Australian Homes

John Parker

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th August 2012

Ground level loungeroom – looking through the glass to ‘the warm room’, – the only heated part of the house!  Allunagio (moon landing) stools by Achille Castiglioni on the ceiling, Jumbo Jet from a closed travel agency, and vintage pop-art cactus from Gufram.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jumbo Jet from a closed travel agency, and vintage pop-art cactus from Gufram.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Downstairs loungeroom, loving those slouchy Le Corbusier LC3 armchairs in cream leather!   Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I cannot TELL you the difficulty in finding a super stylish yet distinctly MANLY pad to run for this week’s Australian Home.  As it turns out, masculinity and domesticity rarely meet with impressive results.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the fellas aren’t capable – the problem is, more often than not, even the most stylish men handball domestic decisions to others, resulting in often stunning but not particularly masculine spaces!

HOWEVER.  After a few frantic emails, txt messages and a good dash of online stalking, I think you’ll agree we SERIOUSLY hit the jackpot in the end!  Melbourne furniture retailer and design afficionado John Parker has a Fitzroy loft which oozes bachelor pad charm, and strikes the perfect balance of high-end design and relaxed livability.   There is just a touch of Peter Pan going on here… for all it’s grown-up details, this is a space that speaks also of boyish mischief – and not having to ask anyone’s permission to hang an aeroplane from the ceiling!

Having spent years trading high-end designer furniture, first as manager of Space Furniture and now as founder and director of Melbourne’s Format Furniture, it’s no surprise John’s home is filled with iconic designer pieces. John’s eye for detail and passion for Italian design in particular is so evident in the choices he has made here.

‘I love the whole aspect of original design from idea to development, production and distribution. I don’t think anyone does it quite like the Italians and certainly not with as much style and charm’ says John. ‘I am an absolute advocate of original design. It is not necessarily about expense. The value is in the intellectual input of the designer.’

Oh GOODNESS that is so well said Mr Parker, I couldn’t agree more.

John has lived here for nearly 12 years, having originally purchased the warehouse as a shell (it was once an old army drill hall).  ‘I left it as raw as I could’ he says – ‘I put the first floor in and a bathroom and shower. I lived without a kitchen for five years, and have never got around to heating the space. I like the idea that it is kind of a blank canvas for my furniture and other stuff’.

Indeed the space does have an incredible raw industrial quality – but I wouldn’t call it a blank canvas per se, as this building really has such a distinctive character of its own.  With its utilitarian details and strong sense of history, I can’t imagine a more perfect backdrop for John’s museum-like collection of furniture, artwork, collected ephemera and BOYS TOYS!  (Including 2 racing bikes, 1 dirt bike, 1 Vespa and a sportscar – parked INSIDE.)

John loves the feeling of space here, and the idea that his home is far from a conventional space.  ‘It’s freezing in winter and boiling in summer, but I love it’ he says!

Massive thanks to John for sharing the most perfect home I could ever have imagined for MAN WEEK!  Phew.

Downstairs loungeroom.  Top left – David Larwill Outback painting, Marcus Davidson ‘Cone Man’ peeking out from behind the sofa.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Silver leaf painting by Rosslynd Piggott. Smaller painting bought from Mario’s café. Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details – vintage ‘Hommes’ sign, French leg cast, Tokyo subway strap hangers from a store in Maranouchi railway station.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Upstairs living room.  ‘My treasure collection – things from travelling and junk shops from all over’ says John.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Book sculpture top right by Melbourne’s Nicholas Jones, model of a wind tower from Iran, and robot in a shopping trolley from a store window in Collins street. Readymade art postcards from Joseph Bueys and Jenny Holzer.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Upstairs living room.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Upstairs living room.  Original Tiger mascot of the Richmond battalion set into the west wall of the building.  Neil Taylor wire sculpture from Niagara Galleries, John’s great aunt’s Victorian correspondence box, Jasper Morrison tables, vintage Norwegian woven paper coffee table, book sculpture on table by Nicholas Jones.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bed.  DePadova bed and LeCorbusier stool as a bedside table. Mirror above bed – a shop fitting  from Melbourne’s old retail icon, Georges.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom in bedroom!  Mirror from a Buenos Aires junk shop.  Custom sink.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking  from Master bed to shower.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Upstairs details.  Original Tiger mascot of the Richmond battalion set into the west wall of the building.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Knoll Bertoia chairs on the terrace, with a typical Fitzroy view!  ‘I love the view looking north over Victorian terrace houses to the Atherton Gardens public housing. It says it all about the mix in Fitzroy’ says John.  Photos – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th August 2012


  • Jacqui 4 years ago

    I love starting Wednesday with Homes the TDF crew have sourced …every room is a gem today…Thankyou.

  • Shannon McGrath 4 years ago

    @johnparker you are one very stylish man!

  • Lucy Mora 4 years ago

    Definatly the most interesting home you have had on TDF . Great style, wonderful spaces! Fabulous to see and old building converted into something so fabulous rather than a series of tiny dog boxes! Good one Lucy F !

  • Christian Wagstaff 4 years ago

    ToP DraweR Parker. Tops. Love it.

  • trinna 4 years ago

    Love your work JP!

  • Elizabeth Geddes 4 years ago

    Well done Lucy. I know you’ve done bloke’s houses before but this is so refreshingly different.

  • Robyn 4 years ago

    Sublime, superb, so you…well done Johnee

  • Stasia Raft 4 years ago

    Best home I have seen by far on Design Files, nothing frilly how refreshing, Love Your Work!

  • Kate 4 years ago

    Awesome, thank you. Completely satisfying.

  • Lauren 4 years ago

    Love this unique space! What a find indeed!

  • feyza 4 years ago

    Oh I love it!

  • Christy 4 years ago

    This place is amazing. Makes my own fitzroy warehouse cower in shame at it’s own boring-ness …

  • Kath W 4 years ago

    Gobsmacking pad!!! So original: you did indeed hit the jackpot with this one. From where are the wall-mounted shelves behind the sofa? And also the one below the tiger mascot?

  • jas 4 years ago

    that is one seriously stylish pad. love the plane and that shower is gorgeous and don’t get me started on the custom sink envy I’ve got happening right now!

  • Chris 4 years ago

    Awesome, especially the 747 hanging from the floor joists! I may well have to divorce my wife and disown my kids so I can have one of these too!

  • Melissa 4 years ago

    That terrace looks like fab way to spend a sunny afternoon.

  • Lauren 4 years ago

    I think this might be my favourite house yet!

  • Shane McCormack 4 years ago

    Comes up a treat JP. How wonderful. I love the suspended planes as well. Nice masculine touch. Wish I had keys to a space like that.

  • Kimmy 4 years ago

    i’ve dreamt of a warehouse loft space home forever and this is the epitome of it. I may not be able to fulfill it right now but this home allows me to dream. One day. Sigh.

  • BusiChic 4 years ago

    Woo stylish Aussie men FTW; love your work, Mr Parker!

  • Michael Whitmore 4 years ago

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!!!! Heaven :)

  • LucasQ 4 years ago

    Nicely captured. Uber-cool pad!

  • Rebecca 4 years ago

    AWESOME male house… Perfect for man week!!

  • Sally Freud 4 years ago

    John Parker divine x

  • Robyn 4 years ago

    And he made his bed… Sigh

  • Sarah 4 years ago


  • mariana 4 years ago

    stunning photos lucy.
    i fell in love with John Parker’s home when i first saw it featured in an interiors magazine some time ago.
    every corner is just perfect.. big lust for this one!

  • wendy68 4 years ago

    awesome. love it. all the mobiles are right up my alley – I’ve only got the height and space for one… And a product question from someone who is dreaming up her kitchen reno – who’s stove top is it? love the flush setting.

  • Barbara Fisher 4 years ago

    Definitely manly and most definitely stylish! Great find TDF. It can be done!

  • Vic @ Cush & Nooks 4 years ago

    I always love seeing ‘guy spaces’. I have quite a feminine style, but try and take hubby into consideration when doing things at our home. This home is fantastic, love that shower! x

  • Kirsty 4 years ago

    This could be my favourite home you have featured on TDF. So stylish, unique and interesting. Love it!

  • Meghan 4 years ago

    Wowee this pad rocks! Love all the thrifted finds amongst the place.

  • Cathg1g2 4 years ago

    Love this man’s space

  • Siobhan C 4 years ago


  • BOTE 4 years ago

    House with personality!

  • Alison 4 years ago

    Fabulous! I crave warehouse spaces & this is raw, yet refined & masculine…. love it & love inner Melbourne :)

  • elana 4 years ago


  • Katrina 4 years ago

    This is one of my favourite homes so far … Oozes good design, originality and a collection of styles mixed into a very BEAUTIFUL typical Melbourne space. I adore all the interesting shelves especially the tubular type ones perched on wall behind the black lounge, are these custom built?

  • nina 4 years ago

    i like it and I am a chick! I love the basin!!!

  • clarissa home blogs 4 years ago

    Such a cool bachelor pad, my husband would secretly love to live in a place like this!

  • Bruce 4 years ago

    Perfectly masculine, refined, feminine, stylish, escapist, beautiful, yet Aussie.
    But could I live there?
    I haven’t been asked.

  • beck 4 years ago

    hmm pretty sure the torso mirror above the bathroom sink is a carlo mollino reproduced by zanotta? unless of course you are referring to the smaller, timber framed one. super awesome space all round!!

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