Australian Homes

Zoe Murphy and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 14th March 2012

I KNOW.  SO good.  Deep breaths.  The incredible Melbourne home of Zoe Murphy and family!  Wallpaper by Designers Guild. Love the hydrangeas (perfect tones for this shot), the black fireplace and cabinetry. And what about those fabulous diagonal shelves?  Inspired. Photos – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins.

Front room details – beautiful mix of antique and contemporary details. Photos – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins.

Can you actually BELIEVE how beautiful this house is?  Seriously. SO stunning, and styled with such an inspired combination of colour, pattern and texture… hats off to graphic designer Zoe Murphy for creating such a special family home!

Zoe and husband Ben purchased their dream blank canvas in Prahran in 2009 – it was very dilapidated and needed a lot of love, and so a major renovation was planned.  The house needed re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-roofing and re-flooring – not to mention a complete overhaul of the room layout, which had been split into 3 apartments at one stage.

‘When we purchased the property it was bordering on derelict’ says Zoe  – however, she and Ben were undeterred!   They could see the unlimited potential of this generous Victorian home, which backs onto a beautiful leafy park.  The house was originally built in the 1860’s with bluestone foundations and double brick walls, which Zoe (ever the optimist!!) says provided ‘fantastic bones’ for their plans.

Luckily design runs in the family for Zoe, whose brother Rodney Eggleston runs March Studio – a fantastic little architecture and design firm in Fitzroy who have been responsible for some incredible interiors recently including Baker D. Chirico‘s latest shop in Carlton (amazing) and a handful of Aesop stores.  Rodney re-worked the home extensively – the second bedroom was converted into a huge ensuite, and the upstairs level was extended to increase the size of two rooms at the rear of the house overlooking the backgarden and park beyond ; these became the nursery and home office.

Downstairs the original parlour (now a formal sitting room/library – pictured above) is where Zoe really went to town, selecting a brave geometric Designers Guild wallpaper (LOVE IT!), classic furniture and beautiful bespoke cabinetry.  ‘I designed the diagonal shelves picking up the pattern from the wallpaper and drapes’ she says.  This stunning room provides space at the front of the house to welcome guests or find inspiration in an extensive library of design books.

The kitchen and living zones towards the rear of the home open out onto the garden with beautiful views to the adjoining park.  Here most of the internal walls were removed to create the large, bright living space seen here, and Zoe was inspired by the leafy outlook when selecting the textiles and finishes for this room.  ‘We also designed the plywood kitchen with Rodney, incorporating a glass roof over the kitchen and clever bulkhead to complete the space and provide natural light on the southern side of the house’ Zoe says.

After 12 months of planning and renovating, Zoe and Ben finally moved in late 2010 and welcomed little Myra (6 months) into the family late last year!

As you might expect it was a little tricky for Zoe to choose just a few favourite aspects of her beautiful home!  ‘The whole house is a collection of my favourite items and my favourite artworks – from the bright green Jielde lamp light over the breakfast table, to the rugs from Hub Furniture and Loom…. to my best friend Chloe Paul‘s Gursky-like beach images dotted around the walls…’ she says.  Zoe also has great affection for some of the original features of the home – ‘I love the items that were existing here and which we gave a new life – such as original Georgian Marble Fireplace in the dining room, which was falling apart and we had refurbished’ she says.

All in all, this home is given an incredible sense of life and personality by the brave decoration choices Zoe has made, and the sheer variety of design details.  Each room has a unique character and feel, from the formal parlour to the light and airy living/kitchen space – and the ‘hotel-like’ ensuite to the dark master bedroom (dubbed ‘The Cave’ by Zoe and Ben!).

Massive thanks to Zoe and Ben for sharing their beautiful home with us today!  Zoe was so accommodating during our visit – we’re very grateful!  Thanks also to Jess Nixon from Loom Rugs / Okologi Interiors who discovered this gem during a routine rug delivery (!!) and was kind enough to tip me off!  What a find :)

Zoe in her favourite room! Photos – Sean Fennessy, styling / production – Lucy Feagins.

Rear family room / living. Pendant light by Jielde (available from Euroluce), overdye vintage rug from Loom.

Kitchen designed by Rodney Eggleston of March Studio.

Kitchen details – Hamburgers by Maurice Golotta

Informal dining – Pendant light by Jielde (available from Euroluce).

Outdoor area

Looking out to backgarden from loungeroom (yes the couch moved for this shot, questionable continuity sorry to confuse!)

Formal dining – original fireplace, Ikea fabric on table, Tom Dixon light.

Upstairs landing

AMAZING master bathroom / ensuite (this is what happens when you turn a bedroom into a bathroom… so generous).  Love the brave blue too!

Master bedroom – aka ‘The Cave’.  Missoni bedlinen, artwork above bed by Shane Bowden

Sweet details in Myra’s bedroom.  Love the Rob Ryan bunting!

Myra’s bedroom – Ballerina illustrations by Zoe’s Grandfather, Roy Hodgkinson

Myra’s bedoom details

Looking from Myra’s bedroom to upstairs landing – photographic artwork on the wall by Chloe Paul

Front door

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 14th March 2012


  • Nikki Gale 5 years ago

    Oh my gosh it is spectacular!

  • dustjacket 5 years ago

    Just stunning…really want that blue chair and sunburst mirror!

  • Adrienne 5 years ago

    Fantastic…I LOVE it when people aren’t afraid of bold art, colors, and patterns!

  • Poppy 5 years ago

    Wow! This is such a beautiful home, what a credit to them. Can I ask what the wooden floor surface is in the kitchen/dining area – I am looking for floorboard inspiration :)

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    Hooley Dooley!

  • Monique 5 years ago

    Gorgeous, love!
    Where is that blue/black/white rug from on the landing???

  • amanda 5 years ago

    Thats ikea fabric on the dining table isn’t it, not marimekko???

  • Stunning… so many elements and finishes working beautifully and in harmony… Love it all! The rug, the Dixon lighting, the sunburst mirror, the colour, the light, the, the, the… everything. Where can one get some of those colourful pot plant holders? :)

  • mes bijoux 5 years ago

    so beautiful! not only because is so stylish and chic, it is more stunning because it looks like a real home from a happy family. I cannot thing about being sad in that lovely house?
    kisses from Barcelona!

  • Marén 5 years ago

    It looks fabulous. But it´s definitely not Marimekko fabric on the table, it´s Ikea. I love this design, I put it on a frame and put it on the wall, also I sewed some cushion covers out of it.

  • Barbara Fisher 5 years ago

    OH. MY. GOD. Beyond amazing. I literally gasped when I saw the first image, which was quite fitting Lucy as your first words were “I KNOW”!

    Zoe and co. are seriously talented to work that much colour and pattern into the space. Stunning!

  • Emma J Davis 5 years ago

    Beautiful bathroom! Great to see so much colour in Melbourne too!

  • Sara 5 years ago

    What a joyful way to start a Wednesday morning. Motivation is made of houses like this…must keep working. Must keep working. Thx Lucy

  • Lucy 5 years ago

    DOH sorry dudes my bad withthe fabric credit! There is so much Marimekko going on elsewhere I got confuseddddd shall amend :)


  • Fonky 5 years ago

    AMAZING! Love everything about this place, the wallpaper, the green couch, the blue vanity in the bathroom, the coloured pots on entry. Truly breathtaking.

  • Kate 5 years ago

    This is just stunning its inspired me to stick with some original elements in my own home that were headed for the recycle such as the fireplace. That front room is just stunning. I’m wondering what the fabric is on the roman blind in Myra’s room? v. cute. I wish my family was as artistically talented as Zoe’s the artwork is perfect. Just love this whole house!

  • sunshine & daydreams 5 years ago

    What fantastic use of colour. I suddenly feel very bland and boring. And I love the way she has arranged all the art work in her daughters room. You can never start them too young to appreciate ‘good’ art.

  • Jane 5 years ago

    Fabulous!! This is seriously good…

  • Rikki 5 years ago

    I love everything about this home! That green color is amazing and I love the kitchen.

  • Em 5 years ago

    Ridiculously stunning home. What awesome vision to create it!

  • Penny (Oh My Green) 5 years ago

    It’s such an amazing home, and amazing styling and photography!

    I seriously love the green living room – plus I now want a bedroom sized bathroom!

  • Pippa 5 years ago

    An excellent example of cool styling, sooo impressed, love the green accents and no knock offs! YEAH a real featherton, retored…I’m jealous! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Jessie 5 years ago

    Wow! what a fantastic and LIVEABLE home. Sounds like super talented stock, with artists designers and architects all in the bloodline.
    One question. Where are the pots at the front door from? They’re fantastic!

  • Paula 5 years ago

    uh-mazing house! Who is the artwork by in the ‘Formal dining details’ shot???

  • Kim 5 years ago

    Seriously stunning – love love love the green!!

  • pen 5 years ago

    oh look! one of our vintage tea towel cushions on the sofa!

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    Hands down – favourite house you have featured! I am completely bowled over!

  • Siobhan Rogers 5 years ago

    I love the Green room! – great shade of green & the ikea fabric is brilliant, I use it to back my cushions I make.

  • Allison Taylor 5 years ago

    love the light fittings and the wallpaper!

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    Always look forward to your Wednesday homes and they seem to get better and better. Love it. The use of colour is very inspiring!

  • Kimmy 5 years ago

    OH. that. green. room. LUSH.

    thanks for sharing, have a beautiful day :-) xx

  • Bridie 5 years ago

    @Monique – the blue rug is a Gan rug (one of my favourites)

    I’d love to know where the rug in the living room is from though….!?!?

  • Amber 5 years ago

    Love the use of colour and wonderful art!

  • Wow! I love colour but I am not this brave! I especially love all the artwork and the rugs.

    I would love to know where to find the zig zag quilt cover featured in Myra’s room?

  • Caroline 5 years ago

    Thanks for the guided tour around this amazingly creative home – it put a smile on my face!

  • Zoe Murphy 5 years ago

    Hi fans! The blue & black graphic rug is by GAN from Hub Furniture, the green rug is an over dyed vintage from Loom. Marimekko fabric on the blind in Myra’s room, the zig zag blanket on the bed is uimi… Matthew Simmons is the artist featured in the formal dining details. We made the flower pots at the front door… Enjoy x

  • Kate 5 years ago

    Does anyone recongnise the bed linen from Myra’s bedroom? Love the pillow cases but I also like the doona cover!

  • elouise 5 years ago

    fabulous house – awesome in fact!. BUT that is not an original Featherston. The original Contour Chairs are definitely more refined, and a good upholsterer would have followed the curves of the moulded ply – this looks like a copy to me!

  • Katrina Wardle 5 years ago

    An exquisite home! Love the green and bright blue choices, they work wonderfully. I wonder where those gorgeous pots out near the blue door are from? Love them! Oh and the industrial type windows at the back – I want now! This shows how a beautiful home can truly shape the way you live.

  • Katie 5 years ago

    What a beautiful house! Just amazing.

    Zoe, could you please share where the round table and chairs in your family room are from? Many thanks.

  • mariana 5 years ago

    gaaahhhhh… gorgeous!

  • John 5 years ago

    two words…BLOWN AWAY!

  • Lucy 5 years ago

    ha ha, I hear you John!!

    Thanks so much all for your lovely comments! SO GREAT to feel your enthusiasm! x

  • margie 5 years ago

    yep. Amazeballs. I’m loving those pastel pots at the front door. And wondering why there’s always a mirror behind a pendant light…? Reflecting more light into the room perhaps?

  • Tara 5 years ago

    Amazing… the best house i have seen, what incredible taste and beautifully put together. WOW!!!!!

  • clealmond 5 years ago

    so many brave choices and it Works! Bravo!

  • Melody 5 years ago

    Love, love, love the blue chair, wish I knew where to get one

  • tiel 4 years ago

    stunning house. sorry if you have already answered this, but I can’t seem to see it anywhere…where is that powder blue armchair from? tiel

  • WOW… What a fabulous use of colour and pattern!

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    I love it but feel like I’m on drugs!!!!

  • Laura 4 years ago

    Wow, I love that house, absolutely wonderful!!! The green living room with all that light must be even more stunning in person! I especially love the two colorful pillows on the couch/floor. Where are they from? :)

  • Tabitha Dearden 4 years ago

    What a beaUtiful house! What is the contraption holding the soft toys hanging on the door? Or is it a handmade thing??

  • Griffen 4 years ago

    May I know the color and paint brand used for the front door? I might die without it.

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  • Ingrid 2 years ago

    LOVE the dining table! Where can it be bought?

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