Australian Homes

Sally Richardson and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 22nd February 2012

The South Yarra apartment of Sally Richardson and family.  Artworks top left are decorative prints picked up in a print fair in Paris.  Home styled by Sally and her sister Fiona.  Photographs by Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Lucy McKimm.

Pretty details – the artworks top left are decorative prints Sally found in a print fair in Paris.  Wire sculpture top right – a wedding present from Sally’s sister’s family, by friend and artist Kate Hendry.  Painting bottom right by David Bromley, on loan from the private collection of Sally’s friend and artist  Jeff Martin.  Photographs by Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Lucy McKimm.

Dining room with views across the trees and rooftops of South Yarra – Photographs by Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Lucy McKimm.

OK if you think you have a tiny home, think again.  Today’s gorgeous Melbourne apartment re-defines tiny.  But it’s oh so cute, and somehow so very live-able, despite its modest proportions.

This sweet little pad in leafy South Yarra belongs to interior architect Sally Richardson, her husband Ben (a winemaker at Galli Estate Winery) and new bub Orbella.  YES a whole family fits in here!  It mightn’t be glaringly obvious just how small the space is – it really photographs in a way that makes it seem much bigger!  (Real estate photographers, take note – its all in the styling and not just the lens!).  In actual fact the apartment has only one bedroom, and I think possibly the tiniest kitchen in the Universe (2m x 2m!).  If you read right to the end of the post you will see a shot taken from the front door, looking through the living space into the bedroom beyond – this photo probably gives the best indication of the apartment layout.  (If I knew how to use CAD I would have included a floorplan!)

The apartment has undergone a few significant changes since Sally acquired the place four years ago – mainly restoration work and a re-fit of the kitchen.  It was at first ‘a multi coloured fifties number’ Sally says!   This was a particular challenge, in a space of  just 2m square, but she says she had lots of fun with pull-out chopping boards and other space saving details!

I have been wracking my brains to try and figure out why this home, despite it’s size, somehow feels so comfortable and so easy to live in.  I think it can only be put down to Sally’s styling and design expertise – she has filled her home with such perfectly proportioned pieces, and has implemented a couple of simple but genius small space solutions!  For instance, the bench seats under the windows in the dining room double as sneaky storage and eliminate the need for individual dining chairs.  The result is a space that feels generous and uncluttered – with enough seating for a dinner party, should the need arise!

In my imagination this place feels a little like what living in a European city might be like – with it’s period features, rooftop views and flea-market finds.   Indeed, Sally says the the apartment does remind her a little of Paris, where she studied Interior Architecture at  the  Ecole Nationale Superieur des Arts Decoratifs, and where she has collected a lot of the pieces you see here.

Massive thanks to Sally for sharing her beautiful home with us today… it’s so nice to be reminded that cute beats big, no matter where you live! Sally (and I!) would like to thank her sister Fiona for styling her apartment to perfection pre-shoot!  Big thanks also to Lucy McKimm for her able assistance during this shoot, and for having a hot coffee waiting for me when I arrived!

Living area – Cleo couch by Jardan.  The lattice stools/ tables are Sally’s own design.

Beautiful colour story on the shelves.  The portrait of Sally’s mother is a favourite treasured possession of Sally’s, for its colour and of course its sentimental value.

Sweet details in living area – Sally’s typewriter is a favourite – ‘the latest “noiseless” Remington!’ she says!  It was Sally’s great grandmother’s.  Wire sculpture by Kate Hendry.

Vintage trolley in dining area

Vintage trolley / dining details

Master bedroom.  Dots coat hooks on the wall by Muuto, available from Safari Living amongst other places!

LOVE the bedside trunk and styling!

Cornice detail and bedside trunk

Smallest, cutest kitchen in the Universe

Herb garden on window ledge

View across rooftops from dining room

This shot perhaps give the best sense of scale – taken from the very front door looking through dining / living space into bedroom.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 22nd February 2012


  • Sarah 5 years ago

    Oh that’s gorgeous….

  • librarygirl 5 years ago

    Lovely. I would love it as a city pad when I get my country cottage on an acre not far from a wild beach (you’ve got me dreaming over breakfast Lucy!)

  • Margie 5 years ago

    yes, agreed, so gorgeous! And a real team effort in the shoot. It’s nice to hear how the whole thing comes together.

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    Gorgeous place, love the efficient use of space. Very inspiring.

  • Brendan 5 years ago

    Fantastic! what a wonderful home, I love the tiny kitchen…

  • Emma Sutton 5 years ago

    that bedroom looks beautiful, I just want to jump on the bed and look out the window’\

  • Kate 5 years ago

    Love the David Bromley, looks like she is peering to look out the window.

  • Sara @ zaharadessert 5 years ago

    This house is stunning.
    Such an amazing use of space and it so light and airy.
    An inspiration.

  • Monika 5 years ago

    This home is really beautiful, I love that it is not polished, the window frames rustic in the bedroom, all the rooms feel open. Love the use of shelving by the couch instead of a lamp table.

  • This is a beautiful space! I love the couch, the shelving in the loungeroom (this looks DIY? I would love to know more!), and the storage/bench seating in the dining area. I love stylish storage so am always looking for more inspiration. But, please, important things first — can I ask where Sally sourced those delightful rainbow-coloured mugs from? They are amazing!

  • tali 5 years ago

    So great to see a tiny home on Design Files! We live in a flat and area always looking for ideas.

  • Elyce 5 years ago

    Excellent! Agree with some of the others, it is great to see a small home of TDF. The way Melbourne is going a lot more people are going to be living in smaller spaces (yes, ahh!), so it is great to see how to make it work. Beautiful apartment! I live in a small Yarraville home, so I might need to apply some of these space making techniques.

  • Sally 5 years ago

    Hi Jess, The mugs are from Dibbern. I wanted adaptable, simple, shelving that allowed me to take a shelf out easily.

  • anna winneke 5 years ago

    what I think is even more delightful… is that I think this is my family’s old flat??? (looking far more gorgeous without the brown velour couch!) Used for so many covert escapes from the boarding house!!! ?? hmmm… I’m curious now!

  • Jane 5 years ago

    What a small world…
    Was visiting my folks in Romsey Victoria on the weekend and was recommended by the local Sunbury wineshop to try The Galli Estate Chardonnay
    Loved the label and loved the contents.

  • Lucy Hill 5 years ago

    You can see every inch of this flat is loved.
    Absolutely Gorgeous!!

  • Anthea 5 years ago

    Lovely work, and very personal. Such great shots of colour !

  • Decorator's Notebook 5 years ago

    Really enjoyed this… it’s very inspiring to see so much style crammed into a small space. There is hope for us all!

  • Meg 5 years ago

    love the kitchen – very stylish!

  • Kate 5 years ago

    Please let us know when this beauty is for rent or sale!!!

  • lexi 5 years ago

    Oh my. Such a beautiful home. Love this!

  • Chapel Street 5 years ago

    Amazing considering the space! Love the prints and the concept of having art “on loan” in a family home.

  • Allison Taylor 5 years ago

    funny I checked the dot dot above e the other day, here you go ….

    For ë – Hold Alt key and type 137 in NUMERIC key pad (numpad) of ur keyboard.
    For Ë – Hold Alt key and type 0203 in NUMERIC key pad of ur keyboard.


  • eat my shorts 5 years ago

    Just so fabulous.

  • Courtney 5 years ago

    Amazing use of space and colour…this little place is making me rethink our own apartment layout!

  • Kate 5 years ago

    Gorgeous! Especially love the bedroom, where is the bedlinen from?

  • Sally 5 years ago

    Kate, Bed linen is from Libeco Lagea – Belgian linen sheets in a grey.

  • Suz 4 years ago

    Love, love, love it all. I’m especially a fan of the Kate Hendry sculpture. Is there a contact for that artist, please?

  • Sally 4 years ago

    Yes contact the Anita Traverso Gallery in Richmond for Kate Hendry’s artworks.

  • I was browsing for strategies for my personal blog site and
    stumbled upon ur posting, “Melbourne Home – Sally Richardson and Family | The
    Design Files”, will you care in cases where I
    personally use a number of of ur points?
    Appreciate it -Jens

  • Sally Davey 2 months ago

    I’m trying to contact Kate Hendry are you able to supply her details please. i am interested in a commision and the gallery is not returning me emails. thanks Sally

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