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Lynda Gardener and Mark Smith

Homes

Some people just intuitively know how to pull together a uniquely beautiful space, and one of those people is Melbourne stylist, decorator and retailer Lynda Gardener.

Lynda lives in a converted warehouse in North Fitzroy with her partner Mark Smith, and beloved cocker spaniel Jack. This supremely photogenic space has been her home for over 15 years.

23rd September, 2015

Kitchen. Industrial light shade with a huge collection of milk glass all made in the USA, sourced and found after many years of collecting. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jack Gardener in one of his favourite spots in front of an original mirror from Denmark, collections of vintage books. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from the entrance looking through the dining room into the kitchen and living area. Industrial pieces, old French chairs, trestle table with assorted country chairs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

 The White Room kitchen area, featuring a medical cabinet and old trolley. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lounge area. The space is filled with oil paintings from markets and Moroccan leather poufs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Industrial metal lockers paired with an oil painting portrait from Amsterdam. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘My huge collection of male portrait oil paintings sourced from Paris, Istanbul, Melbourne and Amsterdam,’ says Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom and bedroom. Layered rugs from Gardener and Marks and original cast iron bath. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom. Original French bed, collections of oil paintings found at markets and trips overseas, rope lights via my store Gardener and Marks. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Details from Lynda’s beautiful bedroom. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom in bedroom. Wood stool from Gardener and Marks, Deborah Bowness wallpaper from Gardener and Marks, and an old industrial trolley Lynda bought 20 years ago. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The White Room. ‘This is my lovely accommodation at the rear of the warehouse available for rent. This is the kitchen and study area featuring old furniture and finds,’ says Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The White Room bed, layered with throws from Morocco. Collection of sketches and photos above from markets around the world. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lynda Gardener in her Fitzroy home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Lynda Gardener is well known in Melbourne’s design, decoration and styling community for her beautiful little store, Gardener and Marks, which she owns with Amanda Henderson. Lynda previously owned much loved Empire Vintage in Albert Park for 22 years. Her signature look is a crisp neutral palette of mainly white and grey, with antique and rustic details layered to perfection. This distinctive aesthetic defines each of  Lynda’s various design and decoration projects.

This converted warehouse in North Fitzroy has been Lynda’s home for over 15 years. Originally, it was a mattress factory. When Lynda first took it on, the building was derelict, with dumped cars piled up inside! Buying the warehouse meant facing a significant renovation project – but Lynda is never afraid to get her hands dirty! ‘It had asbestos all the way thorough it, no plumbing, caved in ceilings and was pretty much derelict for many years prior’ she says. Retaining the structural features and character of the place, Lynda set about cleaning up and opening up the internal spaces, creating one large open plan living / kitchen / dining space downstairs with white polished concrete floors, and a spacious master bedroom with bathing space upstairs (the original cast iron bath sits right in the master bedroom!), plus a roof garden overlooking the laneways of Fitzroy. Essentially, this is a simple one bedroom home – albeit a very special one!

Last year, Lynda added a new element to her home. Beyond the leafy courtyard garden, she created The White Room, a self contained living space complete with ensuite, kitchen and its own separate entrance via rear laneway, which she leases out as guest accommodation. This sweet and supremely photogenic little unit is also often used for photoshoots.

Lynda has an incredible eye for uncovering the most exquisite vintage furniture and accessories, and has turned this uncanny knack into an artform over the years. Her home is her living museum, where salvaged treasures are displayed, on rotation, before perhaps finding themselves for sale in her store, or utilised in one of her many other design projects. Her favourite collection currently is the wall of painted portraits she has sourced over many years, hanging proudly above her dining room table. ‘I have filled the wall with male portraits from the 1800s through to the 1950s. I love looking at them in detail, the attire, the hairstyles and so on!’ she says.

What is perhaps most admirable about this space is that it really is a home created without compromise. It has been a labour of love getting it ‘just right’, and though perhaps having a freestanding bathtub in the centre of one’s bedroom mightn’t work for everybody (!), for Lynda, this is perfection. ‘I love everything about living here, and can’t see myself ever moving’ she says. ‘It’s a little industrial, a little rustic, with a touch of the new… and forever evolving and changing’ says Lynda. ‘Even as I write this I am waiting for my new couch and coffee table to arrive!’

Linda’s other properties and projects include The Whitehouse in Daylesford, and the more recently completed Estate in  Trentham – they are each available for accommodation, events and photoshoots.

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