The Perth home of WA-based designer and shop owner Renee Coleman and her family. Above – view from 9yr old Orlando’s bedroom down the hall. Bond poster found in a second hand store in Sydney. Styling – Anna Flanders, Photo – Angelita Bonetti for The Design Files.
Loungeroom. Original Featherston chair (foreground) is one of Renee’s favourite pieces, the metal green industrial light was found in New York , the oval marble coffee table Renee designed and had made in India. ‘The houndstooth single chairs are very in now – Gatsby! But I’ve had them for over 18 months, from Empire – I took one look and fell in love!’ says Renee. Styling – Anna Flanders, Photo – Angelita Bonetti for The Design Files.
The main lounge room. French metal stool recovered in Designers Guild mustard velvet. Charcoal slimline sofa by Empire (to the right). Renee collected vintage german vases – they are dotted all through the house. Styling – Anna Flanders, Photo – Angelita Bonetti for The Design Files.
Renee and Sneaky the boxer (!) enjoy a moment on the outdoor terrace. ‘We live out here’ says Renee. Original Harry Bertoia chairs – ‘collected pre the knock off era !’ says Renee. Styling – Anna Flanders, Photo – Angelita Bonetti for The Design Files.
Today we have another fabulous mid century home to share, courtesy of stylist Anna Flanders and photographer Angelita Bonetti, the incredible Perth-based team we work with closely to ensure TDF gets its fair share of WA homes! (I will get there in person very soon I promise! But in the meantime, my goodness, what a JOY it is to have such a fantastic team on the ground keeping us in the loop!).
This very special family home, in the Perth suburb of Floreat, belongs to designer and shop owner Renee Coleman of much loved Perth interiors store Empire, her husband and two kids Orlando (9 yrs) and baby Riva Ruby, as well as ‘Sneaky’ the dog, and Audrey the ‘fat angry feline’! Designed and built in the 1960’s by Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff for his own residence, the home is one of Perth’s most iconic houses. Renee says she had her eye on it for many years, but had almost lost hope that it would ever become available. When it did come on the market in early 2011, the family were quick to snap it up, moving in in April 2011.
As with so many of the mid century homes we feature, Renee’s home is in close to original condition, requiring only minor restoration work to keep it looking its best! Interior walls have been refreshed, some new light fittings have been added, and a little ‘invisible’ restoration work has been necessary, such as plumbing fixes, etc. Blinds were also installed on street-side bedroom windows for privacy. Renee’s next the major project will be to re-fence the garden -‘ to stop Sneaky from escaping and harassing the neighbourhood!’ she says.
As a designer and owner of one of WA’s most loved interiors shops, Empire in Highgate, it’s no surprise Renee has pulled together such an inspired and eclectic edit of furniture, lighting and artwork for her own home. Mid century finds sit happily alongside contemporary artwork and quirky collectibles, giving this house a vibrant, relaxed feel. The 4m long vintage teak dining table is a particularly treasured item – found whilst on honeymoon in Java, Renee says she loves this piece the most. The original lime green Featherston chair comes a close second!
Almost all the key furniture and decorative items you see here were sourced by Renee for her shop… but which mysteriously seem to have found a permanent home here! In addition to her collection of restored vintage furniture, there’s also a healthy edit of pieces Renee has designed and commissioned herself, and unique items sourced from across the globe, such as handstitched cushions and copper candelabras found recently in Egypt.
However, as with most of the mid century spaces we often feature, the star of this show is undoubtedly the house itself. ‘The deceptively complex design elements create an uncluttered sense of serenity’ says Renee of the timeless modernist design features that make this home so special. ‘Every single aspect of the house and garden has been designed to be both beautiful and functional, which gives a constant feeling of completeness and soundness. Two years down the track, I still find a new angle, corner, beam or alcove that is perfectly conceived and proportioned. I have never lived in a ‘special’ home before, and there is not a day that I don’t pinch myself that I have the fortune to be the custodian of this perfect family home.’
Anyone planning a trip to Perth must put Renee’s beautiful store on their ‘must visit’ list! However, never one to sit still for very long, Renee also has a new business in the works - The Collector. Due to launch this Spring, The Collector is an online store specialising in one-off items sourced from across the globe, with 50 new pieces added every quarter, ranging from unique furniture to glassware, hand made textiles, soft furnishings and other treasures uncovered by Renee on her annual buying trips abroad. Wowsers, sounds kind of AMAZING – watch this space!