Australian Homes

Sarah Quin and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 28th November 2012

The Merricks holiday home of Sarah Quin and Family.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Merricks holiday home of Sarah Quin and Family.  All cushions / soft furnishings from Sarah’s business, Canvas Home.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The garden!  Looking to vineyards beyond.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Incredible garden at the Merricks holiday home of Sarah Quin and Family.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Today’s stunning home in Merricks on the Mornington Peninsula is a much loved weekender for Melbourne-based designer Sarah Quin, her husband John, and their three kids, Charlie (9), Max (7) and Ruby (5).

Sarah and John bought the property 4 years ago, and set about transforming it both inside and out.  ‘We renovated about a year after moving in,  generally working within the existing structure’ says Sarah.  A large workshop used by the previous owner for his furniture restoration business was turned into a fantastic kids rumpus room and two extra bedrooms, whilst the bathrooms and kitchen were updated, and the home brightened throughout with the addition of larger windows and French doors.  ‘Our favourite ‘picture window’ in the living room was originally a small, low sliding door’ says Sarah. ‘It now creates a beautiful frame of the garden and Westernport Bay beyond’.

The rambling grounds, which are SERIOUSLY impressive, also presented an enormous challenge.  When Sarah and John first took on the property, the garden was very ‘English’ – thus very thirsty and labour intensive, so Sarah has slowly changed this, adding more coastal and drought tolerant plants.  The family also now have a fantastic vegie garden and orchard starting to produce lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Sarah has worked in the furniture and homewares industry for many years, and so of course her home also presents the perfect testing ground for new pieces from her textiles and soft furnishings label, Canvas Home.

After studying Textiles and Interior Design, and working for over twenty years in the homewares industry for various retail and wholesale brands in Australia, Sarah launched her wholesale business as an outlet for her love of unique textiles, colour and pattern.  ‘My vision has been to create collections of soft furnishings for the home utilising unique traditional hand block printing by artisans in India’ says Sarah.  ‘I love travelling and sourcing beautiful things for the home, and the business now allows me to take off on adventures to some really amazing and inspiring places’. Canvas Home was born from the idea that even when starting with a blank canvas, textiles can transform any environment.

‘This home will always be a work in progress, but we love arriving after a busy week at work and school on a Friday night, and opening all the doors and going for a walk in the garden with a glass of wine’ says Sarah.  ‘We especially enjoy inviting friends down for weekends and having long lunches and not having to rush off anywhere else. You really feel a million miles away from anywhere here…. It also helps that our neighbour has a lovely vineyard and cellar door if we run out of wine!’.

Ahhh is all sounds too blissful doesn’t it!?  I get the feeling that despite running her own business, travelling regularly to India, and being Mum to three busy kids, Sarah has the work / life balance thing seriously sorted.  Something to aspire to!

Loungeroom details.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom details.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘The Albert Namatjira watercolours were a gift from John’s father, they take pride and place in the living room, and have lots of sentimental value’ – Sarah.  white timber louvre buffet in the lounge room from Sasson Home.  Cushion and chair cover by Canvas Home.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Light filled kitchen.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Bedlinen and cushion by Sarah’s business, Canvas Home.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Entrance hall.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kids rumpus room.  All cushions by Sarah’s business, Canvas Home. Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kids rumpus room looking to bedroom. Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Pool, with amazing enormous trees beyond.  ‘The hardest part of our renovation was persuading the builder to make the unique pool fence from recycled timber and copper pipe!’ says Sarah. ‘I had seen it done at an ‘Open Garden’ I had visited years before, and had waited a long time to replicate it in the right spot! It was worth the wait and fits in perfectly with the surrounding plantings’ – Sarah.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Off the beaten track, on our way home from Sarah’s home in Merricks. Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 28th November 2012


  • kelly green interiors 4 years ago

    Love love love!!!!

  • Georgie 4 years ago

    Sarah how gorgeous!
    Such a beautiful home and such beautiful cushions to boot!

  • The Yellow Dance Spot 4 years ago

    Beautiful, very grown up. That pool fence is splendid indeed.

  • Mel 4 years ago

    I want this gorgeous house!

  • Ellie 4 years ago

    I am so jealous!

  • Anastasia 4 years ago

    What a beautiful home. Looks like you could slip away and move in….Love Red Hill and Merricks. Gorgeous Getaway – so jealous!

  • Gaz 4 years ago

    Recycled timber and copper pipe fence is a great idea I will use. The garden is spectacular. Love the natural understated feel of the home as well!

  • Penelope 4 years ago

    What a beautiful calm home! Sarah is lucky to have a getaway haven like this!

  • Barbara Fisher 4 years ago

    Love that pool fence! Worth the wait Sarah.

  • TIM 4 years ago

    This house is styled , I’d be to uncomfortable to sit anywhere in case I disturbed the arrangement.

  • daisy 4 years ago

    there are 3 kids under 10 living in this house? whilst it is all very pretty i do prefer the beauty of a more creative, messy, lived in home that realistically exudes the personality of the family that live in it.

  • Lily 4 years ago

    This house looks so relaxing and beautiful. Having children in the house doesn’t mean there has to chaos. Love the garden. No doubt the children spend most of their time outside.
    And that hall table – stunning!

  • Tarnya 4 years ago

    Love the open fresh feeling of this house! And what an amazing driveway!! Perfect

  • Melissa 4 years ago

    One of my favourites – beautiful!!

  • Trish 4 years ago

    Quite perfect. I love it. Well done Sarah.

  • Sarah 4 years ago

    Gorgeous shots and great to see Sasson furnture looking so fab! Sarah’s got a great eye.

  • Louisa 4 years ago

    So beautiful! Sarah, if you ever want to sell this place look me up and I’ll make an offer!

  • Alison 4 years ago

    Such a beautiful home. The picture window in the loungeroom is stunning. Wanting to use something similar in our new build.

  • Lincoln 4 years ago

    Hi Lucy, I just wanted to say congrats on shooting and presenting beautiful houses that are homes where real people live. I love clean stark white lines as much as anybody – but for most families (dare I generalise and declare anyone with children, or children like mine) the modern chic house is as far from a practical reality as we can get. But today’s home is a testament to beautiful and practical design and real living. Well done Sarah, John and no doubt their little “helpers”!

  • Kate 4 years ago

    House looks so beautiful Lou…well done…I have a very clever sister!

  • Julia 4 years ago

    love the loungeroom coffee table! where did it come from?

  • Victoire 4 years ago

    Another gorgeous house Sarah! Totally understand why you’re in hurry to leave on Friday after school ;-)

  • Kim 4 years ago

    Well done “Bubbble”…………..the place looks amazing!!!!!

  • Kate 4 years ago

    Stunning house and beautifully styled … have to agree with comments above though, not sure of the practicality of pale coloured lounges in a rumpus room meant for children!!

  • Annie 4 years ago

    Love that window and garden…..and interiors so peaceful and calming….awesome post.

  • Karen 4 years ago

    Beautiful colour scheme in Sarah’s house

  • Liz 4 years ago

    Hmm….looks really beautiful, very styled, very conservative home mag look. I have visions of that tall tree branch being used very creatively… by the kids. Not convinced sorry. Love some of the colourful soft furnishings though.

  • Yael 4 years ago

    Stunning home, so neat and tidy. I wish!!!!

  • Jodie 4 years ago

    Lovely home, crisp, clean, just how I like mine to look. Does it always look this way? No, of course not. I vac, dust and straighten every day, sometimes multiple times a day (and we both work full time) so it looks just the way I like it when I sit down to relax or I’m expecting company…but hey, that’s me. To those who make comments about not being convinced or that it’s too styled, do you not tidy and clean when you know people are coming over? What if a photographer was coming to shoot your home, would you not do some styling then? The homes we are shown on TDF are of looks to aspire to, not an instruction manual on how clean and styled your house should be. Some of you need to understand the difference.

  • caro-sandybeach 4 years ago

    A gorgeous, peaceful home, filled with love and warmth. So inspiring to see how Sarah has brought her canvas to life through the garden and her exquisite soft furnishings. I am sure there is a basket of wellies at the door and muddy footprints through the house on most weekends!! I feel so grateful to be able to take a peek at this house and many more that are featured on TDF. Beautiful photography too. Merricks seen through a new light. Thank you Lucy & TDF.

  • mekalie 4 years ago

    totally adoring the style of this holiday home – oh wow, how great it would be to have an entrance hall like that!

  • Melinda 4 years ago

    Absolutely love the group of Namitijiras so beautifully framed. Beautiful weekender.

  • The Hometrotter 4 years ago

    Gorgeous house, and love the cushions patterns created by Sarah ! I’ve just discovered your blog Lucy, and it’s a real source of inspiration for interior design lovers and dreamers like me, thanks :) Might come regurlarly now to see your Australian homes !

  • Clare 4 years ago

    A beautiful, light filled house, with plenty of character. Love the vaulted ceiling and beams and that hall table would make coming home a real pleasure!

  • Sabrina 3 years ago

    Where is that lovely round rug in the entrance from? It’s simple and beautiful.

  • 3 years ago

    If youu aree going for besst contents like me,
    simply visit this website everyday because it offers quality contents,

  • natalie 3 years ago

    Gorgeous home! May I ask if anyone knows where the round table in the entry is from?

You might also like

Cassy Morris
Tuesday 27th October 2015
Jo Hoban
Thursday 29th October 2015
by Georgina Reid
Monday 26th October 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 27th October 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 28th October 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 10th November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 3rd November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 17th November 2015
Jad and Hady Choucair
Tuesday 24th November 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Monday 2nd November 2015
by Lucy Feagins
Friday 6th November 2015