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Cruden Farm · The Garden of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

Cruden Farm at Langwarrin, south-east of Melbourne, was given to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch in 1928 as a wedding present from her husband, Sir Keith Murdoch.

The exceptional story of this garden, created through the dedication of Dame Elisabeth and gardener Michael Morrison, is told through the pages of  Cruden Farm Garden Diaries. This beautiful book charts the evolution of a quiet, creative and incredibly productive relationship between two kindred souls.

Gardens columnist, Georgina Reid of The Planthunter, learns more from the book’s co-author, journalist Lisa Clausen.

A Subtle Sydney Beach House Inspired By Greek Mythology

This Sydney seaside pad is so light, bright and airy, it’s hard to believe it was previously a dark, dated home before its transformative renovation by Matt Woods, of Killing Matt Woods.

Enlisted by his friends to update their home in Avoca Beach, the designer knew he wanted to create something that matched its serene surrounds of the Central Coast.

But a witty play on words helped inspire a larger concept, which references Greek mythology and the ‘Four Ages’. Through a combination of muted metallics that allude to the Golden, Iron, Silver, and Bronze Ages. Take a closer look!

The Tastiest Tuesdays of 2015 · Chocolate Mudcake with Ganache and Fresh Berries – The Design Files | Australia's most popular design blog.

Every January it is our annual tradition to revisit our most popular Tasty Tuesday recipes from the past 12 months, they fly by so quickly, we are amassing quite an archive!

First up, we revisit this delectable cake from Melbourne’s cake queen, Cassy Morris of Fig & Salt. Cassy creates all kinds of treats, both savoury and sweet, but her cakes are seriously something else. Her decadent layered desserts, piled high with ganache, cream, toffee shards, meringue, fresh berries and flowers have made her pretty famous on Instagram. This rich mud cake with dark chocolate ganache is a perennial crowd pleaser.

 

An Impeccably Styled Mid-Century Melbourne Rental

creative-peoplehomesAn Impeccably Styled Mid-Century Melbourne Rental

Back in 2019, Holly Thompson and Stephanie Lane were in a rush to find their next rental property. 

The house they’d been renting with their respective daughters Lola (5) and Frida (6) was being sold in a hurry, so they decided to inspect a two-bedroom place in nearby Kew East. 

‘From a practical sense, it actually wasn’t suited for our family at all,’ says Steph. ‘We needed four bedrooms and it was two bedrooms and a study. But we just knew we had to have it, so did what we needed to do to make it work for us.’

The mothers are the co-owners of Goodspace (which Holly founded and Steph joined shortly after) that predominantly sells mid-century furniture pieces, so they understood the circa 1960 property’s significance, and its potential. 

‘The home itself is a wonderful example of suburban mid-century architecture, with lots of natural light and exceptional exposed beams and timber panelling,’ says Steph.

Holly and Steph were excited by the challenge of updating the home without making structural changes. Firstly, they partitioned the dining room using sheer curtains to create Steph’s room, while arranging the study to create a ‘super special kids room’ for Lola.

Styling wise, Steph and Holly were inspired by the home’s mid-century features, including the green carpet installed in every room. ‘What could have been a styling obstacle we turned into something that has really worked for us,’ says Holly. 

The pair actually have quite different tastes – Holly’s being more neutral and Steph’s dominated by colour and pattern – but they both love to experiment with current trends. 

‘This is really reflected in each of our bedrooms, and really comes together in our shared spaces,’ says Holly. ‘As you walk through our home, we feel it tells a colour story that reflects each member of the family.’

This home is an example of what can be achieved in a rental property. ‘Renting and budget restrictions doesn’t mean that you can’t make your space your own,’ says Steph. ‘We have sourced nearly everything in our home secondhand on a really tight budget, and then had small splash out moments on pieces of art from local artists.’

We’re sorry to say that this home was recently sold, and is very sadly due to be demolished. While we’re devastated to see the house go, there’s no doubt Holly and Steph will fill their next property with the same wonderful array of mid-century design, and plenty of love. Watch this space!

Wassily chair, Natuzzi floor lamp (1990s) and blue checkered rug sourced by Goodspace. Black coffee table sourced from Wavey Wares. Limestone sculpture by Lauren Lea Haynes. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Wassily chair, Natuzzi floor lamp (1990s) and blue checkered rug sourced by Goodspace. Black coffee table sourced from Wavey Wares. ‘Sailor’ blanket by Curio Practice. Purple ‘Foli’ table by Lauren Lea Haynes. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


From left: Steph and her daughter Frida, Holly and her daughter Lola in the lounge room of their Kew home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Wassily chair, Natuzzi floor lamp (1990s) and blue checkered rug sourced by Goodspace. Black coffee table sourced from Wavey Wares. ‘Sailor’ blanket by Curio Practice. Purple ‘Foli’ table by Lauren Lea Haynes. Yellow cherry bomb / Cosmic wand candle by Blazed Wax. Daisy planter by Ellie King. Artwork in the lounge is “Untitled (Red)” by Charlie Ingemar Harding. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Black chairs and dining table sourced from Goodspace. Artwork in the lounge is “Untitled (Red)” by Charlie Ingemar Harding. Artwork behind the dining table is “Here and Now” by Chalom. Bronze sculpture by Caleb Shea. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


A view into the kitchen. Doll house painting by Ruby Hoppen. Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) by Lizzie Nungarrayi Spencer, Warlukurlangu Artists. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Wooden sculpture underneath painting by Lauren Lea Haynes. Wall piece “Untitled” by Hannah Maskell. Artwork “Happy Cat”by Shaye Tek. All furniture sourced by Goodspace. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


‘This room was originally the dining room, but we turned it into a bedroom by adding a curtain wall and positioning the furniture so it felt cosy,’ says Steph. Orange and blue painting (R side of cupboard) by Abbey Rich. Cherry Bomb and Dante candle by Blazed Wax. Cream ‘Foli’ table by Lauren Lea Haynes. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Steph’s room. ‘Steph loves  bright colours and smashing things together that shouldn’t really go, when using lots of patterns I try to keep them tonally similar to create cohesion,’ says Holly. Cut-out side table by P0ly. Blanket by Trinket Solo. Dinner candle by Blazed Wax.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Framed water colour paintings by Ruby Hoppen. Drawers sourced by Goodspace. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Cherry Bomb and Dante candle by Blazed Wax. Cream ‘Foli’ table by Lauren Lea Haynes. Mustard checkered rug from Goodspace. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


‘This built in study bookcase turned into storage meant we could create a perfect kid’s bedroom feel,’ says Steph. Wheatgrass blanket by Curio Practice. Wall hanging by Anna Fiedler. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Holly’s room looks right onto the lush backyard. Wheatgrass blanket by Curio Practice. Japanese folding stool sourced by Jolie Laide. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


‘We are obsessed with the free standing fireplace in the centre of the room; we are definitely going to save that in the bank for dream home designs,’ says Holly. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.


Steph and Holly on the patio outside with a vintage outdoor dining setting sourced by Goodspace. ‘We spend lots of hours on the porch, drinking coffee or yummy wines and it turns into the occasional dance floor!’ says Steph. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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