Claire Takacs.

The bluestone pond! Photo – Claire Takacs.

Deepdene garden is as traditional and grand as they come! Photo – Claire Takacs.

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