Australian Homes

Kate and Mal Heppell

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 1st July 2015

Today we’re paying a visit to the bold and beautiful home of Kip & Co co-founder Kate Heppell, her partner Mal Heppell (of DMS Landscapes) and their 3 year old son Zig.

It’s fair to say Melbourne based bedlinen label Kip & Co has enjoyed a stellar rise to fame since launching in 2012. We’d go so far as to say it’s reached ‘cult status’ amongst an army of loyal colour-loving linen devotees! Today, we’re finally paying a visit to the bold and beautiful home of Kip & Co co-founder Kate Heppell, her partner Mal (of DMS Landscapes) and their 3 year old son Zig.

We’re ALWAYS looking for vibrant colour, texture and generally quirky, unexpected details in the homes we feature. It’s not that we don’t also love a white, streamlined minimalist architectural masterpiece… it’s just that, well, for the sake of visual storytelling, variety is our friend. So when we finally made the drive to Point Lonsdale to photograph Kate and Mal’s hyper-creative family home, we weren’t disappointed!

Kate and Mal purchased their property in Point Lonsdale 10 years ago. At the time, the property was advertised as a ‘knockdown house’. ‘The house had literally been “cut and sealed” – ready for demolition’ explains Kate. But it seems this quirky knock down had a special appeal – and unexpected staying power! Kate and Mal never demolished it.

’The short of what we did was; reverse the “cut and seal”, add 2 extra bedrooms and 1 bathroom, replace every window, extend the front and back decks, fill in the car port to create two additional rooms downstairs, and clad the entire house’ explains Kate. ‘While the exterior of the house was dilapidated, the interior was actually really beautiful, a sweet layout, with stunning natural light – and a lot worth salvaging. So we did – and the interior, particularly upstairs, is virtually original’.

This ‘mend and make do’ approach explains, in part, how Kate and Mal’s house came to be such a rich patchwork of textures and materials – as the creative pair added to the modest existing home, concrete finishes, bold colour and timber details were layered onto the existing framework of the house in a loose, unstructured way. In addition to embracing a brave materials palette, Kate and Mal have also used brilliant and quite unexpected colour throughout the house – rich olive greens, warm orange tones and deep indigo work so well here – there is barely a white wall in the house! An eclectic edit of second hand furniture, handcrafted homewares, beautiful artwork and, of course, vivid soft furnishings complete the look, and prove that more really is more when it comes to a home like this!

Kate is passionate about Australian art, and amongst her collection are treasured pieces by the late Minnie Pwerle. ‘A special piece is the Minnie Pwerle painting in the living room which Mal and I purchased together about twelve years ago – a couple of years after we met’ explains Kate. Two Rhys Lee paintings given to Mal by Kate for his 30th birthday seven years ago are also firm favourites.

Kate’s also very fond of the ‘popcorn sculptures’ by Madeleine Child scattered throughout the house (we love them too!). There are 15 in total displayed through the house in various rooms. They were purchased whilst Kate and Mal were on their honeymoon in New Zealand in 2010.

‘This house and Point Lonsdale are just heaven to live in’ explains Kate of her relaxed beachside home. ‘The house has the most beautiful energy and natural light, and to us, there is nothing better than living walking distance to the beach’.

Front exterior of the home. Solid timber pillars salvaged from a wharf in WA. Garden by DMS Landscapes. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.


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