Australian Homes

Barbara Hyman and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th February 2012

The Princes Hill home of Barbara Hyman and family.  Artwork on right by Guy Maestri.  Missoni knitted rug, vintage chair (similar available from Angelucci Twentieth Century). Photos – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Dining room looking out towards back garden.   Rug purchased in Morocco.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Dining room details.  Painting on left by Cate Edwards.  Rug purchased on a special visit to Morocco for Barbara’s 40th birthday.   Photos – Sean Fennessy, Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Ok so clearly, I spend a significant chunk of my of time in beautiful Australian homes these days… but I must say, this seriously stunning house in Melbourne’s Princes Park is the closest I have come to visiting my own ‘dream home’!  It’s quite simply the most classic, beautiful, gigantic yet unassuming and relaxed family home, in one of Princes Hill’s prettiest wide leafy streets, just a stone’s throw from the city.  Aghhh I truly wish this one belonged to me!

Barbara Hyman has lived here for 4 years with husband Ben and kids Conor (12), Lola (10) and Sunny (almost 5).  The family were lucky to inherit a house which had already undergone significant renovation – allowing Barbara to focus most of her attention on the garden and interior details. Barbara put in a beautiful and positively Sydney-esque swimming pool, and invested in landscaping and a new pergola in the backgarden.  She also worked to ‘de-beige’ the house by painting throughout, pulling out unnecessary cupboards, and installing simple chunky solid oak shelving from Mark Turkey.  Carpet in the bedrooms was replaced and extra wide oak floorboards were salvaged and installed – they came all the way from Sydney! Well worth the effort I must say – these wide blonde boards are such a defining feature of the space.

I must say, the main drawcard of this home is the stunning and very generous contemporary extension at the rear of this house – it is truly just about the loveliest addition I have seen to a Victorian home in Melbourne.  It’s understated yet vast in scale – the wide hallway is flanked by numerous light wells and internal courtyards, and the ceilings are out-of-this-world tall (like I think truly 4 metres high or something). Meanwhile, the pretty Victorian frontage gives none of this away! Standing at the front door you really wouldn’t have a clue just how spectacularly grand this home is beneath the surface – a beautiful example of the most sympathetic renovation and modern update of a period family home.

Barbara has filled her home with a mix of antiques and simple contemporary furniture, beautiful warm-toned rugs and treasured artwork. ‘Everything has a story around it’ says Barbara. ‘The carpet under the dining table is a very special memory of my 40th birthday trip to Morocco with a friend’.  Likewise, Barbara has a special fondness for the pool tiles (pictured at the bottom of this post).  After seeing these particular tiles in  a photograph of her sister in law on holiday in Italy (‘at some groovy hotel pool in Ravello!’ she says) – Barbara tracked them down and found someone locally who could import them.

When asked what she loves most about this home, not surprisingly, Barbara has quite a few favourite features – ‘The vista to ‘green’ wherever you are in the house… being able to see nothing but blue sky in the back yard, which is so rare in the inner city  – and my son and daughter love the extra wide, long corridor for indoor cricket!’.  WOW.  Very brave Barbara!  I hope it’s a squishy cricket ball!??

Now as seems to be quite common amongst TDF house tours of late, you will be amazed to hear that Barbara’s house will be on the market soon.  HEARTBREAKING, isn’t it!?  HOW on earth one could bear to part with this kind of residential bliss in beyond me.  It isn’t listed online just yet, but if you have a budget for this kind of enviable lifestyle, you can jump the gun by emailing the agent now. Make sure you tell him where you saw it and perhaps he’ll send me a bottle of champagne or something. :)

Massive thanks to Barbara and sweet Sunny for their patience and hospitality during our visit, and sharing their world with us today!

Dining room details.  Rug from Morocco.

Kitchen – cute UK band posters above shelf.

Kitchen details

Hallway study nook / shelving unit.  Simple chunky solid oak shelving  from Mark Turkey, cupboard doors covered in wallpaper.

Cupboard doors covered in wallpaper, shelf details.

Kids’ playroom / homework room / craft room.  The rug makes it.


Little Sunny (nearly 5) relishes the opportunity to be in a photo!  Thankyou Sunny!  How about that stunning internal courtyard with lush creepers framed by that enormous window!??

Hallway looking towards the Victorian front of the house – artwork on left by local artist Rebecca Cool.

Favor vintage poster in the hallway.  Yes yes we know it’s the prettiest vintage poster ever.  GOOD LUCK getting one, these are super rare now…. but if you MUST have one, and simply no other vintage poster will do…. I recommend an email to poster hunter extraordinaire  Michelle at Galerie Montmartre!

Master bedroom – bed from Mark Tuckey, similar rugs available from Loom.

LOLA I love your wardrobe!

SUNNY I love your sweet antique bed!

Back garden

Back garden , looking South across pool to pergola

Pool – and those treasured tiles Barbara went to great lengths to track down!


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th February 2012


  • Anna D 5 years ago

    A beautiful home – the selection of artwork is wonderful. Love love.
    Where can I get my little mits on a trestle table like that?
    Love Lola’s wardrobe typography – very clever. One lucky lucky buyer awaits! X

  • dustjacket 5 years ago

    Love all their artwork and how light and fresh the home is.

  • line x shape x colour 5 years ago

    so dreamy!

  • sarah 5 years ago

    The house is absolutely amazing,love everything,the rugs,the artwork,the kitchen details…everything!!!!

  • Sunshine & Daydreams 5 years ago

    I so look forward to Wednesday mornings when I get to snoop inside these wonderful houses. So much to inspire me today. I might even give the agent a call.

  • shannon 5 years ago

    love love love.

  • Camilla 5 years ago

    This is one of those times that having a private benefactor would be ideal.
    (oh that sounds so wrong!)
    Beautiful house & I love the pendants in the hallway. Are they fabric of paper?

  • Ellen @ Moyarta 5 years ago

    I love how this house is beautifully decorated and styled yet is still comfortable and lived in. The large window to the internal courtyard is stunning. Thanks so much for showing us.

  • Em 5 years ago

    What a stunning home. You can tell that it is made up of a collection of loved things.

  • michele 5 years ago

    What a beautiful home! So many amazing colours, textures… + artworks! LOVE the dark wall treatments too… what a way to make objects pop!

  • MB Captured 5 years ago

    This home is dreamy, so fresh and bright with personal touches. Just lovely.

  • Katrina Wardle 5 years ago

    Two words, absolutely glorious!

  • Indra 5 years ago

    I would love to know where the wallpaper that covers the cupboard doors is from? I have been trying to get my hands on it for ever!!! This house is class. SWOON SWOON SWOOOON!

  • deb 5 years ago

    OH MY WORD!!!! that is the most gorgeous home I have ever seen. Right up my alley and SO beautiful and unique. Crazy to sell such a beaut of a home…lucky buyer for sure!

  • Margie 5 years ago

    I love those rings and rope ladder on the back verandah…

  • Maarten Gubbens 5 years ago

    Wonderful home..! All the pictures are very beautiful and i want to say this home is mind blowing….

  • Tory Read 5 years ago

    Too fabulous. Love this house….the pool, the tiles and the espalier, how divine!

  • Phoebe 5 years ago

    Lovely, just lovely. Lucy, I reckon these real estate agents should be paying you a commission ;)

    On a related note, I’ve noticed a sneaking change in some real estate advertising where they’re dropping the wide-angle-lens shots for more interesting images that look like they could be something out of a design mag or blog. Here’s hoping it catches on. It will make real estate stalking a whole lot more fun.

  • Jacquie 5 years ago

    Amazing house – Surely Barbara is a much sort after Stylist/Interior designer!

  • Lisa 5 years ago

    I love this beautiful home, especially the artworks. I also love the master bedroom wall colour, can you tell me the name of the colour, it’s gorgeous.

  • Rachel 5 years ago

    If I was to ever own a house (sigh), this is what I would want it to look/feel like.

  • meera 5 years ago

    Barbara I want to hire you as my interior designer! You’ve created a beautiful house and I just loooove you sense of style – gorgeous without compromising comfort

  • That shot of the pool is heaven! I LOVE that espaliered tree… and the Guy Maestri indoors ! (I know they have nothing in common… but>..)

  • Sally 5 years ago

    Great house, it seems so relaxed and family friendly even though clearly a lot of thought and work went into it. I love that chair by the pool!

  • trinawilson2011 5 years ago

    Yey! Super love the “ginormous” windows! Those beautiful windows need equally awesome blinds to go with. Don’t you agree? :)

    Love, love the house. I’ll definitely bookmark this.

  • Sara @ zaharadessert 5 years ago

    Such an amazing home. Everything about it is just perfect

  • anna 5 years ago

    its a bit unforgettable..any one know the name of the colour of the kitchen paint…

  • Jackie Vintage Bridal 5 years ago

    I want to live there!

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