Australian Homes

Penelope Loorham, Douglas McMeekin and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 27th November 2013

 The home of fashion designer Penelope Loorham and family in South Melbourne.  Kitchen area, adjoining courtyard garden.  Kitchen Table from Ernst Zacher Antiques, Turkish rug purchased whilst Penelope travelled through Turkey many years ago, gold bowl from Space, Artworks on shelf by Belynda Henry.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details.  ‘We were very lucky to inherit a kitchen that we love’ says Penelope.  ‘I think the tiles were from Aeria Country Floors– they are a mix of sizes and give the wall a lovely texture’.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Old French Kitchen dining table from Ernst Zacher Antiques, Thonet Chairs in Black and Emily Ferretti Painting from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room looking through dining area to front of house.  Serge Mouille Pendant light, Belgian Linen curtains, couch recovered in Italian velvet, old French dining table from Ernst Zacher Antiques, Thonet Chairs in Black (with socks!) and Emily Ferretti Painting from Sophie Gannon Gallery. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area adjoining courtyard.  Original Warren Platner Chair from Designage in High st, Prahan. Custom made marble and blonde timber coffee table. Silver side table from Coco Republic.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Today’s beautiful three bedroom home in South Melbourne is an effortlessly elegant family home which makes the most of its modest inner-city proportions, and just oozes a sense of classic, understated style.  It’s home to fashion designer Penelope Loorham of Perri Cutten, her husband Douglas McMeekin, and their son, Sebastian, who is 5 years old.

Penelope and Douglas were fortunate to inherit a house that had already been beautifully renovated by the previous owners when they first purchased it 6 years ago.  ‘The front section of the house dates back to the 1820’s, but the back section was altered about 10 years ago’ explains Penelope.  As a result, the kitchen and bathroom required very little further improvement from Penelope and Douglas, instead they simply re-painted, changed a few light fittings, installed floor to ceiling bookcases, and moved straight in.  ‘It is a very easy house to live in, very low maintenance –  you literally lock the door and go’ says Penelope of her inner city home.

Of course, it helps to have a KILLER collection of art and furniture, and luckily Penelope has exquisite taste in all things aesthetic, so much of this home’s photogenicism is owed to her keen eye!   She’s particularly fond of the Platner Chair in the living room (so special in that lux red velvet), and that amazing Serge Mouille Pendant light above the dining table.  I’m also seriously swooning over the Emily Ferreti diptych too – what a truly perfect piece for this serene open plan dining area, and so perfectly positioned centrally above the dining table.  Ahhhh so much beauty.

As a busy working Mum, Penelope says she loves the central location of her home in South Melbourne – ‘it’s the perfect spot to live, walking distance to the Botanic Gardens, Albert Park Lake, the beach and the city’ she says.  Penelope makes good use of the South Melbourne market, and spends hours at the local parks with 5 year old Sebastian.  However, alongside these inner city conveniences, there is a distinct sense of calmness and serenity here – when inside it’s very hard to believe that this home is actually on one of South Melbourne’s busiest streets!  Due to the clever layout of the home, with living areas towards the rear, wrapped around that little courtyard garden, the space feels like a little sanctuary, distinctly removed from the bustling city just outside the door.

Huge thanks to Penelope and family for opening their home to us today – what a beauty!

Front sitting room / study.  Thonet Le Corbusier chair, Thomas Florschuetz photograph,  Old Chinese cabinet and Parisian lamp given to Penelope by her Uncle.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Front sitting room / study.  Thonet Le Corbusier chair, floor to ceiling bookshelves and beautiful  timber internal doors.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom details.  Murano glass lamps given to Penelope by her uncle.  Artwork by Robert Malherbe (Irwin and Olsen Gallery),  Megan Parkcushion. Photograph in frame on bedside, from Penelope’s favourite part of Australia – her family’s farm at Tooma in the Snowy Mountains NSW.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom corner detail.  Robert Malherbe Oil Painting, cushion hand embroidered by Penelope… ‘I do hours of embroidery when on long flights!’ she says!  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Pretty bathroom details.  Children’s chair form Market Import, antique cabinet from Ernst Zacher Antiques. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Sebastian’s room – rug found on travels in Morocco, Stokke Junior bed, artwork by a local street artist, literally ‘picked up’ by Penelope in North Carlton. ‘Each morning the artist would leave artwork taped to a telegraph pole in our street’ says Penelope. Babar the Elephant by Blabla.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Rendered interior wall with a cement ledge along wall in dining area.  Seat cushions custom made in Mokum ‘Ficus’ fabric. Megan Park cushion along the wall.  Old French Kitchen dining table from Ernst Zacher Antiques, Thonet Chairs in black with natural timber ‘socks’.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area, featuring a couch recently recovered in Italian velvet – ‘so comfortable!’ says Penelope.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Looking into the living area from outside, the mirrors feel like big windows, creating a spacious feel and reflecting the lush ivy outside.  The mirrors were custom made by MCM House in Sydney.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Gorgeous city garden!  ‘A very low maintenance garden but so lush to look at’ says Penelope of her courtyard garden.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 27th November 2013

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