Australian Homes

Penelope Durston

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 8th December 2010

The Fitzroy home of Penelope Durston

Pene’s partner in crime – Jethro the cat.  Such a poser.

Who says I can’t include an ‘almost but not quite the same photo’ of Pene’s stunning tapestry wall…?  It was too hard to choose a favourite.

Pene’s favourite framed ‘cottage’ embroidery, and collection of enamel tins!  Such insanely cute colourful-ness. It’s like being transported into Frankie Magazine.

Nik naks never looked so good.

This is the Fitzroy home of craft queen Penelope Durston, who has created this beautiful cosy little pad above her fabulous Gertrude street shop, Cottage Industry.   I am particularly excited to share this very special Melbourne Home, because I have been waiting an AWFUL long time to post it!  I took these pics waaaaay back in JANUARY this year!  That is a very long time in blog years.

The reason that Ms Durston has been patiently waiting for nearly a YEAR to see her home on The Design Files, is that after discovering the fabulousness of her little nest, I was compelled to see her home in print!  Luckily the very talented John Laurie came to the party, and then the wonderful peeps at Inside Out graciously accepted the story… and so we have been waiting waiting waiting for the story to go to print so that I could finally share my shots with you here!

Unfortunately my shots are not a patch on Mr Laurie’s – understandable I hope!?  Nevertheless the sheer crafty cleverness of Pene’s beautiful little home outshines my questionable photographic skills… there is just so much to love about this place!

Pene has undertaken some serious DIY to get her place up to scratch – Despite being a renter, she has painted throughout, installed vintage pendant lighting both upstairs an in the downstairs shop, and even installed a functional kitchen (LOVE that pressed metal splashback!).  There really is nothing Pene won’t tackle – she’s certainly not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty.  Lucky landlord!

Huge thanks to Pene for sharing her beautiful little home with us, and for her amazing patience!  I hope you guys agree it was totally worth the wait… :)

ps)  If you haven’t visited Pene’s shop recently it is definitely time to pop back in – lots of locally crafted Christmas gifts and general gorgeousness to see and buy!  Say hello from me!

Cottage Industry
67 Gertrude St
(03) 9419 2430

Extended Christmas hours – Open Monday to Saturday 11.00am – 6.00pm

Pene’s Ikea sofa, covered in a mass of handcrafted patchwork!

Loungeroom details

Textile heaven

AMAZING teeny tiny kitchen, installed almost from scratch by Pene.  Pressed metal splashback – genius.

More kitchen goodness.  Including the Vanilla sponge Pene made for us on the day!  Mmmm. ALSO cumquats for chutney making! (Don’t forget to enter the great Chutney Club Christmas  raffle if you haven’t already!)

Kitchen nik nak awesomeness.

Bedroom details.  Pene’s impressive quilt collection.

Artwork in the stairwell

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 8th December 2010


  • Leah M 6 years ago

    So glad to see Mister Jethro, who was conspicuously absent from Inside Out. Lovely photos, lovely home.

  • Dayle 6 years ago

    Jethro is lovely….he appears very happy with his beautiful surrounds! Love the tapestry in frames & the lighting in that room appears soothing & calming. Great pics of clever ladies apartment!

  • Joanne 6 years ago

    I want me a Jeethro. He is quite charming! What a beautiful home – so great to see something so obviously loved and lived in. Jealous!

  • Laura 6 years ago

    Wow what a great home! I think this is my favourite one yet! The colour, the prints, the kick knacks and the cute cat! Very inspiring!

  • Mandy 6 years ago

    What a great home … and I love homes that let the pets lay around everywhere !!!

  • Heather Nette King 6 years ago

    My favourite home tour ever! Everything I love is there.

  • Prakash 6 years ago

    The homes you shown were wonderful. I really love everything here. I really inspired with the home with the cute & lovely pets. Thank you for share this list.

  • Claire 6 years ago

    What an absolutely gorgeous home. So cosy. So sweet. And the splashback IS genius!

  • bcylady 6 years ago

    i see there is a huge hardwork to collect all the old-feel stuffs. at first i thought if the house full of wood kind of furniture, the decoration will look dark and dull. But after reading this post, it totally changed my previous thought :) thank u for sharing. – * tell u the same, i also feel tat the metal splashback is catching my eyes *

  • NikkiG 6 years ago

    I know first hand that this is the most comforting place for a cup of tea on Gertrude Street.

  • Meaghan 6 years ago

    Full of envy here! What a lovely place and good ideas to the briM!

  • librarygirl 6 years ago

    Even better than the photos in InsideOut, I think.
    Great woman with great style!

  • Xav 6 years ago

    Could it possibly be that you named your little furry one after the band Jethro Tull?
    If so that’s amazing!

  • Kate E 6 years ago

    lovely shots/// love jethro too. I am in middle of turkey and miss my dog and cats (why didnt i bring a pic?) so seeing the pets of others is a pleasure

  • Andrew 6 years ago

    Pene, your home is as beautiful as your shop. Love it!

  • Jen 6 years ago

    Miss Pen Pen… such a treat!

  • Emily 6 years ago

    Ugh! What a beautiful place to be. Love Jethro and the ace tapestries.

  • Bella 6 years ago

    This is such a stinkingly gorgeous home, wonderful needlework pieces everywhere and what a cute cat! Lucky lady, happy home :)

  • Lauren 6 years ago

    Those budgie figurines are so cute, I’ve got one similar and I love it. The colours in these images is delightful!

  • Leigha 6 years ago

    This place is delicious.


  • sophie travers 6 years ago

    I almost crash the car every time I drive past that Fitzroy school he features, so I would love to learn more about it in the book.

  • Cate 6 years ago

    Drooling at all the stunning fabrics and colours!

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