Art

Melbourne Home – Sophie Gannon and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 30th May 2012

The beautiful modernist home of Sophie Gannon and family. Artwork left to right – Martin Smith, Gemma Smith (sculpture), Emily Ferretti.  Furniture -Jielde lamp, Eames Organic chair, Kartell stone stools, Jardan Nook sofa. Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files. [please feel free to PIN from TDF home tours with photography credit / artwork captions intact thanks so much!]

Dining room looking to garden and park beyond.  Jardan table and Eames Eiffel chairs, Italian glass and tray on table from Market Import, Kartell stone stool and the view out to the park. Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Michael Zavros bronze on Luke table, Eames Eiffel chairs and Blah Blah throw by Donna Wilson. Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production and amazing re-touching / air conditioner removal by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files!

Today’s seriously photogenic Melbourne home is a true modernist gem, hidden away down a steep driveway along the leafy banks of the Yarra River.  Despite is generous proportions, this is in fact a townhouse, one of a small development of units designed in 1967 by revered Australian architect Graeme Gunn, who is a widely recognised local design veteran, still practicing in Melbourne today.

Art dealer Sophie Gannon, her husband Frazer East and daughter Arabella (7 months) are the lucky family who call this place home. This busy young family are only the third owners of this incredible home since it was built in 1967 – and as a result much of the house is in original condition.

Since moving in, Sophie and Frazer haven’t made many changes, other than repainting the cupboards in the main living room, which were previously a soft pink.  Janne Faulkner from Nexus Designs helped Sophie select some of the furniture and colours for the house – which Sophie says was super amazing, because Janne designed the original kitchen and living room cabinetry when the house was first built!

Sophie’s healthy obsession with the history of her home is self evident and quite infectious –  ‘I don’t mean to cr*p on so much about the history of the house and the people involved but I LOVE IT!’ she says!

The home’s history was what initially drew Sophie to it – ‘it was built and designed by the superstars of Australian architecture, landscape design and interior design in the 1960’s – designed by Graeme Gunn and built in 1967-68 for John Ridge, one of the founders of Merchant Builders’ she says. ‘The garden is an Ellis Stones garden, and the interiors, including the kitchen and living room cabinetry, were designed by Janne Faulkner from Nexus Designs when the house was built in 1967′.

Sophie is quick to point out that both Graeme Gunn and Janne Faulkner are still at the top of their game – most recently Janne was the 2011 IDEA (Interior Design Excellence Awards) Gold Medal Recipient and Graeme Gunn won the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2011.

As is evident above, Sophie truly relishes the unique history of her home, and so was thrilled when, 6 months ago, Janne arranged a morning tea with Graeme Gunn and herself at the house – they were able to reminisce about dinner parties and Merchant Builders ‘board meetings’ in the living room!

Of course being a passionate art lover and gallerist, Sophie’s home is filled with amazing Australian art – and asking her to choose a favourite piece is kind of like asking a mother to choose her favourite child!  ‘I love ALL of the art in the house of course!’ she says.  ‘Each room has a different feel and the art on the walls and sculpture plays a big part in that – I can’t single out specific works!’.

But beyond Sophie’s impressive art and classic furniture collection, the central appeal of this home is of course the wonderful modernist design which gives this space that generous, livable feel consistent with so many homes of this era.  ‘I know this sounds a bit mushy which I am NOT, but I love the house’s feel and outlook’ says Sophie.  That unique feeling Sophie describes must have something to do with the soaring timber-clad ceilings, mega windows with leafy outlook beyond, and sense of nostalgia which Sophie says ‘makes the house feel warm, and has a sort of familiarity to lots of people’.

Sophie also loves the location – ‘being so close to the Yarra River we can hear the rowers being coached early in the morning. And it is very close to the gallery so I can be at work in a flash!’.

OH and that reminds me, as if you didn’t know, Sophie Gannon is the woman behind the wonderful Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond.  She really is a bit of a dynamo, and represents some of the BEST artists in Australia, including Kirra Jamison, Julia Deville and Cressida Campbell!  Evidently, a woman with excellent taste :)

Massive thanks to Sophie and family for sharing their beautiful home with us today – and especially to Sophie for the EPIC captioning effort!  You can always count on an art dealer to provide the very best captioning service!

[please feel free to PIN from TDF home tours with photography credit / captions intact thanks so much!]

Just a few favourites from Sophie’s truly amazing art collection.  Clokwise from top left – Black and white artist names installation by PJ Hickman called ‘Sophie Gannon Stable’,  Nicholas Harding works on paper, Painting on chess board by Gemma Smith, porcelain pieces by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott.  Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining / living room.  Artwork back wall – Black and white artist names installation by PJ Hickman (includes boxes) called ‘Sophie Gannon Stable’.  Top shelf – porcelain pieces by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Michael Zavros plasticine rose under bell jar, Lego ‘Farnsworth House’.  Bottom shelf – Viv Miller painting, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy sculptures, John Nicholson sculpture, Amanda Dziedzic glass bonsais from TDF Open House, Gwyn Hanssen Pigott ceramics. Furniture – Jardan table and Eames Eiffel chairs, Italian glass and tray on table from Market Import.  Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room details – Top shelf – Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Michael Zavros plasticine rose under bell jar, part of Frazer’s Lego ‘Farnsworth House’.  Bottom shelf – Viv Miller painting, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy sculpture.  Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom – Judith Wright painting, Moller Bench from Great Dane, Sophie is proud to say her chest of drawers is from IKEA!  Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom details – Judith Wright painting on wall, Chrome deco sailing boat from Modern History in Burnley, a Lalibela cross (gift from my brother on his adventures travelling through Ethopia), photograph of Frazer’s grandfather with King George VI! Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Arabella’s room. Stokke cot.  Michael Muir painting. Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Teeny tiny baby shoes!  Michael Muir painting.   Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Original kitchen!  Flos pendant light, Ikea kitchen stool, John Nicholson sculpture on the bench (hiding the power point!), Italian glassware from Market Import, tres chic electric stove, broken oven door… (cute caption kindly provided by Sophie!).  Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Stunning central courtyard – Photographs by Sean Fennessy, styling / production by Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 30th May 2012

23 comments

  • Mary Anne 2 years ago

    Gorgeous, gorgeous house! Love the art work, the openness, the colors and I am a sucker for a 1960s home!better stop writing or I’ ll be late for work! Thanks Lucy – you’ve done it again. Will def pin when I get a chance! X

  • Melissa 2 years ago

    oozes art and style – simply stunning!

  • his place has given me some inspiration for my 60’s splendour. Have been in a quandry about what to do with the timber frames, this is a great option. Still leaning towards not painting them, but at least these images have made the painting option less scary. One thing’s for sure though, I wont be keeping our original kitchen!

  • janne blacker 2 years ago

    Happy memories here of my own Merchant Builder town house with display organsied by Janne Faulkner. Loved it and had a feature in 1970s Belle magazine. Loved the Gunn, Faulkner combination.

  • Margie 2 years ago

    THIS is why using an Interior Designer is important!! This kitchen is 45 years old and STILL looks amazing!! I am so absolutely impressed that Sophie and her husband have retained the beautiful and well crafted original joinery throughout the home, as this is such an integral part of the interior design, and something that is usually the first thing to be ripped out. Thank you for honouring the work of the original designers.

  • Pippa 2 years ago

    Lovely post of a lovely home with history intact, thanks, it’s what I love to read!

  • chrissie 2 years ago

    Me oh my. What a stunning home. A classic as well as classy. How clever of Sophie to discover it and retain it in all it’s beauty. I am sure it’s a pleasure to live in too. Inspirational

  • Liz 2 years ago

    This is a gorgeous home -but I can’t help thinking, Does a family really live there?

  • Lucy 2 years ago

    Ha ha!

    A real live family totally lives here :) Cross my heart and hope to die. There is always a messy corner or two you don’t get to see though… I didn’t photograph the rumpus room :)

  • Megan 2 years ago

    How stunning. Stunning, stunning. Best house in TDF land so far!

  • Allison 2 years ago

    Just gorgeous!

  • I love the gorgeous Melbourne park views and autumn colours, and some fabulous interior design touches throughout. Great find Lucy – thanks for sharing.

  • Lee 2 years ago

    This home is beautiful, and provided an endless source of happy art and furniture discoveries. Lovely – thank you!

  • Amber 2 years ago

    Gorgeous, love the house and it’s history. I live in a Merchand Builders house from the late 70′. It’s nice to see where some of our home’s design elements first originated.

  • Sarah k 2 years ago

    Best house do far. I accidentally, deleted this email. I save ones I really love & I really wanted to keep. I was moving it to a saved folder but must have put in trash by accident. Can I get a copy of the email again by any chance? Thanks Sarah

  • FLYERVERTEILER 2 years ago

    I love that almost everything has been left original. Classic style.

  • Jayde Pezet 2 years ago

    I love it. wonderful colour. Great mix of old and new.

  • Sonja 1 year ago

    Just wondering where the geometric shaped sculpture in the first pic comes from? It is so cool! Thanks.

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