Tessa and Michael of The Lowercase

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
23rd of March 2011

Can you imagine my GLEE upon seeing Tessa and Michael’s deep PINK front door!?

Nisse Strinning String cabinet system.  SO perfect in this space – it’s available in various configurations from Great Dane Furniture.

Vintage poster hangs above the couch in the loungeroom. Loving the brave pops of colour in every room…

Really,  this house shoots itself.  I didn’t even style that hat / shopping bag combo on the wall.  Promise.

Tessa rides this bike.   Agh.  Cuteness overload.

OK so my GIRL CRUSH on The Lowercase‘s Tessa Bautovich has now officially escalated into a HOUSE CRUSH.  HOW seriously gorgeous is this home?  Tres impressed.  Of course it’s not just Tessa’s doing – her dashing and very talented designer hubbie Michael lives here too, and in fact it was he who painted the front door deep PINK!   Just another shining example of creative teamwork at The Lowercase HQ!

The Lowercase team live and work from their light-filled Paddington terrace, mainly from opposite ends of their dining table, as pictured below!  This hard working pair don’t even really stop work when you go around to photograph their house.  They make entertaining chit chat from their desktops, inbetween talking to stockists on the phone, accepting couriers at the front door, and chasing their crazy cat off the kitchen bench.  It’s all brilliantly inspiring and weirdly familiar to me (sans cat), and I have to say kind of reassuring to know that I’m not the only one trying to run some semblance of a ‘business’ from a messy dining table. (Actually, mine is much messier than theirs).

Tessa and Michael have lived in their cute 2 bedroom terrace house for just under 4 years, and somewhat depressingly, didn’t really need to do much at all when they moved in. (Groan).  They did do a spot of painting – ‘a combination of Bramble, Heather Grey and the obligatory Antique White’  says  Tessa.  They also installed a couple of key statement pieces, such as the Nisse Strinning String cabinet system (available from Great Dane Furniture – could there be a more perfect shelving system for this space, seriously?) and the vintage ‘Engels’ sign.  The fabulous pink painted front door and shutters are relatively recent additions – genius colour selection I must say, especially with the bluish-tinged exterior render of the house.  Apart from these simple changes, Tessa and Michael have largely left their home untouched and uncluttered – an approach that works so effortlessly in this modest but bright, airy space.

I always ask people what they love most about their local neighbourhood, and Tessa’s response really made me smile.  ‘Our local area seems to be creatively ‘contagious” she says! ‘We are luckily surrounded by a host of stylists, photographers and other creative agencies which is ideal for late-night brainstorming. ‘  What a sweet and very unique description of Paddington’s back streets.  I’d never thought of it this way, but I guess surrounding yourself with likeminded creative people and businesses can only be a good thing for endless inspiration and motivation!

After a super busy time last year launching their brilliant little design studio and product range, Tessa and Michael have a lot more in store for 2011!  For one thing, there’s a Bautovich bub on the way!  Yippeee…!  There will also be some gorgeous new Lowercase products launching in a couple of month’s time – do keep your eyes on The Lowercase website to keep up with their creative antics!  You really need to keep you eye on these two.  They’re seriously talented, outrageously good looking and ridiculously nice.  Yep, the trifector.  Watch this space!

Tessa and Michael assume their usual positions and opposite ends of the dining table!  Artwork above table is by Angelique Houtkamp from an exhibition at Outre gallery some years back.   Also love the sweet pink and white lisianthus on the dining table.. perfect colours.

Vintage ‘Engels’ sign makes this room! – ‘We fell in love with through the shop-window of a Bronte boutique, and spontaneously purchased it on-the-spot” says Tessa.  (the seaside store was apparently called ‘Yolk’ but sadly it appears to have closed down… Tessa reckons  the owner now has a stand at Mitchell Road Antique and Design Gallery?)

I get the distinct impression that Tessa is perfectly groomed at all times.  The day I visited she was sporting an elegant floor-length stretch tube dress (perfect baby bump visible) and these killer heels.  Just to go to work at her dining table.  I am not making this stuff up.

Kitchen details.

Teeny city backyard – just enough for a little lawn!

Pink shutters in the upstairs spare bedroom (to match the front door, of course!).  Sweet timber table channels Greg Hatton (although I am not sure this is his).

The cutest purple bathroom in history.  Helped along by a healthy dose of Dinosaur Designs.

Organic details in the bedroom – the coral above the bed is from Papaya homewares.  Tessa says ‘I wish it was a little more exciting, sorry’.  Ha ha!

Brilliant blue artwork steals the show in the master bedroom – it was picked up from Salvage 42 – A little antique store in glebe. Artist unknown.

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