Australian Homes

Simon Griffiths and Melissa Loughnan

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 6th February 2013

The eclectic Fitzroy home of social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths and gallerist Melissa Loughnan.  Artwork by Bec Worth, Joanna Zawadzka, Trevelyan Clay, Steven Asquith, Jake Walker, Matthew Griffin. On shelving – sculpture by Brendan Huntley, Thomas Jeppe’s ‘Light as a log’.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Simon and Mel’s loungeroom.  Artwork on wall, from left – Steven Asquith, Matthew Griffin, Jake Walker, Amanda Maxwell, Elvis Richardson.  On shelving – Brendan Huntley, Thomas Jeppe’s ‘Light as a log’, Tai Snaith.  On the coffee table – a sculpture by Caleb Shea.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Artwork from left – Mark Rodda, Amber Wallis, Trevelyan Clay, Bec Worth and Joanna Zawadzka.  Small canvas sitting on top of the books – Kate Smith.  On shelving – objects by Jake Walker, Sarah crowEST, assorted Japanese ceramics and op shop finds.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Simon Griffiths and Melissa Loughnan at home in Fitzroy.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Oooh la la I am a bit excited to share this crazy creative pad with you today. It’s been a while in coming (we took these shots late last year) but today is finally the DAY! This very eclectic, colourful space is home to two seriously inspiring and overachieving people – social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths, and his partner gallerist Melissa Loughnan (who we have interviewed back here!).

Simon and Mel have been living here for about 2.5 years, having taken on the lease from some friends who lived here beforehand… (because you know, the best rentals are never found in the usual straightforward way!). Though they’re renting, Mel and Simon have still managed to personalise their home and make it totally unique! They’ve filled the space with their impressive art collection – including many works by the artists Mel represents in her gallery, Utopian Slumps.

Not surprisingly, asking Mel to name a ‘favourite’ artwork is kind of like asking her to pick a favourite child – impossible! ‘The artworks are all pieces that we’ve been given over the years by friends, or that we’ve collected together, so it’s all quite special!’ she says!  One particularly treasured piece is Thomas Jeppe’s ‘Light as a log’, which was a 30th birthday gift to Mel from Thomas, one of her artists. ‘Easey Street’ by Jake Walker is also special, bearing the street name where Utopian Slumps was first located (it’s now in the CBD).

Aside from their impressive combined art collection, Simon and Mel’s home also houses a wonderful mish mash of vintage furniture, collected ephemera and op shop finds.   ‘When we moved in we didn’t have any furniture, or money, so we scoured eBay for a couple of months, and bought a few things that we liked as cheaply as we could’ says Mel. ‘Most of our furniture is vintage Australian, but we have a couple of imported vintage pieces as well’.

Though Mel and Simon’s museum-like collection of ‘stuff’ certainly gives this home a unique aesthetic, the  highlight of the space really is its functional versatility. Both Simon and Mel are self employed, so the home incorporates a generous workspace on the ground floor. ‘Our home is very spacious and light-filled, it’s a really nice space to live and work in’ says Mel. ‘We both have businesses in the city, so we’re often in and out a few times a day – it’s important that we’re a short bike ride from the CBD’.

It’s been a particularly busy year for Simon, whose two major business projects are both launching this month, after years in development. Both are incredibly inspiring initiatives which fund charitable projects in the developing world. Simon really is such a seriously amazing dude, I just have to give each one a quick plug!

Shebeen is a non-profit bar in Manchester Lane in Melbourne’s CBD, opening in the coming weeks (*any day now!). ‘Shebeen sells beer and wine from the developing world’ explains Simon. ‘The profit from each drink sale goes back to an organisation in that drink’s country of origin – so an Ethiopian beer helps to provide a rural farmer in Ethiopia with agricultural equipment via Kickstart, and a glass of South African wine will give a local language book to South African school kids via Room to Read.  It’s been a lot of fun pulling it together – it’s the first bar of its kind anywhere in the world’ he says.

Who Gives A Crap is Simon’s other very clever start-up, which you might have seen in the media over the past few months! Essentially, it’s a subscription service for toilet paper (!!), where 50% of the profits go towards building toilets in the developing world. Simon launched a pre-sales campaign in July last year to kick-start this project – you might have seen him sitting on a toilet for 50 hours to get the project off the ground!? HEY, you gotta do what you gotta do! You should TOTALLY support this brilliant and slightly mad initiative – because everyone needs toilet paper! (The first shipment is due in March).

OK THAT’S ALL! See I told you they were over achievers!

Dining room.  Artwork on wall – small works by Jess Johnson, Dan Moynihan’s ‘Shitbox’, Newell Harry, Jake Walker’s ‘Easey Street’ and Josey Kidd Crowe. Sculptures on ground by Clare O’Shannessy and Caleb Shea.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘Shitbox’ by Dan Moynihan has nostalgic memories for Simon, as it was the first piece of art he bought soon after moving here, from an exhibition Mel curated at Utopian Slumps.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining area.  Artwork from left – Amber Wallis, Mark Rodda, Kate Smith, Thomas Jeppe, Bec Worth and Joanna Zawadzka, Trevelyan Clay, Steven Asquith, Jake Walker, Matthew Griffin.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen / dining.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details.  Stone furby from First Draft, hot dog print by Ben Sanders.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Stairs to bedroom.  Artwork above stairs –  Tai Snaith, Katherine Hattam, Jake Walker, Trevelyan Clay, Bec Worth and Joanna Zawadzka.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Loungeroom, slightly crazy angle!  Artwork from left – Amber Wallis, Mark Rodda, Kate Smith, Thomas Jeppe, Bec Worth and Joanna Zawadzka, Trevelyan Clay, Steven Asquith, Jake Walker, Matthew Griffin.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Downstairs studio details.  Artwork by Tai Snaith.  Simon’s bike, found in a vintage shop in Spain.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Impressive rooftop view!  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 6th February 2013

30 comments

  • Helen Morley 2 years ago

    This brilliant home made me smile, exactly what a home should be, a reflection of the personality and sensibilities of its occupants :)

  • Laura B 2 years ago

    Loooove rhis one!

  • Sim B 2 years ago

    Completely inspiring. And the house ain’t bad either!

  • Nick 2 years ago

    This is FUN! exactly how a home should be! Lived in with cool stuff to make you smile! Readers take note! This place is the bench mark! not a whiff of pretence in sight, it’s not boringly minimal or stuffed to the roof like a Dickensian antiques shop!

  • jessica 2 years ago

    cuuuute!! =)

  • Gaz 2 years ago

    Fun and colorful! Love all the artwork and the rug

  • Sarah 2 years ago

    What an adorable pair! Of course their home is great too! Their personalities really shine through. If they weren’t so lovely I’d be jealous:)

  • Steph 2 years ago

    What an amazing house! so inspiring. love the shoes melissa.

  • stephanie @BabaSouk 2 years ago

    Wowza! Are you looking for a roommate? I would be a really cool one. Maybe I could just compliment your decor! ;)

  • Clare 2 years ago

    What cool projects, and a cool space too!

  • sunshine & daydreams 2 years ago

    I love love this delightful home. And when I grow up I’d be happy to be either of this wonderfully creative coupling.

  • evie 2 years ago

    love this gorgeous home lucy! thanks for bringing it to us. so much personality. im not sure what im happiest about my eyes are overload! love it as a whole. super love the brendan huntley. shitbox. oh and then bam! there’s a bearded man in banana pants!!!! day over ; )

  • Leah 2 years ago

    Sheesh. Amazing gallery and incredible house Mel, what a collection! Love that rug too

  • Meghan 2 years ago

    This has to be one of my favourites yet Lucy! Fabulous mix of artwork and collected pieces, and what a superstar couple doing great things for the world.

  • Ray 2 years ago

    My idea of a perfect environment in which to live. I want ot move in now! Love the artwork, colours….everything fits together so well. The photos and styling are so spot on too Lucy. So many wonderful pieces too – the mosaic pot, sculpture, ramekins etc etc. Even the bags look great unlike the dusty pile sitting on my doorknob at the moment!

  • Lillian 2 years ago

    Woohoo – just figured out where my toilet paper is going to come from from now on!

  • Martha 2 years ago

    Congratulations on Shebeen, Now if that’s not a great excuse for a glass or two of wine with friends, I do not know what is. Love your place too !

  • karyn 2 years ago

    You have many beautiful artworks in your home, especially the print by Tai Snaith. I’d never heard of her before – truly gorgeous work.

  • kristy 2 years ago

    Do you know where the rug in the lounge is from?

  • S t e F a n i a 2 years ago

    Love this home, for the colors, the light, the art works, the personality. Great inspiration source!

  • Hillary 2 years ago

    LOVE, love, love funky shoes!! YAY!

  • Melissa Loughnan 2 years ago

    Thanks for the lovely comments everyone! The rug is by USA artist Chris Johanson from a show that Misha Hollenbach curated at Utopian Slumps in December 2011 – hit me up if you want more details!

  • Annie 2 years ago

    This house is absolutely delightful and how cute is this couple? Loved it – gorgeous!

  • The Hometrotter 2 years ago

    Wow ! Gorgeous like always ! ;) And very colourful !

  • Amberly 2 years ago

    So cool! For some reason I am totally drawn to that little wall of backpacks haha. Also digging that green sofa, all of the plants in the kitchen, and of course, the art! Such a fun home and the homeowners seem totally awesome (I knew when I saw their fashion choices). :)

  • Samone 2 years ago

    Super-awesome house with great art and curios – just looks like fun in a handbasket. Love it. What a charming-looking talented young couple!

  • chennai dentist 2 years ago

    I such as the precious details you offer into your posts.I will bookmark your blog and look at once again listed here repeatedly.I am very guaranteed I will master an awful lot of new things right listed here! Good luck for the subsequent!

  • N.Quinn 1 year ago

    I love everything about this home. Incredible use of color paired lovely with the couple’s great style. Could you tell me who makes the colorful rug?

  • BillyPiper 1 year ago

    What on earth are you wearing?

  • Jim 9 months ago

    This is a joke, right?

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