Australian Homes

Anna Charlesworth, Peter Stephens and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 1st May 2013

The beautiful Fitzroy North home of Anna Charlesworth, Peter Stephens and family.  The white windows face North, the deck and steel windows face West to catch the last sun of the day.  Blue rug designed by Meacham Nockles McQualter commissioned through Behruz Studio, Knoll sofa, Leather shell chair from  20th Century Scandinavia in Brunswick.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details.  Artwork small by Kate Shaw (from Sullivan and Strumpf, Sydney), glass bonsai by Amanda Dziedzic.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details. Argentinian salvaged doors, sideboard designed by Meacham Nockles McQualter, Noguchi hanging light, small artwork by Kate Shaw (from Sullivan and Strumpf, Sydney) larger work Mira Gojak (Murray White Room), Knoll sofa.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

West facing deck looking through to lounge.  Garden designed by Amanda Oliver, pots from Lost Ark, Acapulco chairs from Amor y Locura in Gertrude St.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

We are kicking off a brand new month (can you believe it’s May!?) in serious style today – I am so in LOVE with this colourful, creative Melbourne home, and whats more, it’s in North Fitzroy, one of my most favourite suburbs in our fair city. The lucky family who live here are designer Anna Charlesworth, real estate agent Peter Stephens, their daughter Nina (12-years-old) and their much loved pup, Donna the groodle! The family have been here two years this month, having moved in in May 2011.

Though it sits on a generous block in one of North Fitzroy’s prettiest leafy streets, Anna and Peter’s home was in need of some love when they first took possession. ‘When we bought the house it was a block-fronted Victorian which had been given the Mediterranean kiss in the 1970’s, and had been a share house for the last 10 years’ explains Peter, who commissioned architects Meacham Nockles McQualter to renovate the house.

‘One of our requests to the architects was for light, light and more light’ says Peter. The resulting design retains the original façade and external walls of the house, the roof, and one front bedroom – everything else was rebuilt. ‘The light in the house now is glorious’ says Peter. ‘The eaves let in maximum winter sun but stop the summer sun from bleaching us all!’

Aside from the incredible natural light pouring into every room, what is really special about this home is the amazing sense of space. ‘Every room is used equally, there is no ‘lost’ space thanks to the architect’s gracious sense of proportion’ says Peter. ‘It’s quiet and comfortable for the three of us, but can easily absorb big family gatherings as well’.

Another standout of course are the surprisingly eclectic flourishes (like the incredible peach-toned bathroom!) which really give this house such a unique character. ‘The house is beautifully detailed but not precious’ says Peter. ‘Don McQualter was always paring back the design and refining things, he was always spot on and we learnt early on to defer to his instincts!’

It’s also a real thrill for Anna to have had the opportunity to design and make most of the light fittings in the home, as well as the door handles – ‘it feels very personalised in that respect’ she says. Anna is a talented designer who works with metal and glass, much of her work is seen throughout this home – the light fittings in the master bedroom, dining area and Nina’s room are all her creations, as are the brass door handles. (Anna takes commissions from interior designers and architects…do check out her website for more about her work!)

Another joy for Anna and Peter is their wonderful garden, designed and maintained by Amanda Oliver. ‘The garden is very much part of our living spaces’ says Peter. ‘Amanda has created a soft green oasis in the middle of North Fitzroy for us’. I must say it is SUCH a special outdoor space, I particularly love the way the weeping foliage frames the windows – and what a luxury to have a little pool in the heart of Fitzroy!

It was so lovely to meet with Anna and Peter and to chat with them about their beautiful home and the design decisions they have made here. It’s a seriously impressive space, but funnily enough, Anna was quick to let me know that this was their very first proper ‘grown up’ home (having previously lived in a much smaller apartment), and that she still wanders around it sometimes feeling quite impressed by it all! ‘We still feel like imposters sometimes, but we love our home!’ she says.

Huge thanks to Anna and Peter so much for sharing their home with us today!

Living room featuring Donna the groodle!  Knoll lounge suite, stools by Bruce Perin, 2 tone vase by David Herbert (local glass blower), small artwork is a sketch of Peter’s mother done by William Dargie, Blue rug designed by Meacham Nockles McQualter commissioned through Behruz Studio.   Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Open plan kitchen / dining, characterised by the incredible tallowwood ceiling, and seamless glass corner windows looking out to the garden, where foliage hangs like an amazing green curtain!  The built in bookcase houses cook books and stereo, comfy chairs are 1980’s leather by Berlini from 20th Century Scandinavia in Brunswick, dining chairs are Cab chairs also by Berlini, light fitting is by Anna Charlesworth.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Cab chairs by Berlini, tallowwood ceiling, skyrange windows light by Anna Charlesworth, and those incredible North facing windows, with a wide eve to shade summer and let in the winter sun.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside eve looking back to pool, rain chain (an alternative to an unsightly downpipe), amazing lush planting to the windows, Pots from Lost Ark, all garden work by Amanda Oliver.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Pool, garden by Amanda Oliver.  ‘The plantings either side of pool fence help the fence disappear, and outdoor surfaces in plain concrete honour the previous Italian owners who were concreters!’ says Peter.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The kitchen was designed as furniture to the room, big drawers, amazing black Aga stove. warm tallow wood ceiling.  Peter says he loves the Aga stove where he spends a lot of time making delicious meals!  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details a little closer!  The radius detail in stone work is recurrent through the house, stone is Elba, the stove is an Aga, plates by Martin Parr from Third Drawer Down, small artworks by Barbara Kjar.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Peter’s much loved ‘Grotesquerie No 17’ by Brent Harris (Tolarno Galleries) hanging in the hallway.  (It is not quite so dearly loved by Anna!).  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom details – bed spread bought on travels in Istanbul, Sonia Clerehan painting (Peter’s first gift to Anna, aww!).  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Tranquil master bedroom, silk rug designed by Meacham Nockles McQualter sourced through Behruz Studio, Light by Anna Charlesworth.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Main bedroom looking to front of house, silk rug designed by Meacham Nockles McQualter sourced through Behruz Studio, bed spread from Istanbul, original box bay window, Light fitting by Anna Charlesworth.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

This small painting hangs opposite the bed in the master bedroom, to be admired every morning!  It’s No. 5 by Brent Harris, purchased from Tolarno Galleries.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Main bathroom – SO bold in that gloss peach hue!  The stone used throughout is Elba, mirrored panels cover the window, tiles sourced through Emery and Cie.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Main bathroom – Stone used throughout is Elba, custom wall mounted light by Anna Charlesworth, tiles sourced through Emery and Cie.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Nina’s room, Light by Anna Charlesworth, Butterflies artwork by Catherine Swan, Anna’s old bed – now Nina’s, bed cover from Istanbul, donut from Kid Robot in NYC.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Small guest bathroom. ‘Small bathroom, we wanted this to be a surprise, a jewel’ says Peter. Tiles are from Emery and Cie, Brass tube light by Anna Charlesworth, brass detail on vanity.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Guest Bedroom.  Ceramic light sourced through 1st Dibs. Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Guest bedroom, tube wall light by Anna Charlesworth, artwork by Mike Parr.  Photo – Brooke Holm, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 1st May 2013


  • Jane 3 years ago

    Love the bathrooms! Nice to see something bold.

  • Mel 3 years ago

    Wow. Gorgeous house.

  • Sarah 3 years ago

    Love everything about this house!

  • Vic Pemberton 3 years ago

    what a dream home! if they ever need a house sitter, i’ll happily move in!

  • Alex 3 years ago

    Hello from Houston, TX, USA! :] I have been enjoying TDF for only a bit of time, but I am one of those (creepy) silent lurkers sifting through the archives. Admittedly, it is because I am consistently amazed by the content and continue to grow more in adoration for just the whole of Australia. So, is Australia really this wonderful, or am I being lied to? ;] I’m kidding, but I do have one ‘serious’ question: Are white walls really this common in Australia or is it a conscious decision among the design-savvy folks? lol

  • Andrea 3 years ago

    I am seriously beginning to believe that the world’s prettiest homes are all located in Melbourne.

  • Cassie 3 years ago

    i am in LOVE with this house, so cool yet warm and inviting at the same time, I want to jump into those photos

  • Lara 3 years ago

    Wow. SOooooo gorgeous!

  • Clare 3 years ago

    oooooooo! This has got to be one of my favourites EVER! Just beautiful! And so clearly carefully considered – the curves cut into the marble splashback as it reaches up behind the stove, and the miror panels to cover the bathroom window.

    Love the encaustic tiles in the bathrooms. We’ve just decided against them in our laundry (marble cheaper than encaustic concrete – who would have guessed?)

  • jas 3 years ago

    oh wow. Love those master bedrooms and those black windows – I die! Stunning. Oh and don’t get me started on the blue and white rug in the first shot!

  • Susan in Shanghai 3 years ago

    A beautiful, beautiful home.

    I love the marble splash back in the kitchen & am seriously considering it in my new kitchen (in my dreams anyway) but how does it work practically?

  • jo 3 years ago

    the peach bathroom – i can’t believe that i like it. but i really do. wow.

  • White Forest Home 3 years ago

    WOW – lovely home. Looks so spacious and light.

  • Julie Faber 3 years ago

    fresh and colourful, love the look beautiful

  • Julie Faber 3 years ago

    the look has it all – colour, texture and freshness

  • Amanda 3 years ago

    They’ve only been in their home for 2 years and their garden looks like this?! This gives me hope for our garden which we’ve just started planting.

    I adore this house, so many lovely details working together to create wow, without it feeling over thought. I love the garden, (never heard of rain chains before), the tallowwood ceiling is excellent, the guest bathroom is superb, love how each space has a specially chosen light to make the space feel unique.

    Well done.

  • Christy 3 years ago

    This place is phenomenally beautiful. We’re about to start a reno in Fitz North, Lucy, is there any way you can find out who Anna and Peter got to make their beautiful steel framed windows? They’re EXACTLY what we’re looking for and I would be so grateful for the tip!

  • Ann 3 years ago

    Peach is back! My bedroom was that colour back in the day. A beautiful, beautiful home. The garden is such a nice change from the very ordered green hedged gardens we see so much. Thank you for allowing us in.

  • Katie 3 years ago

    Loving this house…the blend of old and new is inspiring, and the little surprises of colour (particularly in those bathrooms) are a treat for the eye. Thanks for sharing.

  • tobyscott 3 years ago

    Amazing home with Lovely shots Brooke – Kudos

  • Oh my goodness… this is all goodness! I love that kitchen… and tallowood throughout. And peach – who would have thunk it?! Gorgeous:)

  • Poppy 3 years ago

    Contempoary, timeless, unique. This one is a cracker. So innovative. Thanks for sharing.

  • Samara Greenwood 3 years ago

    What a beautiful home and that garden is stunning.. how do I find Amanda Oliver?

  • Jessica 3 years ago

    Beautiful home all round.

  • Melissa 3 years ago

    What a gorgeous home. Anna your light fittings are amazing and that garden. Swoon……

  • Charlie 3 years ago

    Severe house envy – simply gorgeous!

  • Mrs Notable 3 years ago


  • Elena 3 years ago


  • kathy dicker 3 years ago

    not quite sure about the peach…. apart from that its love… I could still be scared from bathrooms past though.

  • ces 3 years ago

    Love the garden! I can stay there for hours without feeling bored…

  • Ryan 3 years ago

    Love the way this room opens to the beautiful sunny courtyard, would be my fav Sunday room. Love the white and blue rug also.

  • Emily 3 years ago

    so much beautiful flooring in this house! i love the tiles in the bathrooms. and, i think the wire hung outside the house for the vine is genius!

  • kat chadwick 3 years ago

    LOVE that Kate Shaw painting!!!

  • michelle 3 years ago

    Oh Lucy I think you may have found my dream home. So much lovely here. THE LIGHT!!!! The floors. The tiles. The everything really. Thank you for sharing. Wonderful stuff.

  • Sarah 3 years ago

    This is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve seen in a LONG time. Thank you for sharing

  • Meaghan 3 years ago

    How wonderful to see peach being flaunted again – and in a bathroom where its magic can be truly appreciated. Peach works wonders for the complexion, something the Italians always understood and this bathroom is like a Roman summer. Peach is a dusk light tone that bathes rather than bleaches. White bathrooms have a lot of catching up to do… This peachy bathroom is a sophisticated beauty!

  • letitia 3 years ago

    Stunning, stunning, stunning home with such gorgeous bit and pieces, finishes, the small guest bathroom tiles- ohlala, light pendants, artwork, plants, furniture! All deliciousness x Thanks for sharing!

  • Jess 3 years ago

    Love this home! I live in the area but certainly can’t boast about a beautiful home like this.

    One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of these is that no one seems to use a bedhead anymore, and always minimal pillow…. I can’t say it makes the beds look terribly inviting.

  • The Hoipolloi 3 years ago


  • Melissa 3 years ago

    Love, love and more love! I think I need to go to Instanbul for some bed covers <3

  • sunshine & daydreams 3 years ago

    What a joyus family home. It chheers me up on this miserable wintery day just to look at this.

  • Anna Charleswoth 3 years ago

    For Christy…
    the steel framed windows were made by Skyrange doors in Melbourne.
    Cheers! And a big thank you to the Design Files for making everything look so beautiful…

  • nat 3 years ago

    Amazing house! thanks for sharing!!

  • Nick 3 years ago

    Hi Christy comment 17.
    Try Shush Industries we just had doors and windows made by these guys in steel that look exactly the same as these.
    You will need an architect or someone to draw them up for you as they only fabricate the frames. His name is Paul.
    You can also try Skyrange but they are super expensive compared to Shush for the same thing.

  • jessica 3 years ago

    luv this house! who are the cushions by??? with the skulls etc

  • Rose 3 years ago

    Lovely home! Very impressed by the garden too – it looks very established for 2 years. The hanging/climbing foliage is lovely, what sort of plant is it? I am inspired to do some planting in my little courtyard!

  • Carla 3 years ago

    I just want the Aga!

  • Anna Charlesworth 3 years ago

    Hi again, the cushions are from Amor Y Locura in Gertrude St Fitzroy and the ivy is good old Boston Ivy.
    Currently its bright red, glorious!

  • Carly 3 years ago

    WOW, I think this is my all time favourite design files house tour yet. Just loverly…

  • CJK 3 years ago

    Thank you so much Anna and Nick @ comment 44, we actually went and checked out Skyrange last week (their work is stunning, which you pay for), and another friend recently recommended that I contact Paul @ Shush but spelt it differently and i couldn’t find their website. I’ll be contacting them tomorrow now I have their details. Thanks again :-)

  • Penny 3 years ago

    Love everything about this house and the garden is beautiful.

  • Troy Mendham 3 years ago

    Loving the blue it that rug

  • Stacia Goninon 3 years ago

    Hi Anna Charlesworth!
    Just wondering if you can tell me where the curtain hardware in the main bedroom is from?
    And also the lovely emerald green blind in the guest bedroom?
    Thanks so much, gorgeous house!

  • Troy Mendham 3 years ago

    ‘in’ …in that rug

  • Annie 3 years ago

    This house is absolutely beautiful! I LOVE the kitchen tap! Was that made by Anna?

  • Cat 3 years ago

    Hi Anna love your lighting. I would also love to if you made the tap. Beautiful!

  • Cat 3 years ago

    To know!

  • Anna Charleswortg 3 years ago

    Hi, Cat and Annie, no unfortunately I didn’t make the tap! It’s a Vola tap.

  • Sangi 3 years ago

    Oh wow! This is one of the most amazing houses I’ve seen, and in such a brilliant location! love!

  • Emily 3 years ago

    I think this is my most favourite design files house of all time

  • bianca 3 years ago

    Love this home and especially that bathroom!!!!. Those sand and stone tones in the bathroom must make bathing a wonderfully calming daily ritual.

  • Dan 3 years ago

    Gorgeous, probably my all-time favourite home in TDF for its pure confidence and joy. Honest materials. The trailing plant looks like a Virginia Creeper, not Boston Ivy.

  • Prlass 3 years ago

    A very special house indeed. Oh, to have a living space that large to fit in an oversized statement rug.

  • Kate Austin 3 years ago

    Absolutely stunning. I love everything! I’d love to have the bathroom tiles for my kithcen but I can’t see them on the emery & cie website. Were they a bespoke design?

  • Peter Stephens 3 years ago

    For Kate, the tiles from Emery & Cie are a stock pattern, however you can choose the colour combo you want as they are made to order. We visited the show room and then the architect chose the colours. Sealing them is a whole other story…

  • Kate Austin 3 years ago

    Thanks Peter. I’ll ask them for more details. I think they look worth the hassle!

  • Alana 3 years ago

    Absolutely love the style and design of this home. Wondered if anyone could let me know where the white round coffee table in the lounge is from.? I’ve been searching for one – thank you so much! A.

  • macho 3 years ago

    those bedspreads from istanbul are so amazing. love them.

  • Anna Charlesworth 3 years ago

    For Alana, the round white coffee table in the lounge is from Space furniture in Richmond.

  • Lisa 3 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your gorgeous, happy, fun, warm home with us all. Can you please tell me what colour paint the exterior back room of your house is and also your fence. I am trying to find myself something very similar. Thank you again!

  • kerry 3 years ago

    anna’s personal space is the total opposite of her work space… what a fabulous balance. gorgeous home and a fabulous artist… what a woman!

  • So much to love – where to start!!! Too many pics to take inspiration from.

  • Lauren 3 years ago

    Hi just wondering what the draws in the kitchen are made of and also the floor. Gorgeous home!

  • Peter Stephens 3 years ago

    the kitchen draws are faced with timber and colour stained, the floor is a concrete hyper floor. Looks like terrazzo, its a lovely finish.

  • Jane 3 years ago

    one more final question months and months later… where is the rangehood from? thanks so much :)

  • Victoria 3 years ago

    Hello Anna,

    I am absolutely obsessed with your stunning sideboard! I’m also in Melbourne and hoping you can tell me where you got it.

    Thanks a million.

  • Peter Stephens 3 years ago

    The sideboard was designed by the architect, Don McQualter and made by the joiner we used Tim Clarke.

    the shroud for the range hood in the kitchen was made to order. Again designed by Don and made by Tim Clarke

    hope that helps…Peter

  • Eurodecorating 3 years ago

    Amazing , i will recommend to my clients to have a look at it!
    Painters and Decorators Barking

  • kristen 3 years ago

    the peach bathroom color-what is the paint color & who makes it

  • Siobhain 1 year ago

    Love this house. I know this is quite an old post now but wondering where the range hood came from in the kitchen?

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