Australian Homes

Dan Honey and Paul Fuog

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 23rd October 2013

The Melbourne CBD apartment of Dan Honey, Paul Fuog and their two year old daughter Frances.  Pendant is ‘Form Us With Love’ for Muuto, Artek table from Anibou, chairs – a very lucky Camberwell Market find!  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining area looking back to kitchen.  Interior designed by Clare Cousins. Pendant light by Muuto, Artek table from Anibou, chairs a Camberwell Market find.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details.  Fruit bowl from After Store, salt bucket from Doug Johnston, other terracotta, stone, enamel and woven pieces ‘picked up for nix whilst travelling’ says Dan. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Top print – a still from a video piece by Paul, bottom print – found. Pendant is ‘Form Us With Love’ for Muuto, Artek table from Anibou, chairs from Camberwell Market. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining table details.  Stacking Toy created in collaboration with balinese craftmakers as a part of Paul’s Field Experiments in Indonesia, Stelton jug. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

In all the years of sourcing and photographing all manner of beautiful Australian homes for this site, I thought I had developed a pretty robust immunity to home envy.  And then this apartment came along, and I totally crumbled.  I LOVE IT TO DEATH!  Oh my. What an immaculately understated, supremely functional, modern family home.  Much like it’s talented creative occupants, Paul Marcus Fuog, designer and founder of Coöp, and Dan Honey, Partner at Office for Good Design, this one is just too cool for school!

Set in the heritage listed Bible House building on Flinders Lane, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, Paul and Dan’s apartment presented a curious challenge when they first purchased the home three years ago.  At just 75sqm, the footprint is essentially a small rectangle measuring 7.5 metres x 10 metres, but with huge windows along three of the four walls.  When they first purchased it, the apartment was dated, originally fitted with red timber floors, a blue laminate kitchen and bathroom, and just one bedroom – ‘a terrible size’ recalls Dan, ‘with only 50cm on either side of the bed, and a metre at the end, it was just big enough to make a mess in, but not big enough to really enjoy’.

Dan and Paul had a vision to create a much more functional space with two separate sleeping areas – a master ‘sleeping nook’, and a smaller kids bedroom. ‘We spoke to an architect friend, Clare Cousins, who didn’t think we were crazy’ says Dan!  Phew, always a good start.  ‘It was such an enjoyable experience working with Clare’ recalls Dan. ‘She understood immediately that we didn’t want anything flamboyant. The no-frills outcome was a testament to her experience. It was a collaborative process but we would have completely stuffed it up without her – we were counting millimetres so needed to get the layout right’.

Under Clare’s guidance, the apartment was completely gutted – the internal walls, kitchen and bathroom were removed to make way for a more modern, minimal and flexible space.  Simple joinery, incorporating lots of inbuilt storage, was designed to separate Dan and Paul’s sleeping nook from the baby’s room. The kitchen was extended, floorboards sanded and clearcoated, walls painted crisp white, and the bathroom overhauled.

‘It was a pretty low cost fit out, using plywood, common but creatively composed tiles in the bathroom, and basic tapware electroplated gold’ says Dan of the materials used.  ‘One of the good things about living in such a small space was that it made it possible to do the entire thing at once’.

Aside from the incredible natural light and enviable ceiling height here, of course there is also a lot to be said for Dan and Paul’s impeccably great taste – and the discipline required to decorate a home so sparingly, especially with a  two year old in tow!

‘We aren’t really attached to stuff as a rule’ says Dan of her minimalist aesthetic. ‘Objects come in and out of fashion for us, and the only ones we feel something for are those that are connected to a person or a place’. One particularly treasured piece is the Danish sideboard, a wedding gift from Paul’s mother.  Other current favourites are the handcrafted ‘souvenirs’ (seen on the dining room table and sideboard) which Dan and Paul recently brought back from Bali.  This playful collection of prototypes were handmade in collaboration with local Balinese craft communities, as part of a current project Paul is working on called Field Experiments.  These sweet details, each with a story to tell, punctuate the otherwise sparsely styled space, adding just a touch of quirk and colour.

Despite its central location, this certainly isn’t a typical Melbourne home.  There’s something unmistakeably international about this space, with its effortless marriage of old and new, and almost frugally efficient design.  ‘Living in a smaller space comes with sacrifices, but one of the benefits is that it needs very little maintenance’ says Dan. ‘It takes us no more than an hour to spring clean the place from top to bottom, which leaves time for more enjoyable things’.

Being based just moments from Flinders street Train Station, Dan and Paul also made the decision to live without a car when moving here. Melbourne’s city parks, gardens and other public spaces have now become their backyard – something they hadn’t thought about before moving here, but which has turned out to be a welcome surprise. ‘We spend entire weekends mooching about in our city’s incredibly well-tended public spaces’ says Dan. ‘There are the Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens, the NGV courtyard, Alexandra and Domain Gardens, Birrarung Marr and the Botanic Gardens. We now know the times and days these spaces are quiet, and sometimes they are so deserted they feel like our own private gardens’.

There’s a lot to learn from the very special home Dan and Paul have created here.  There’s something serene and comforting about its perfect balance of form and function, and the lack of excessive ‘stuff’.  It really is the most perfect casestudy for small footprint living.  Above all else, Dan says the sense of ‘connectedness’ is what her family most enjoys here. ‘Being right in the city means we never feel isolated’ she explains.

Dan and Paul travel often, and you might be interested to know that their beautiful apartment is often listed on Air bnb.  ‘We like the idea that when we aren’t using it, it isn’t laying dormant’ says Dan.  I must say I can’t imagine a more perfect base for a Melbourne city getaway – well worth bookmarking for anyone planning a trip here in the near future.

OK ANOTHER angle of the dining table etc, but, can you blame us?  Every angle is a good angle in this apartment!  Pendant by Muuto, Artek Table, chairs from camberwell market, Frances’ bee a gift from Grandma, body surfing hand plane from Plane & Simple, Stacking Toy components on dining table created by Paul as a part of Field Experiments, Stelton jug.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sideboard from Paul’s mum, Eames Molded Plywood Chair, paintings and rock masks on sideboard created as a part of Paul’s Field Experiments, Tivoli radio, Hay rug.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Cleverly concealed bedroom nook.  Mobile handmade by Dan, wall light by Brendan Ravenhill, cat bells found in Bali.  Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Frances’ bedroom, tucked just behind the master bedroom. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Arguably Melbourne’s most photogenic bathroom…!?  LOVE the gold tapware – a little unexpected bling in this understated home. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from front door.  Top print – a still from a video piece by Paul, bottom print – found. Pendant by Muuto, Artek table from Anibou, chairs from Camberwell Market, couch the ‘Nook’ by Jardan. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking back to apartment entrance.  Mezzanine above allows for access to an additional storage cavity.   Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 23rd October 2013

68 comments

  • Suzy Tuxen 1 year ago

    A beautiful home of three beautiful, lovely people. X

  • charlotte 1 year ago

    omg, this house is everything. probably my favorite one yet!! love the mix of plywood with shades of blush in the bedroom!

  • Lauren 1 year ago

    LOVE! So good to see inside one of the Bible House apartments

  • Dannielle 1 year ago

    Wow! This place is lovely! I really love how they have used the plywood. Gorgeous dining table too!

  • Kelly Gilbert 1 year ago

    Amazballs!

  • Sim B 1 year ago

    Yum!

  • Andrew 1 year ago

    Great apartment.
    The track lights in the kitchen are by Masson, a Melbourne based company.

  • Amanda 1 year ago

    Sigh…makes we want to move into the city.

  • Kate 1 year ago

    INSPIRED!!!! Love it!!! Live small live well thank you for sharing

  • suzy 1 year ago

    So beautiful! I love the plywood kitchen.

  • Amanda 1 year ago

    wow, amazing place!

  • shannon 1 year ago

    This place so RAD! I dream of owning something like this one day :)

  • Clare 1 year ago

    Gold tapware = love. I wanted gold for our bathroom, but couldn’t find a showerhead readymade (and electroplating was not on our radar!)

  • Mister B 1 year ago

    The use of space and inbuilt storage and the apartment is wonderful. But the plywood?

  • Ruth 1 year ago

    i love how creative people invent ways to use spaces that others just don’t even see.
    what an ace tiny space.
    very Scandi in it’s use of light, simple beauty & understated furnishings.
    gorgeous.
    x

  • gemma 1 year ago

    super swoony. definitely one of my faves too x

  • Galina 1 year ago

    Beauty in the detail – and such perfection in simplicity. This is one of my favourites too.

  • Janet 1 year ago

    Would of loved to seen pics of the family that lives there

  • Jules 1 year ago

    Proof that you don’t need a huge house in order to have a beautiful lifestyle.

  • Sophie 1 year ago

    Love the gold tapware – are these store bought or electroplated?

  • Monica 1 year ago

    Great design! I have nothing against European appliances but wouldn’t they be increasing their carbon footprint by having a European oven? It had to travel on an airplane to get here, didn’t it??!! Perhaps replace the oven with an open fireplace? :)

  • Lumiere Art + Co. 1 year ago

    Love this house so much. x

  • Tara Maes 1 year ago

    Damn, Clare Cousins can work some magic. This is perfect.

  • What a beautifully curated space. So inspiring! One of my all time TDF faves. Thanks for sharing! X

  • Briony Skeen 1 year ago

    Wow…this house is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. May I ask who did your door slider in the last picture? We have just finished renovating our home in Clifton Hill and the door slider on my sons bathroom is the last thing to complete but we are having trouble finding the track mechanism! Would sooooo appreciate the name of who can fit these. Hope you can help!

  • Dan Honey 1 year ago

    Thanks for all your nice comments and thank you to Clare Cousins
    Today we are thinking of selling up and moving north to get out of this weather!!!

  • Anna Nicholson 1 year ago

    Such an awesome home Dan & Paul. Thanks for letting us all take a look!

  • Annie Yu 1 year ago

    Moving North? Really? What a shame as this is one of the most honest, well thought and put it together CBD apartment I have seen!! Bible House is a dream-alike building although it sits on Flinders Lane. My friend & her partner were here 6 months ago from Sydney to look for renting or buying a house like this!! Whats your plan about the move if you dont mind to tell?!
    I will pass this article to her and she might have interest to say hello even they are staying in Europe at the moment!!

  • David 1 year ago

    Beyond stunning… A perfect example of joyous living within a small space.

  • Jenny 1 year ago

    Lovely space and light with subtle touches of greenery throughout. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fred 1 year ago

    My very favourite, so impressed

  • Merridy 1 year ago

    Love the modesty of it! The antithesis of McMansions.

  • Navy Crockett 1 year ago

    These MUST be good people. They have cacti and succulents :)

  • Lou 1 year ago

    This is the bizness. Dan and/or Paul – could you share where the ‘basic’ tapware came from and where you got it electroplated?

  • Elana 1 year ago

    Restrained. Elegant. Refined. A little gem.

  • Melissa 1 year ago

    I DIE. I am throwing out everything in my house and replacing it with plywood! Where is the cute, simple cot from, please?

  • Dan Honey 1 year ago

    Thanks again for all your comments.
    The taps are from reece. I took them to precision plating and got a brass gold finish. I can’t help with the slider door sorry and the cot was a hand me down from a friend – I can’t find the brand on it!

  • Nicole 1 year ago

    WOW. Subdued elegance at its best

  • Renee 1 year ago

    I had the pleasure of staying in this apartment at the beginning this year, and what a way to start the year!! So beautiful to see it photographed. I can assure you it is just as beautiful in real life, if not EVEN MORE so. So excited to see this featured!

  • Jacqueline 1 year ago

    This is my most favourite home on TDF to date! Love it!!! Thanks so much for sharing this gem!

  • Mikella Lowe 1 year ago

    What a lovely house – in particular the living and bath rooms!

  • Woah – I have house envy! Particularly love the bathroom with the gold tapware…

  • m 12 months ago

    Don’t like the use of different size tile is the bathroom and what a pain to keep the gold plated tap ware etc clean, it will stain if not cleaned after each use, looks good new like to see it in 10 yrs

  • thegreatergood 12 months ago

    What is it about ply? I cannot get enough of it! The baby’s room is too beautiful. Nice one Lucy.

  • CathyK 12 months ago

    I just love seeing how creative some people can be with their homes, and how what some may think won’t work, really looks fabulous. I think some homes can look sterile in their prescriptive approach to decorating and styling their homes, but this home really gives that feeling of being happy, of being fully utilised and lived in. I love it! Never thought Id say that about Ply… Thumbs up Lucy xx

  • CathyK 12 months ago

    P.S I’m obsessed with that Jardan Sofa……LOVE!

  • Otto 11 months ago

    Hey cool it’s uncle Paul’s house I’ve been there

  • MEGAN 10 months ago

    Wow- I love it!!! Trying to find on airbnb- for weekend in mid March- fingers crossed!!!

  • Samantha 9 months ago

    What a fresh and clean space – especially in the city! The light wood mixed with clean white and minimal black make a lovely tone. Well done!

  • Rebecca 7 months ago

    Such an amazing job – i love the sleeping nook and my goodness I need to go to camberwell markets bright and early to try get a find like these

    http://www.dancingthoughsunday.typepad.com
    x

You might also like

by Lucy Feagins
Friday 31st October 2014
6
by Lucy Feagins
Thursday 30th October 2014
2
by Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 29th October 2014
10
Julia Busuttil Nishimura & Nori Nishimura
Tuesday 28th October 2014
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 28th October 2014
4
by Georgina Reid
Monday 27th October 2014
10
by Lucy Feagins
Friday 24th October 2014
17
by Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
18
Julia Busuttil Nishmura & Nori Nishimura
Tuesday 21st October 2014
2
by Lucy Feagins
Thursday 23rd October 2014
6
by Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 21st October 2014
by Amber Creswell Bell
Monday 20th October 2014