Living not Decorating

With an emphasis on well-lived and well-loved apartment spaces, Living not Decorating tips its hat to interesting and idiosyncratic living and working spaces locally and internationally. A home comes in many permutations. We want to see how people live, the things they choose to surround themselves with, and the objects and ephemera that makes them feel at home. Homes and workspaces are photographed as we find them, with their inhabitants as our personal guide. The aim is to inspire you, good reader, to live simply, ingeniously and happily by your own design.

Maxine & Jonny’s Coburg Cottage

This petite cottage in Coburg is where Maxine and Jonny call home, and for the last five years have lovingly tended the garden into an oasis and lined the walls with beautiful things. Their happiness here, however, has much to do with the character of Coburg itself as it does with each other, and this is an ode to them Living Not Decorating in the heart of the suburb.

Dom’s Juke Joint

Dominic Bourke is a teacher, poet, builder and musician. Now based in Beijing with his wife, Celeste, and two children Luella and Raphael, he reflects upon the Strathewen Juke Joint he has (temporarily) left behind – a retreat he built himself using reclaimed materials following the devastation of the Black Saturday fires.

Surface Encounters: The Whitmans

Doyens of style, much revered hosts, sisters, and (most of all) best friends, Pollyanna and Phoebe Whitman are formidable forces in the Melbourne creative world. Together with two dear friends (Tom and Hannes) and perpetual puppy Hugo, they live in the NMBW-designed 'Fitzroy Apartments' on Kerr Street. Olga Bennett pays a home visit.

Dan, Paul, Eike: Mid-City Mountain Cabin

Dan Honey and Paul Fuog are Melbourne design luminaries. Together with their young daughter Eike, they live in a Clare Cousins-designed apartment in Melbourne's iconic Bible House building. Olga Bennett visits them at home.

Wanderlust Waratah: Jenny Kee

Jenny Kee is a fashion pioneer. Never one to follow, Jenny spent the heady, flower-power era pursuing life, love and art in London in the 60s. Since returning home to Australia in the 1970s, Jenny has cemented her name as a cultural icon through her vibrant fashion and art that celebrates Australian landscape and culture. Surrounded by waratah and wattle, Rafaela Pandolfini visits Jenny at her Blackheath home.

Shantell: Go Home, Come Home

Shantell Martin was once an itinerant artist – now you could say the world is her home. After five years in Tokyo, the Londoner now lives in an illustrated bedroom oasis with walls adorned with her own drawings in Brooklyn, NYC. From performing in underground clubs to being featured in the NY Times, the New Yorker and TED, Shantell is an international star on the rise. Paul Barbera makes a home visit.

Gaby, Maxi, Leo: Green House

You may remember the luscious, indoor jungle home of Andrew (Maxi) Walker and Gabriela Holland from our visit earlier this year, when we learnt the DIY recipe for 'kokedama' or string gardens. Pino Demaio makes a return visit to this compact, art deco apartment in East Melbourne to find out more about the plant-obsessed duo behind Pop Plant.

Heller Street – Part II

Following on from last week's visit to the Heller Street Park and Residences, architect James Legge talks about the ethos behind his design and what it's like to live in a community... with your clients. And, we return to Heller Street with photographer Tim Hillier as we capture the stories and living spaces of the final two neighourhood households.

Heller Street – part I

Introducing the first of our two part special on a medium density project close to our hearts – the Heller Street Park and Residences by iconic Melbourne architects Six Degrees. Completed at the end of 2011, this row of ten handsome timber-clad townhouses marries public and private interests and interactions in a benchmark design for a new model of inner-city multi-dwelling housing in Australian cities.

Gemma: Lazy Oaf London

Lazy Oaf is an independent fashion label founded in 2001 that channels pop graphics and '90s nostalgia, stocking throughout the UK and beyond, from the Tate Modern to Melbourne's own Lenko. Continuing our collaboration with interiors blog 'What’s in your bedroom', Olivia Howitt takes a candy-coloured visit to the North London home of Lazy Oaf’s director and founder Gemma Shiels.

Savi, Pascal & Georgie: Amsterdam interiors

Savi, Pascal and Georgie live in a 3rd & 4th floor apartment – a 100sqm "home, sweet home". Pascal is a design director while Savi combines writing with design PR/Communication. Daughter Georgie (turning 3 soon) is football crazy and loves making food in her make-believe kitchen. Roving eye Paul Barbera visited the trio's cosy home in De Pijp, Amsterdam for these beautiful images.

Mitch and Kylie: Collecting Heirlooms

I challenge you to find a power cord in the Sydney home of wardrobe stylist Kylie Gonder and designer Mitch “Beige” Brown. Hiding pesky cables is no mean feat in this compact 1940s apartment “with character”. I visited one sunny Saturday to document, chat and sip a mean G&T in this warm and welcoming home set high up in the treetops of Edgecliff.

Sonia: breakfast before the day begins

Designer, still life stylist and 'creatress' Sonia Rentsch lives in a quiet deco gem in Princes Hill. Peers call Sonia a 'MacGyver of beauty' and her hands, eyes and heart create magic on film and photography across design, commercial and artistic projects. Here we share our visit to Rentsch HQ – a warm, visual wonderland where beauty is created post breakfast.

Gill: Surf city limits

Gill Hutchison is a blogger, born-again surfer and producer based in a Melrose Place-esque enclave in Collingwood. After a bodyboarding epiphany in Mexico, Gill (aka 'Gilly Slater') returned to Melbourne a surf-obsessive, balancing her busy city work and social life with frequent trips 'down the coast'. We visited to talk surfing, pastries and domestic sanctuaries.

Melissa, Simon & Gustov: Utopian Heights

Gallerist Melissa Loughnan and social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths recently became the new owners of Gustov, a British blue. To mark this occasion (and because we'd heard rumours of bountiful art and a cosy atmosphere), we sent NY-based photographer Paul Barbera to Mel and Simon's warehouse in Fitzroy. Here are the beautiful results (dozens more ridiculously cute cat photos not pictured!).

Emlyn and Gabby: cook, work, parties, people

We visited the cosy, art-laden apartment of Emlyn Olaver and wife Gabby who lived in the city for over a year and a half before recently moving north. "There’s good people watching out the window, it's always entertaining. We’ve witnessed bad buskers, giant rats, naked backpackers, catfights, breakups and mass arrests...and that's just New Years!"