Australian Homes

Lynda Gardener and Mark Smith

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 23rd September 2015

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.

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.

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.


by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 23rd September 2015

12 comments

  • sarah 1 year ago

    I never tire of seeing places Lynda has touched! And such a lovely lady too! Thanks The Design Files

  • Janet 1 year ago

    Fantastic. I would love to live in the home, I love shutters and vintage. Thank you for sharing your home with us.

  • Tilly 1 year ago

    My absolute dream: a rustic, Scandi-style converted warehouse in Fitzroy! Another fabulous inclusion.

  • Anh 1 year ago

    Portrait and painting collection…! I think I actually began salivating. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Jen 1 year ago

    Lynda has a beautiful style and her home looks gorgeous.

  • Natalie 1 year ago

    Hi there,

    Looks like your links to The White Room in Fitzroy are incorrect, and directing to The White House in Daylesford!

  • Tony 1 year ago

    I love the stove, it looks American. I wonder where it was purchased?

  • mel 1 year ago

    Lynda has such a way to throw things together. I’m constantly wowed by her Instagram feed and it’s such a treat to see a full home tour. Love her unique style.

  • Sequins & Sand 1 year ago

    Is that old, refurbished metal lockers off at the side?

  • Lynda Gardener 1 year ago

    thank you all so much for your lovely comments! loved the story and so grateful to be on on these pages.
    the website is correct, as the White Room is part of the White House website and you will find the pages there!
    the lockers are an old set, cleaned up!
    the stove was bought here in melbourne around 15 years ago, think it is Australian but I could be wrong.

    thanks again for so many beautiful kind words. xxx

  • Melanie 12 months ago

    Love everything Lyn does, all of her homes are stunning and styled to absolute perfection!

  • Marmalade 12 months ago

    You are amazing! Love your work so much. Inspiring. Mr Smith is so styley as well, what flair you both have.

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