Australian Homes

Suzanne and Adam Cunningham and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 12th February 2014

The Melbourne home of Suzanne and Adam Cunningham and family. Living / lounge area, featuring artwork by Rachel Castle, wallpaper by Signature Prints, mirror from Coco Republic and assorted cushions by Designers Guild, Megan Park and Signature Prints. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details – tiles from Urban Edge Ceramics, vase from Georg Jensen and black canister from Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details. Sofa by Jardan, rug by Armadillo & Co., lamp and side table from Great Dane Furniture, cushions by Megan Park, and artwork by Kirra Jamison. Photo – Brooke Holm, styling by Marsha Golemac.

Dining room. Table by Jardan, chairs by Thonet and pendant lighting by Verner Panton. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room feature wall details. Lamp by Kartell, ‘The White Butterfly’ framed artwork by Martyn Thompson, Wedgewood plates, and framed black and white photo of Suzanne’s late grandparents on their wedding day. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

After running two showstopping Sydney homes back to back, we’re well overdue for another Melbourne pad, and luckily we have just the thing for you this morning – the warm, friendly and beautifully decorated home of interior designer Suzanne Cunningham, her husband Adam and their two kids, Grace (4) and Tom (1).

Suzanne’s story is one I seem to be hearing more and more these days.  After a successful ‘first’ career as a marketing manager for a big bank, Suzanne’s passion for interiors was ignited by her own home renovation, undertaken before her two children were born. Suzanne project managed the extensive renovation and extension of her home, the results of which you see here.  However, when the job was finally complete, she had a new problem – she wanted to do it all over again!  With encouragement from friends and family, she decided to follow her passion. She went back to study, adding a Diploma of Interior Design to her existing Commerce and Arts degrees.  Her firm, One Girl Interiors, is just that – a tiny consultancy she currently runs from home, taking on interior projects both big and small, with the kind of heartfelt passion that comes from finding your calling a little later in life.

Suzanne and Adam originally purchased their home, on a generous block in Box Hill, eleven years ago.  It wasn’t until 2007, which plans to start a family, that they finally decided to tackle a major renovation and extension, which would effectively double the size of the house.

‘The original post-war weatherboard home had one small sitting room, a tiny dining room and a galley kitchen’ says Suzanne. ‘None of these were ideal for entertaining, which we love to do!’  The kitchen was a major priority – Suzanne loves to to cook, and was intent on creating her dream kitchen here! ‘It was definitely the most important element for me in the whole house’ she says.

It was decided that the new extension would centre around the additional of a large open plan kitchen/informal dining/living area, at the rear of the home.  The existing dining room was also extended, a second bathroom added, and the master bedroom was moved to the back of the home, overlooking the garden.  The result is what feels like a HUGE home by inner-city standards (!!) – four generous bedrooms with breathing space between one another, and distinct kids / grown up zones – including a beautiful ‘proper’ dining room for meals with friends, which Suzanne loves to host.

Suzanne’s impeccable taste is perfectly reflected in the measured decorating decisions she has made here – she loves colour and pattern, and has selected a few favourite wallpapers for her study, bedroom and the formal living room. ‘I love the Kelly Wearstler wallpaper in my study’ she says. ‘The pattern is both fun and elegant at the same time. It makes me smile whenever I see it… I do have a slight wallpaper addiction!’.

Another treasured piece for Suzanne is the Panton Fun Lamp, with its delicately threaded mother-of-pearl discs, hanging over the dining table.  A gift from Adam after the birth of their daughter Grace, the lamp is a reminder of a special weekend Suzanne and Adam spent in Copenhagen.  For his part, Adam’s own favourite piece is a less nostalgic, more functional and comfortable item (!!) – ‘without a doubt, Adam would say the Jardan couch in the living room is his favourite thing!’ says Suzanne!

What is clearly evident here is the careful balance Suzanne has managed to strike between a precise and polished finish, and a relaxed family home.  Despite it’s designer details, Suzanne and Adam’s home is, at heart, a robust, functional space for their growing family.  ‘I love the feel of the house’ she says. ‘It’s fun and informal, and perfectly suits our young family and the way we live. There is nothing too precious here. I’m a big believer that you should always use your good stuff!’.  Hear hear!

Massive thanks to Suzanne and family for sharing their home with us today!

Master bedroom. Wallpaper from Designers Guild, macrame wall hanging by Tamara Maynes, flower pot lamp from Great Dane Furniture, side table by Jardan, and honeycomb cushions by Megan Park. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom details. Vintage poster from Galerie Monmartre, side table from Great Dane, chair by Jardan, and rug from Armadillo & Co. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom. Tiles from Urban Edge Ceramics, wash basin from Villeroy and Boch, and step ladder from IKEA painted by Suzanne. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

One-year-old Tom’s bedroom. Cot by Stokke, vintage wallpaper by Inke, and Eames rocker by Living Edge. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Four-year-old daughter Grace’s bedroom, designed in collaboration with Jacinda Malloy of Hide and Sleep. Chest of drawers – a second hand score from eBay which Suzanne painted, crochet bunting by Crayon Chick, paper dress by Marcelle Crosby, and lamp from Bholu. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Four-year-old daughter Grace’s bedroom, designed in collaboration with Jacinda Malloy of Hide and Sleep. Chest of drawers are a second hand score from eBay which Suzanne painted, lamp from Down to the Woods, prints by Printspace, and blanket from Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Suzanne’s study. Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler, desk is from IKEA, and lamp from Great Dane Furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 12th February 2014


  • julia-tagandtibby 3 years ago

    what a gorgeous space! I adore their 4 year old’s bedroom.

  • Fiona 3 years ago

    Here’s to finding your calling later in life – cheers! :)

  • Lisa 3 years ago

    Beautiful use of colour :0

  • Ellie 3 years ago

    Beautiful home. I love all the Jardan pieces!

  • CJK 3 years ago

    Grate Dane hey? :-) Beautiful home!

  • Tamara 3 years ago

    I love your use of colour Suzanne and very happy to see my macramé taking pride of place in the master bedroom! Congrats on the feature! x

  • Elly 3 years ago

    Love the cushion on the grey arm chair in the bedroom. Where is it from?

  • Amy Rush 3 years ago

    Love this house x

  • Amie 3 years ago

    I love the kitchen with its wide bench space to fit cook books! and I’ve had my eye on the toadstool lamp in the kids room for a while now!!
    xox Amie Spoonful of Vintage

  • JW 3 years ago

    Ditto comment #4. This house looks interchangeable with most of the others featured on here. Sure, it’s *nice*, but there’s more than one way to decorate a house and it would be wonderful to see some new ideas featured.

  • Donna 3 years ago

    I love this house; beautifully decorated to suit a young family. I also live in a postwar home in the Melbourne ‘burbs with a young family, and can see how perfectly functional this space is for kids. I’m planning to borrow a few ideas here.

  • Catherine 3 years ago

    In a house this styled where do the kids play?

  • Sally 3 years ago

    Gorgeous home that reflects the owners perfectly.

  • marie 3 years ago

    Yes its a lovely house I agree – very well put together.

    Its time though to see some other “styles”
    Most homes showcased on this site follow a similar thread.

  • Melissa 3 years ago

    Gorgeous! Love the macrame wall hanging. And of course the house is styled that’s what you do before a photo shoot!

  • Kath W 3 years ago

    I’m all for seeing real, innovative and anti-fashionable homes, and I’m the first to mount anti-elitist arguments, but I disagree very strongly with the negative comments on this thread. This home and its accruments are expensively beautiful, yes, but much more judiciously curated and far less showcasey than many other expensive homes on here. Bravo to Suzzanne for her fine custodianship of a Box Hill treasure, and for embarking on her talents as an aesthete: far more meaningful and life-affirming work than her former (indefensible) job of marketing for a bank. :-)

  • Jo Foster 3 years ago

    Lovely home, I especially love the eclectic mix in Grace’s room, vintage meets contemporary. Would love to see a whole house that is a mix of vintage/contemporary.

    Thanks Lucy.

  • Barbara 3 years ago

    I’m all inspired to paint my ikea stool & bookcase now. Thanks for the idea!

  • CongaConnie 3 years ago

    The same style of house, the same furniture labels (e.g. Great Dane and Jardan) and same look. Aren’t there other houses out there that have something unique about them? Amazing gardens? Unique period homes? Artistic homes?

  • Tara 3 years ago

    I think this is one of my all-time favourite TDF homes. Wow. So gorgeous.

  • Anastasia @ WFH 3 years ago

    Gorgeous…nice to see Local Artists and lots of colour!

  • Kylie Martin 3 years ago

    When can I move in?

  • emily 3 years ago

    This is lovely home, and I’m sure it is very liveable when it is not styled to the nines for TDF. However, I completely agree with the comments about seeing the same style of homes over and over again. We know that you love Kirra Jamison, Jardan and Great Dane, which is all well and good for your readers who can afford to add these items to their homes! Of course, the styling and photography lend a certain ‘homogenous’ look to the Wednesday home features, but on top of this it really feels like the same things are being re-hashed repeatedly. I would love to see a more eclectic mix of homes featured on TDF from now on; truly unique homes are much more interesting and inspiring than homes filled with the latest designer products.

  • Susan Harcourt 3 years ago

    Yes! I agree there is a freshness and artistic subtlety about this home. Homely plus! Love the ebay blue chest of drawers and lamps.

  • AmandaNz 3 years ago

    Loving your bold choices in wallpaper Suzanne and beautiful family home. Congrats Lucy on finding another great contemporary/character location! Every week is a pleasure with Wednesday being a highlight for me. Your styling is impeccable as usual and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Your tiny team do an amazing job! Happy Wednesday:)

  • Suzanne Gorman 3 years ago

    I love this house! I think Suzanne has collated a beautiful mix of patterns, colours and styles to make a gorgeous, comfortable and eclectic home. I see plenty of places for children to play and be inspired by colour. There is nothing wrong with using popular brands and styles of the day…….it has been happening in design for thousands of years! For me there is plenty of originality in the combinations of furniture and decoration used and it is not as easy as it looks to pull together such a lovely home. I am not sure why people choose to be critical as I feel privileged that Suzanne and her family were willing to share their style. Thank you Suzanne, Lucy and Lisa Marie – I loved this post and I always, always enjoy all you do.

  • Natalie 3 years ago

    Having had our former home featured in magazines and online quite a few years ago, you definitely open yourself and your home up to both positive and negative commentary and criticism…. such is the online world. I agree with both sides of the comments above, it looks like a lovely colourful and family friendly home to me and I appreciate the effort it takes by all involved to organise and create these great Wednesday home features….I also think there are now more than a few homes touched by TDF’s style / popularity / influence, so when photographed with their choice of furniture or artwork chosen, it then can seem a bit same same.

  • Lydia 3 years ago

    To all those saying they are sick of over styling – what would you rather see? Clothes on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink? You need to remember that these home often belong to designers etc so of course they want their homes to be seen at their best!

  • Marcelle 3 years ago

    Great to see my paper dress in girl’s room.

  • Shelley 3 years ago

    So many nice touches! Love the kitchen – such a classic. What a beautiful wedding photo too – treasured I am sure!

  • Sim B 3 years ago

    Thanks Lucy for the peak inside this gorgeous home! I love the mix of ‘usual suspects’ along with Suzanne’s sentimental touches. There’s nothing wrong with constructive feedback (keeps things interesting), but I have to laugh at the some of the snarky comments that have popped up today. They are, to me, the very definition of boring. Yawn.

  • Kate James 3 years ago

    Thanks Lucy – another beautiful home. I agree with Sim B. Constructive feedback is helpful but it’s a shame when it becomes a little snarky. You do an amazing job with this site and the diverse range of content you offer your readers. I know there is a huge amount of work that goes into creating these daily posts and we’re all hugely grateful. Thank you. x

  • Jenny 3 years ago

    I admire people like Suzanne and family sharing their homes giving an insight into their stories and private space. I loved the quality of furniture pieces shown: I imagine they will be long-lasting treasures.

  • Jane 3 years ago

    Lovely home. Love the beautiful print from Printspace.

  • Cristy 3 years ago

    I am not sick of peaking into people’s homes….sure sometimes I don’t long to replicate the same look but I do appreciate the efforts that are made by those who own the homes and those who bring them….free…to my eyes…I am however a bit over the comments that jump the divide between constructive criticism to outright negativity….keep up the good work tdf….and to the homeowners I say thank you!

  • EFrances 3 years ago

    Beautiful, so homely. I think it has a sophisticated but relaxed feel. Love it.

  • Alli 3 years ago

    It takes a huge amount of effort and style to pull something like this together. Not many have the gift, why not celebrate it for what it is, whether its your style or not. A very gorgeous home :)

  • Joanna 3 years ago

    I think this is a lovely home too especially I love her use of wallpaper. Would anyone know where the spotty wall decals in Grace’s room are from? I see so many ordinary wall decals and these ones are the perfect colour combo.

  • Jessamy 3 years ago

    Especially love the wallpaper. So many lovely touches to this home- I will be using more than one idea for inspiration. Thanks for another gorgeous home!

  • Simone Patterson 3 years ago

    I like it, but I do feel a bit tired of this look…. It’s a bit too ‘checklist’ decorating for my liking. With that said, some people like to be on trend, all the time, and good luck to them!
    I reckon it’s a bit unfair to say that all homes featured oh TDF are like this though. They’re not. Regardless, these people have opened up their private world to share with us, so thanks :)

    P.s.. No doubt many have heard of The Selby? A great blog for those wanting a less design oriented peek into the homes/lives of a diverse range of people. Lots of messy goodness there.

  • Suzanne Cunningham 3 years ago

    This is my house on its very best day. On other days it is a sometimes-crazy family home complete with toys and the usual mess from our busy children all over the floor.

    Thanks to everyone who took the time to write something lovely here.

    And a huge thank you to Lucy, Eve and Lisa for such a special experience :)

    P.S. Joanna, the confetti dots are from Petit Collage and Elly, the cushion on the grey chair is from Megan Park.

  • Bec 3 years ago

    Love Jacinda’s work from Hide & Sleep gorgeous little girls room

  • Christina 3 years ago

    This is beautiful, and at first glance I also thought it looked the same. But the more I looked, the more I noticed how cleverly put together it all is, and all the things that shouldn’t work together, do, and perfectly! i could never do this. We know it’s not like this every day, but rather like our own homes when guests are coming over. That’s ok! But it would be nice to see some other styles? But it’s your blog, even if it does start to appear that your really pushing your $ sponsors. Call me out if I’m wrong!

  • jo s 3 years ago

    I think it is brave to feature your home online or in print, I am too scared of trolls and all that negativity out there to volunteer our place for a shoot and styling, I enjoy TDF as a chance for a sneeky peak, like going to an open house inspection when you have no intention of buying. I think it must be hard for Lucy to get people who are willing to open their house to such potential criticism, if you don’t like it why can’t people just zip it.

  • Lucy 3 years ago

    Hey guys! Thanks for the comments, especially the LOVELY ones, not so much the negative ones (the least constructive of which I have deleted). I am so grateful to those of you who have pointed out how generous and brave it is for the homeowners of all the homes we feature to open their personal spaces up for all the world to see and discuss. I am so grateful to Suzanne and her family for their generosity and trust in this regard.

    With regard to argument that many of the houses we feature look the same… I must say, I really take this to heart, as we do our very best to showcase a diverse range of homes, and in particular, I’m very sensitive to showcasing eclectic, creative homes rather than shiny architectural masterpieces which barely reflect those who live in them. A discretionary glance at our home archives page I feel really does show just how diverse our Australian Homes series is! From tiny city apartments ( to Gold Coast beach shacks ( to Western Australian mid-century gems ( to 80-something year old Leon and Ada’s untouched 1950’s home in suburban Melbourne… ( – I could go on! You may not love today’s home, but I really don’t think we can be accused of lack of variety. It may be true that many of those who read TDF do end up buying artwork by artists we often feature, or products by local manufacturers we have profiled in the past. TDF has become quite influential in that way, which is a truly incredible thing, as it means our readers are supporting the wonderful creatives we feature, and buying local! However, I don’t go out of my way to promote any particular brand in the homes we feature, we are not affiliated with any brands in this regard and it is or policy that all content is strictly editorial – you will never seen sponsored content or product placement on this site. However, I really can’t help it if someone’s couch is from Jardan or if they have a Rachel Castle print on their wall! We capture homes as we find them, and we caption accordingly.

    Thanks again to Suzanne and family for sharing their home with us today, and to all the amazing readers who’ve left constructive and supportive comments on today’s post! x

  • Cristy 3 years ago

    Good on you Lucy! I must say that I am disheartened by the negative comments these last few weeks Which have verged on rudeness.. The house peek is always one of my favourite parts of the week….but I don’t think you need to continually justify your choices. This is your site, you put in the hard work and we readers can take part or not. Keep doing what you are doing!

  • Nikki 3 years ago

    Lucy the reason I love your blog is because the homes you feature are SO DIVERSE as opposed to print magazines which are (half full of advertising) with homes that only reflect the magazines niche readership on editors taste. Please do not be disheartened by all the negativity, you do such a fantastic job every single week. I actually think the fact that not every single reader loves every single home featured signifies you are on the right track in showcasing a range of homes that appeal to a wide range of readers. dah.

  • Michelle 3 years ago

    I was interested to see the comments about today’s home. Thanks to the home owner for so generously sharing, and for Lucy and her team for showing us these sneak peeks. and all the other great stuff you post. I agree with Cristy’s comments above. I think we all need to remember that this is a free blog – no one is forcing you to read this, or to style your home in any way other than how you would like to, and if some readers find it all looking a bit repetitive, maybe it’s time to log off and start thinking about some “real world” problems!

  • Fred 3 years ago

    Wow…i don’t usually read all comments but i did today post. For those negative and judgmental ones…really, it’s so diverse, beautiful and…free. Even if it features works from local artists, so what…shouldn’t we rather support them. There are some Wed i didn’t like the home that featured, just simply not my style and i left no comment but that how diverse the blog is. I do appreciate the blogger and people involved though so thanks Lucy, you have the majority, that says it all. Fred

  • Christine N 3 years ago

    Hi Suzanne,

    What a gorgeous house you have! I was wondering where the book shelf is from, such kind of sneaked in on the very last photo?


  • Allie 3 years ago

    I think Natalie’s comments were spot on – you are going to get a range of comments when you share a house and it is certainly very brave for an owner to do so. I personally like this house, but I understand that others may feel they’ve ‘seen it before’. It is a bit concerning though when comments are simply deleted so all that remains is a sanitised version of people’s feedback. By all means, remove the troll-esque ones, but there are some that have been deleted that I think we’re simply reflecting the fact that the writer didn’t love the house, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

  • Lucinda 3 years ago

    Kate James brought to my attention the awful comments some people have left here. If you don’t like it – go somewhere else for quality, free, inspiring content. Bet it won’t be as good as TDF. This is a real person’s home (with real feelings) – to jump on and criticise just to make yourself feel better is a bit sick. Love this home as I love all homes on TDF, they are not always going to be to everyone’s taste but they bring something different and new every week!

  • Indra 3 years ago

    Love this house. Lucy you definitely vary what you deliver, you cannot help that some particular brands are popular at the moment, don’t take their comments to heart! I love seeing the different homes you deliver each week. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Jen w 3 years ago

    What a lovely home and what a shame it is that some people can be so mean! I hope these people dont put off others who are considering opening their doors to us all. It is a priviledge to see into other peoples homes. The least we as readers can do is be polite. If you dont like what you see then dont look! Keep up the great work Lucy and team :)

  • Jane 3 years ago

    I’ve spent some time reflecting on everyone’s comments (I must confess its rare for me to read all the comments) and I feel that while yes we do see frequent usage of Kirra Jamison and Rachel Castle’s artwork, so too in luxury homes there is repetitive use of Dale Frank and Martina Emdur. Being an artist myself, I’m always interested to see what artwork people select for their homes, as I feel it embues each home with its own energy. We are fortunate to be surrounded by talented artists and its great to see original art in most of the homes. Finally I would like to say thank you to all the people generous and brave enough to share what for them is a very personal part of their lives- THEIR HOMES. I feel it is a priveledge we should not take for granted. Ps. Thanks Lucy and your team for all the hard work!

  • Tina 3 years ago

    I agree with Allie, a bit concerning that certain comments have been deleted. The profile of Suzanne’s stunning home has created passionate debate which I believe is healthy and to be supported as it encourages reflection on what we love and don’t love about TDF and for Lucy and her team to receive feedback on the current feelings about the blog.

  • Fiona 3 years ago

    Christine N – I think it’s String shelving – see I feel a little bit design-ery knowing that! Seeing as my house is filled with IKEA/my parents cast-offs, and I just like looking at stuff online for the art/aesthetic fun of it all.

  • marymary 3 years ago

    For those that are after diversity, don’t expect to find it all on one blog:
    the list goes on…different blogs = different aesthetics. I must say TDF is definitely up there as one of my favourites! I hang out each week for the next tour and never disappointed.

  • Jessica Charge 3 years ago

    I have only just come across this blog as I live very far away in the UK and I personally find this house to be stunning. I follow quite a few Aus people on Instagram and often am inspired by their style which can offer something different to UK/Scandinavian style for example. I look forward to looking at more posts on this blog if all the houses are this gorgeous! Very often homes on blogs like these are inspirational in terms of decor but you can very often achieve the same sort of feel by spending less if you want to. So keep up the good work I say!

  • martyn thompson 3 years ago

    thank you Design Files and thank you Suzanne for including my work in your beautiful home– the print looks wonderful —-and I totally love that tree in your son’s bedroom…
    best m

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