Australian Homes

Marni Kornhauser and Katherine Laurie

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 7th May 2014


The Carlton home of housemates Marni Kornhauser and Katherine Laurie.  Above – combined kitchen and dining room.  Gold Lamp from Tyabb Antiques. ‘Lipstick Jungle’ photo print by Sonia Rentsch / Willem-Dirk Du Toit. Gold Wall hanging by Justine Ashbee, Illesteva sunglasses, white ceramic jug by Anchor Ceramics. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Kitchen and dining room space. We love the this rug from Ikea! Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Bright living room space. Plywood shelves by Like Butter, painting by Brendan Huntley, pillows by Bonnie and Neil, ‘200 missed calls’ illustration by Riley Payne and woven leather rug from Safari Living. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Living room details. Small print by Sandra Eterovic, multicoloured resin lamps by Sobral (dragged all of the way home from Brazil by Marni!), 1960’s watermelon cushion found in an op shop! Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Housemates Marni and Kat in their Carlton courtyard! Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I spend a lot of time hanging out in the homes of complete strangers (which is always fun!) but I am extra excited about today’s home, because it belongs to a very dear friend of mine, Marni Kornhauser, and her housemate Katherine Laurie.  After many years living in a myriad of crazy share houses in Melbourne’s inner north, Marni purchased her first home last year, and after a speedy renovation, moved in to this gorgeous two bedroom Victorian home in Carlton with her good pal Katherine.  Together, these two clever creative ladies have made such a beautiful, inviting little home here, filled with their own personal touches.

Marni is one of the most vibrantly colourful ladies I know – she loves bold colour and pattern, and has an incredible eye for art, textiles and all things vintage.  By day, Marni works as a props buyer / set dresser and stylist in the film and TV industry (which is how we first met), but she’s been known to dabble in jewellery making, and has also worked with us on our various TDF Open Houses over the years.  Whether hunting for the perfect piece for her home, her wardrobe, or for work, Marni’s choices are always intuitive, eyecatching and confident.  Also impeccably stylish and with a keen eye for detail, Marni’s housemate Katherine has a background in fashion and runs her own sales agency in Collingwood called Anchor Agency.

Marni purchased her home mid last year.  Like so many Victorian homes, the place was in need of some serious attention before she could move in, so the following eight weeks were spent replacing floorboards, and gutting and replacing the kitchen and the bathroom. ‘We actually moved in with no kitchen and barely a bathroom!’ says Marni. ‘The living room saw a lot of takeaway dinners and red wine in those first few weeks!’.

Due to the nature of film and TV, when working on a contract Marni’s working hours are intense.  Between jobs and other commitments, she wasn’t left a lot of time to plan her first renovation, so was keen to keep the process as contained and straightforward as possible.  The overall floorplan of the home was not changed, though the kitchen and bathroom were completely replaced, a laundry added, and storage installed in both bedrooms.  There was one original element that had to go, though.  ‘Much to all my friends’ disappointment, I had to pull out the weird sauna that was attached to the back of the house’ says Marni!  This quirky add-on was converted into a laundry adjoining the kitchen at the rear of the home.

Keen to create a neutral backdrop for her fledgling collection of artwork, textiles and props snaffled from various shoots, Marni selected a basic palette of crisp white walls, subway tiles and whitewashed floors. ‘I really wanted to keep things simple, but maintain a young and fun environment’ says Marni.  She started with a fresh coat of Dulux natural white paint for most of the interior walls, replaced the lino in the back half of the house with charcoal ceramic tiles, and sanded and lime washed the existing floorboards in the living space, hallway and bedrooms. She admits she did agonise a bit over that decision – ‘light coloured floor boards require a fair amount of maintenance, but it really makes the space feel much larger, and it’s totally worth it!’ she says.

Marni and Katherine have a number of very talented creatives friends whose work is proudly displayed at home. These include prints from still life stylist Sonia Rentsch and photography by Mari Hirata.  Marni’s most treasured recent acquisition is an artwork by Melbourne artist Brendan Huntley, and she’s also very fond of the Dion Horstmans sculpture she picked up at The Design Files Open House last year!

All in all, to me this home seems to perfectly represent a kind of coming of age for Marni and Kat.  It could be described as a ‘grown up’ share house, I guess.  Bright and inviting, the space balances the bubbly, personalities of its occupants with a sense of calm sanctuary, helped along by an jungle of lush indoor plants.  It’s a fun, creative space but it’s also a quiet and peaceful home.  Nice work ladies… now please finish the garden in time for summer! x


Kitchen details.  Ceasarstone benchtop.  The kitchen splashback is still ‘on the list’ , but Marni has not been able to part with the original brick work in the kitchen – ‘I’m still working on a solution to seal it’ she says.  Vintage mirror, Souvenir Society lobster gift card, Country Road cork fruit bowl. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Hallway / bathroom details. ‘We love to decorate with plants wherever possible – it just feels so calming!’ says Marni.  Rope matt from Safari Living, kitchen tiles used in bathroom from De Fasio and joinery by Cantilever Interiors. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Marni’s bedroom. Dion Horstmans sculpture, Karen Walker bed sheets, ‘Pavement’ poster from Happy Valley and vintage lamp found in an op shop.  Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Marni’s bedroom details including her favourite ‘Marni’ bag, impressive collection of jewellery, vintage rug and plant. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


More jewellery details from Marni’s bedroom, including jewellery made by Marni herself, and Jen Booth clutch bag.  Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


Katherine’s bedroom. Dream catcher from Ishka. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins.


Details from Kat’s bedroom including photo by Mari Hirata.  Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins.


The Melbourne home of Marni Kornhauser and Katherine Laurie. Photography – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 7th May 2014


  • Fairlie 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous house, young and fresh, just like the owners. Can you tell me where the sofa is from and what the grey upholstery fabric is? I’m looking to reupholster an existing sofa or maybe I should just buy a new one!

  • AmandaNZ 2 years ago

    Love “Lipstick Jungle” and all the plants! The gold details just make this space sing, and the mix of contemporary and vintage finds is gorgeously honest.

  • Vera 2 years ago

    what a bright, calm and happy space! Beautiful.
    The kitchen splashback looks great as is, you could perhaps seal it somehow and leave as is :) It really adds a nice vintage touch to the modern kitchen.

  • Sam 2 years ago

    Double fronted terrace in Carlton. Does Marni have a side project as an investment banker? If not, I would love to get the name of her financial planner.

  • Yen 2 years ago

    Possible solution for keeping the original brickwork on the kitchen splashback- clear glass mounted on the wall with metal spacers so that the glass is 10mm or so away from the brick. Cleaner than just sealing the brickwork and easier to clean. I saw it on The Block, Kyal and Kara’s kitchen. Planning on doing the same for my kitchen reno.

  • elana 2 years ago

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this house. Just bursting with personal style and class. May I ask where the coffee table is from?

  • Phoebe 2 years ago

    I’m enamoured with the exposed original brickwork in the kitchen too. I hope you do find a sealing solution, Marni. It’s too lovely to cover up!

  • Cara 2 years ago

    I love this house, and having a Carlton terrace that needs renovating myself I have many questions! Who did the kitchen cabinetry? Where is that amazing pot & pot stand in the courtyard from? Which brand of lime wash was used on the boards and are they original pine?
    Any answers appreciated but either way, well done on creating a gorgeous home!

  • gemma 2 years ago

    so in love with this home – gorgeous style!

  • Kate 2 years ago

    Lovely. Would love to know where the couch and vintage rug are from!

  • Lizzie 2 years ago

    Lucy, could you please tell me where the white mosaic/pebble pot plant on metal stand (in the courtyard picture) comes from? Thanks heaps!

  • Jane 2 years ago

    Gorgeous! What is the shade of white paint that has been used on the interior?

  • okologi 2 years ago

    Marni Kornhauser your house is amazing!!!! xx

  • Trish 2 years ago

    Beautifully renovated in a light-filled yet fun style. Love the plants and the charcoal tiles. Seriously clever choices. Well done girls.

  • Mary 2 years ago

    Bravo to these two young things taking on a challenge of this scale. What a lovely house – I love the fresh white walls, the pale floors and the artwork. The house sings of two lovely spirits!

  • Natalie 2 years ago

    Gorgeous home! Agree with the suggestion to add clear splashback glass in front of the brickwork so its practical while keeping that gorgeous brickwork on display – thanks for sharing!

  • Barbara 2 years ago

    What a lovely cheerful house. I especially love the use of indoor plants. Got to go get me some, before they go out of fashion again!

  • Yvonne 2 years ago

    @Fairlie and @Kate. The sofa looks like the Bend-Sofa by B&B Italia found at Space Furniture.
    Gorgeous home visit today @Designfiles

  • Margie 2 years ago

    Lovely home – I don’t know how anyone who works in film and TV gets anything done! Keep that splashback in the kitchen just as it is. Beautiful. Perhaps a Peerless JAL penetrative concrete sealer would work?

  • mj 2 years ago

    elana – the coffee table looks to be Vejmon from Ikea.
    Cara – the kitchen is either Cantilever (they are in Brunswick East) or a very good copy!
    Sam – yes please, me too on the financial planner recommendation!

  • Jo Foster 2 years ago

    Gorgeous eclectic home, just perfect. Thanks for sharing your home with us. xx

  • AD 2 years ago

    What an incredible house, but… those legs!!!

  • Amanda 2 years ago

    I’d be laughing too if that was my place – well done.

  • Rachael 2 years ago

    Not sure why you had to drop in the fact that the walls were painted with Dulux …. we all know they are a major advertiser

  • 66model 2 years ago

    Your home is beautiful. I’m also interested in the pot plant with metal stand is from. Could you possibly email me the link on where to purchase.

  • Natalie 2 years ago

    Lovely home tour yet again…We’ve used Bondcrete in the past for sealing over exposed brick / hard plaster walls…

  • Lisa 2 years ago

    What a gorgeous place! Love the exterior, good luck to you two.

  • Jen Booth 2 years ago

    Marni! Ummm what is that amazing blue dress?! Your home is absolutely beautiful! But I expected nothing less from such a stylish lady!! I wish we got a wardrobe tour though…

  • Jiah 2 years ago

    Love love love! Those indoor plants are divine.

  • Kristen 2 years ago

    Love thesofa too, where is it from? Gorgeous house. Looks like people actually really live there rather than being styled to within an inch of it’s life.

  • Barbara Matassa 2 years ago

    I think this house is lovely. I second the request for information on the lime washing of floorboards, currently looking into it and would love some advice. Thanks so much!

  • Jess 2 years ago

    Also keen to find out about that sofa … Can you let us know where it is from ?
    Ps …It isn’t the Bend from Space …

  • niki 2 years ago

    Lovely home… divine
    Question – where’s the kitchen table from – it’s the perfect size…??

  • can 2 years ago


  • Nick 2 years ago

    What a great house. I really love the lime washed floorboards well done girls.
    I was wondering what the name of the plant in the white pot on the floor in the kitchen is.
    Also where did find those pots? Are they the Northcote fibreglass ones?
    Thanks Nick :)

  • Jane 2 years ago

    Hi Marni, what a beautiful pad! I was just wondering if you know the species of plant in the gold pot in your bedroom? I’ve never seen an indoor climber with such big leaves, it’s stunning, cheers, Jane :)

  • mj 2 years ago

    great house.
    like many others, super keen to know what the couch is. TDF – can you assist :)


  • Beautiful vintage rug. This house is a lovely place, definitely designed with style.

  • Jacqui 2 years ago

    Great home, love it. I’m intrigued as to where you bought the nails from to hang all the artwork and whether that round platter thing on the table spins around. Does the bed have storage under it and how do you water pot plants that hang on the wall? Please. No more questions about white paint colour. Or any wall colours you see in the photos. Go to a paint store that has nice big paint cards (like Porters) sift through and pull out the colours you like. Take them into the light and then narrow it down to the ones that you connect with. Make it personal.

  • Happy Valley 2 years ago

    Great looking photos. Good to see the Pavement print made it in!

  • Olivia 2 years ago

    Just amazing. I love the kitchen!

  • Quicha 5 months ago

    Love the home! I too am in love with mid century and Scandinavian design. In fact, I own two of the chairs in the dining room with the spindle backs. Any idea who they might be made by?

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