Australian Homes

Matt and Lentil Purbrick

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th October 2014

On Monday, Georgina introduced us to Matt and Lentil Purbrick of Grown and Gathered, and we shared pics of their bountiful farm and gardens in Tabilk, central Victoria. TODAY, as promised, we’re back with a tour of their beautiful country home.  Matt and Lentil live simply, surrounded by treasured pieces they’ve salvaged or traded.  Their home, and their lifestyle, is a study in simplicity and restraint. And it’s perfect.

It’s a supremely tranquil space, but don’t be fooled, this home is a hive of activity.  If you read Monday’s post, you’ll know Matt and Lentil are the industrious couple behind Grown and Gathered, a project which sees them farm their own organic fruit, vegetables and flowers for a growing community of loyal customers in Melbourne.  Matt and Lentil spend all week farming, foraging and tending to their animals, and then on Saturdays they make the drive into town to sell their popular vegetable boxes, or to trade flowers in Lentil’s ‘Flower Exchange’.  It’s idyllic – but it’s also very busy!

Matt and Lentil live in their sweet little farmhouse cottage on a property which is partitioned off from the Tahbilk Winery estate – owned by Matt’s family.  But, their home wasn’t always this beautiful.  ‘To put it simply, when we first saw the house it was almost falling down’ says Lentil. ‘The winery wanted to bulldoze it, but we loved the location and so decided we could make it work’.  She and Matt renovated their little house together with the help of friends, at the same time as setting up their farm.

‘There were walls falling in, the powerpoints were coming out of the walls, it was super dark, the floors were carpet and lino, and the walls were a turquoise blue and cream’ recalls Lentil. Never afraid of a little elbow grease, the pair set about gutting the house, ripping down crumbling walls and pulling away layers of junk to reveal the bare bones of the home.

‘Matt and I did most of the work ourselves, calling on friends with skills to help. So lucky for friends’ says Lentil. ‘Matt was once a designer, so he drew things up to see if they would work – he designed beautiful spaces like our kitchen. We put in lots of windows, re-did the floors, knocked down a few walls, painted, put in a new kitchen, and built the deck’.  Everything used to build or put in the house was salvaged, re-used, made by hand or traded. There is nothing new here!

It was a totally exhausting, yet amazing experience.  We learnt so much about building, what we liked, what we didn’t, how to make things sustainably. It was an amazing challenge. We are always up for a challenge’

Since moving in a year ago, the pair have continued to chip away at unfinished tasks, also adding a few ‘fun’ things like the outdoor bath, and a greenhouse built from salvaged old doors. As time has passed they’ve also accumulated a few more personal details – treasured gifts, and artworks made by friends, or traded in Lentil’s Flower Exchange.

Though not generally enamoured with material things, Lentil does have a few favourite pieces at home.  ‘We are a bit in love with Carla Fletcher’s prints in our spare room – the kangaroo and koala. These guys were traded for a few buckets of flowers, and she is just so lovely!’.  Lentil is also very fond of the vessels she and Matt have recently made from the clay on their property – ‘we are super happy with how these have worked out!’ she says.

Having each experienced life in the city, (working both in office jobs, believe it or not!) for Matt and Lentil, this home is about much more than just having a beautiful place to live.  The farm really has given them a new lease on life.  They’ve jumped at the chance to craft a unique lifestyle here,  to make their own rules, to invent new ways to earn a living and trade their goods, and to champion a more mindful way of living. In Lentil’s own words, life in Tabilk is ‘Simple. Not shiny’. And that’s just the way they like it.

Peaches the friendly cow.  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 29th October 2014


  • Estelle 2 years ago

    That is the CLEANEST and possibly the nicest farmhouse I’ve ever seen. Beautiful and completely charming, this has to be my favourite home tour in quite a while.

  • Shagun 2 years ago

    Soo amazing!!!

  • Ruth 2 years ago

    as you say Lucy, PERFECT!

  • cle-ann 2 years ago

    Just beautiful. Nice to see a home full of love, the pantry is my fav too and the view to the decking from the bedroom, lovely! <3

  • Barbara 2 years ago

    what sweet life they have made for themselves!

  • Shell 2 years ago

    I loved this house in Frankie’s Spaces book, so nice to see more!

  • Tricia 2 years ago

    Matt and Lentil’s house was everything I had imagined and more! Simply beautiful.

  • Silvia 2 years ago

    Could this house be any more beautiful ? I want to move right in. Love love love. x

  • Lauren 2 years ago

    I absolutely love the house, particularly the chairs in the lounge room! Any idea on where they are from?

  • Jessica 2 years ago

    Mt favourite home so far. So simple and beautiful!

  • bianca 2 years ago

    I adore this house. especially the pantry. It seems like such a wonderful way to live. Tempting me to make the tree change!
    Thanks for sharing your home with us.

  • Veggie Mama 2 years ago

    This is pretty much exactly the kind of house I’d pictured them in!

  • Yogita Singh 2 years ago

    Lovely Lovely home. I love all the wood. I just got a round breakfast nook table made in aladerwood but can see stains in just two days. To avoid toxins I just stained with walnut oil. Am so bummed that the stains are showing so fast. Can you please suggest alternatives to seal the wood? Surely these gorgeous home with so much wood have an answer!

  • jannah 2 years ago

    Pretty much my dream life <3

  • WAM Home Decor 2 years ago

    Absolutely love the cleanliness and simplicity of this home. Would be beautiful to come home to that after a hard days work. The Aztec style rugs on the floor look super cute.

  • Kelly 1 year ago

    I LOVE those chairs + that couch! Any ideas where they are from or a good place to get look-alikes?

  • Kelly 3 months ago

    Perfect – except for the Aesop products! You can’t tell me that these people who are supposed to be highly educated on sustainability could have Aesop in their home? Was this ‘design feature’ added in by the design files stylist because I don’t believe that this couple would use chemical laden products such as these. Such an obvious and tasteless branding opportunity.. Aesop may have the general population fooled that they are ‘natural’ but educated people know better. Disappointing. This ruins Grown and Gathered’s credibility for me.

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