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Louise and Martin McIntosh


SUCH A GOOD ONE TODAY, people! Welcome to the incredible Melbourne home of Martin and Louise McIntosh, founders and owners of Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.  If you know Outré, the mid-century styling, impressive art collection and eclectic details in this colourful family home will come as no surprise… these two passionate art and design aficionados certainly practice what they preach!

19th November, 2014
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 19th November 2014

Martin and Louise McIntosh live in this amazing mid century home in Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs with their two kids April and Edward, and much loved dachshunds Parker and Fritz.  If you know their business, Outré Gallery, it will come as no surprise to learn that the McIntosh family home is filled with mid-century inspired details, artwork by Shag and other popular lowbrow artists, alongside an eclectic range of collectibles such as tiki mugs, mid century ceramics and glassware and much more.  With popular galleries in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, this month the pair have opened their latest venture, Gallery Midlandia in Collingwood, a vintage store which extends their appreciation for mid century design, selling a range of furniture, lighting and artwork from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Martin and Louise’s home was originally designed by architects Godfrey, Spowers, Hughes, Mewton & Lobb, and built in 1964 for a doctor who practiced from the house.  The pair purchased the home twelve years ago from the original owner’s daughter, and apart from kitchen, which was updated in the 1980’s, the house was in entirely original condition. ‘It was so well built and done we made sure didn’t mess with it’ says Louise!

Four years ago, Martin and Louise decided to tackle an extension / renovation, with the assistance of local architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects.  Keen to create additional rooms (kids bedrooms, a playroom, an additional bathroom and guest bedroom) that were sympathetic to the era of the original house, Louise and Martin were thrilled with the results. The add-ons are almost indistinguishable from the original building, especially the separate guest house in the front garden, inspired by mid century Australian designer Gordon Andrew, with its facade of colour-backed glass panels. ‘We wanted something that was sympathetic to the era of the original house, and the collaboration with Nest was perfect for our requirements’ says Martin.

Alongside the impressively preserved mid century features of the home, it’s worth noting just how special (and perfectly era-accurate!) the garden is.  After a fortuitous meeting with landscape gardener Matthew Bowers aka The Modernist Gardener a few years ago, Martin and Louise embarked on a major redesign of their extensive garden and central courtyard. ‘When we did work on our house we were always quite sure on what we wanted and liked, however when it came to our garden (an essential element to any mid century home) we were less than knowledgable’ says Louise.  ‘Matthew knows his stuff and is also a keen mid century aficionado. We love everything about the garden now and were thrilled when we had this tea tree fence built in our courtyard – this is a nice mid century detail common in many Australian homes of the era’.

Of course, in addition to all these beautifully considered design details, there is something to be said for simply having the most awesome collection of stuff.  Martin and Louise love brave colour and pattern, and though he attests he doesn’t really consider himself a ‘collector’, Martin has amassed an incredible collection of mid century art, objects, books and records since he was a teenager.  His Tiki mug collection is particularly impressive!

‘More is more for us!’ says Martin. ‘We like our house to be filled with objects and memories, have things on show and this means stuff – a minimalist all white house is not for us… we are obviously fans of the mid-century aesthetic in terms of materials and form, and we are not afraid of colour!’

Huge thanks to Martin and Louise for sharing their very special home with us today!  If you like their style, do check out both Martin and Louise’s businesses – Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, and their brand new mid century store Gallery Midlandia, which opened just this week in Collingwood, Melbourne!

Another view of the Den!  Louise’s favourite room for the size and colour and atmosphere.  The timber lined ceiling is original, Louise and Martin added grasscloth wallpaper to the walls. A favourite artwork here (top) is by illustrator Mort Künstler and was done for an early 1960s Men’s Adventure magazine cover. Cushions are by Swedish designer Stig Lindberg.   Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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