Australian Homes

Madeleine and Jeremy Grummet and Family

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 24th September 2014

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The Melbourne home of Madeleine and Jeremy Grummet and Family. This is the ‘good room’ !  Couch from IKEA. Yellow + pink spot cushions by Curio+Curio, Coffee table – Posh Opp Shoppe 1960’s vintage in perfect nick! Silver Ottoman – Kasbah Imports. Marti Guixe’s Light + Architecture Pie Charts on left wall from Luke Furniture .  The stunning glass drop chandeliers are the original fixtures from the house which was built in 1956. When the Grummet family moved in they were opaque and dull, but a quick run of each piece through the dishwasher revealed pristine glass fittings that light up the room and now cast shafts of light across the ceiling. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Another angle in the ‘Good Room’.  Memento Mori neon sign commissioned from a local neon sign maker. Op shop treasures on the coffee table including vintage glass + ceramics, shell ball candles bought in Bali and Uashmama silver vase from Safari Living. Artwork rear wall – ‘One Of The Girls’ 2010 by unknown artist, bought from the Mansfield General Store. ‘This one was bought for Jeremy – he’s the lone directional magpie sailing through a flock of flapping screeching gallahs! (ie: me + the girls)’. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Artwork titled ‘Homecoming’ by Luisa Rossitto. Chair – Op shop Parker chair covered in Warwick ‘Pantone’ fabric.
Coloured glass – Passed down from family members, bought from op shops + on overseas travels, and from talented local designers including. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Madeleine Grummet at home!  Wooden daybed commissioned from local artisan Ari Prasetya and covered in Italian tan leather. Vintage tool chest found on hard rubbish which Madeleine sanded and oiled. Ceramic vase is a contemporary Chinese ceramic piece,  a 40th gift from Madeleine’s sister Mins who lives in Shanghai.   Artwork- ‘Back To Basics’ collage 2012 by Madeleine. Bronze sculpture entitled ‘The World’s Greatest Gymnast’ by Olive Grummet, Madeleine and Jeremy’s 11 year old daughter. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

Most of the homes we feature could be described as ‘Family’ homes (with the odd exception), but today’s beautiful example in North Caulfield seems even more fitting of this descriptor, since Madeleine Grummet and her husband Jeremy have a bigger family than most, with four daughters all living under this roof!  Their girls (Violet, Audrey, Olive and Harriet) are aged between 5 and 13, and each have their own bedroom.  But whilst it’s necessarily large, there’s nothing show-y about this home – it’s filled with love, colour, op shop finds and handcrafted treasures, and it perfectly reflects the busy, creative family who live here.

Madeleine is an ex-journalist, stylist, crafter and proprietor of Do Re Me – a versatile creative business which has seen her run craft workshops and host craft-based activations for a range of clients including South Melbourne Market, Chadstone Shopping Centre and more.  Madeleine’s husband Jeremy is a surgeon. A home with enough space for their four growing girls was not easy to find, so when they came across this generously proportioned 5 bedroom modernist home in Caulfield 3 years ago, their decision was made. The family moved in in July 2011.

‘When we bought this house it was a serious beige and apricot explosion on EVERY single surface’ says Madeleine.  She and Jeremy knew the home needed updating a little before moving in, but were keen to avoid taking on major renovations. They set about refreshing the interior colour scheme, bringing most of the interior walls back to white.  This including painting out the floorboards in the front room – ‘it seemed like a crime at the time, but the white really works well with all the colour in there now’ says Madeleine.

Elsewhere, the original parquetry that runs through most of the ground floor was polished, carpet in the bedrooms and study replaced, and heavy curtains removed to let the light in, and celebrate the home’s beautiful big windows. ‘We called the house ‘Casa del Sol’ because it is constantly bathed in light, and in our family travels through Mexico we love the laid-back, light-filled casual and family-centric living spaces we experienced, so we’ve tried to capture some of that here’ explains Madeleine.

There’s something refreshingly functional and no-nonsense about Madeleine’s approach to styling her home.  She’s an intuitive decorator with a great sense of style, but she’s not a perfectionist, she’s happy to mend and make do, and has done her best to make the most of the home’s existing features. She also has an impressive (compulsive!?) knack for uncovering op shop treasure and re-vamping hard rubbish finds!   ‘We’re big on reclaiming and reinventing – so much of what we have done is low-cost cosmetic refurbs rather than totally replacing, and we’ve tried to retain the integrity of the house without compromising our own aesthetic’ she says.

But Madeleine’s ‘hands down’ favourite elements here are a selection of pieces she fortuitously managed to salvage from her late Father’s home nearby.  By pure chance, a friend recently bought Madeleine’s childhood home in East St Kilda.  Before renovating, she generously allowed Madeleine and family the gift of ‘open picking’ on the house before it was demolished for redevelopment!  Here Madeleine salvaged a number of vintage fittings and building materials – including the original Castlemaine slate that was once her Father’s front steps and rear patio.  These beautiful, multi-hued pavers now adorn the Grummet family’s new outdoor fireplace. ‘I hacked this up piece by piece, and my talented brother Dan and I constructed the fireplace over some long days of loud music and reminiscing (my Dad died 2 years ago)’ explains Madeleine. Meanwhile, Madeleine’s Dad’s much-swung front gate is now her side gate, the family have gorgeous succulent-filled, mid-century pots in the garden that were once her Grandfather’s pride and joy, and the house is now illuminated by amazing atomic saucer lights salvaged from the ceilings of her Dad and Aunt’s childhood bedrooms!  ‘I’m a sentimental gal – and a bit of a bower bird clearly – but the chance to let these parts of provenance (and fab design) live on in our lives is really special’.

Other favourite pieces for Madeleine include her ad-hoc collection of beautiful artwork – including much loved sculptures by her kids, anonymous pieces scoured from second hand shops, alongside the work of collectible local artists. One particularly treasured piece is ‘Home Coming’, a watercolour and acrylic work on paper by local artist Luisa Rossitto.  ‘I bought this for its quirk, vibrance and the ballsy, incongruent sheer kitsch of it all – and I love that it celebrates women – albeit in a troppo way!’ says Madeleine. ‘The colours are seriously amazing and burst off the wall, and it makes a great talking point at dinner parties!’  The ‘Memento Mori’ neon piece that sits above the piano in the front room is a favourite newly installed piece which Madeleine commissioned last year after the sudden death of her Dad. ‘Jeremy and I love a bit of philosophical banter, and this ancient phrase really resonated’ explains Madeleine.  ‘Memento mori is a phrase that originated in ancient Rome – translated literally it means ‘remember (that you have) to die’.  The meaning of this phrase is not as morbid as it may first appear – for Madeleine and Jeremy it’s a reminder and that life is short and therefore for living thoughtfully and consciously, every step of the journey.

Huge thanks to the Grummet Family for sharing their amazing home with us today!

 

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Kitchen.  1960’s lamp with oversized shade and mosaic base from Chapel Street Bazaar. Blackboard wall painted by Madeleine. Grey macrame vase made by Amber of Thread Architecture. Wicker table is actually a basket upended! Tree wall hanging is a tea-dipped linen & ink screenprint by Peninsula based Moo designs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Colourful TV / family room. Blue Ottoman from Kasbah Imports, Hot pink cushion from Curio+Curio,  vintage ceramic + racing car made by 13 year old Harriet Grummet.  Red/pink vessels on shelving by Madeleine’s friend Emma Davies. Orange acrylic bird by Madeleine’s other friend Madeleine Stamer! Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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A cute vignette in the family room. Artwork is an abstract op shop find – Madeleine painted the frame white. Handmade shell necklace $5.00 in an op shop! Flamingo lights from a variety store – ‘cheap + cheerful kitsch’ says Madeleine! Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Madeleine’s studio space and HQ of her business, Do Re Me! Chair is an Op shop 1960’s find. Orange/white lamp from Curio+Curio. The piano is an old family piano which Madeleine learnt on as a girl.   (Yes, there are two pianos in this house – both Madeleine all the girls play so they make good use of both!). Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Master bedroom.  Wire bicycle wall hanging from Down To The Woods. Five prints beneath bicycle bought on Etsy and framed. Grey/white bedcover from Country Road. Yellow polka cushions made by Madeleine from Japanese fabric. Artwork above bed – Collages by Madeleine – ‘Not To Be’ 2014  (left) and ‘Anyplace But Here’ 2014 (right). Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Madeleine and Jeremy’s lush ensuite bathroom – due for a renovation, says Madeleine, although we do love it is it is!  Glass candelabra – vintage op shop find. Gold pot spray-painted + planted with Maidenhair fern. Turkish tea set on ledge is an op shop find. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Jeremy’s study details. Carpet is  Supertuft, Desk is an original 1950’s desk which came with the house! Shelving is original teak wall to wall shelving. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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9 year old Audrey’s bedroom. White pegboard artwork – Made by gorgeous Audrey in Emma Davies’ kids’ class. Stools – IKEA birch stools whimsically decoupaged by Audrey during one of Madeleine’s Do Re Me Creative workshops for a Postcards TV show shoot! Yellow stack shelves are a hard rubbish find – Madeleine is an amazing hard rubbish rummager!  Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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13 year old Harriet’s Room. Mexican throw bought in a small sweaty town on the Baja peninsula during a Mexican summer road trip with the family. Cushions are a mix of vintage fabric from Do Re Me and Curio+Curio. Crochet blanket on top bunk is an op shop find. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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11 year old Olive’s Room.  Garland from Kikki K. Geometric cushion from Spotlight.  Potplant on side table painted by Olive in Do Re Me School Holiday Workshop. Grey/white blanket Country Road. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Outdoor patio complete with new outdoor gas fireplace! Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

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Patio details with Noodle the much-adored family Spoodle!  Potplant stand- Wirely Home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins/The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 24th September 2014

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