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Matt and Lentil Purbrick

Homes

On Monday, Georgina introduced us to Matt and Lentil Purbrick of Grown and Gathered, and we shared pics of their bountiful farm and gardens in Tabilk, central Victoria. TODAY, as promised, we’re back with a tour of their beautiful country home.  Matt and Lentil live simply, surrounded by treasured pieces they’ve salvaged or traded.  Their home, and their lifestyle, is a study in simplicity and restraint. And it’s perfect.

29th October, 2014

The country home of Matt and Lentil Purbrick of Grown and Gathered.  Above – lounge room. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Lounge room and front door, with apple blossom. Nudes above couch by Matt’s mum. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Dining table. Lamp by Matt and Lentil’s friend Lucile Sciallano. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Loungeroom detail, handmade little bookshelf, flower grown on the farm. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Dining table (made from old floorboards), terracotta pieces made by Matt and Lentil, wall hanging – and old colour palette by Matt’s mum. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Matt and Lentil’s kitchen.  Recycled timber kitchen cabinets designed by Matt, built by Jack Robinson, stool bases built by friend Hugh Williams. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Kitchen sink. Traded soap, broken terracotta vessel by Matt and Lentil. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Loungeroom / main entrance with notice board / teaching aide on back of the door! (Showing bread recipes for Matt and Lentil’s sourdough bread and coffee making tips!). Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Kitchen sink/shelves. Preserves by Matt and Lentil. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

The studio.  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Lentil’s favourite room – the pantry! Homemade preserves stacked on the shelves. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

View from Matt and Lentil’s bedroom to the deck and garden beyond. Deck made from old roof rafters, salvaged doors.  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Spare room. Print by Carla Fletcher (traded from The Flower Exchange!). Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Bathroom. Window made from an old door.  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Bath with a view of the waterhole.  (Yes, they do use this bath!).  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Eucalyptus trees on Matt and Lentil’s property. Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

AND another portrait of Matt, Lentil and Pepper the dog, because we couldn’t resist!  Photo by Eve Wilson, styling by Stefanie Stamatis for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 29th October 2014

‘It was a totally exhausting, yet amazing experience.  We learnt so much about building, what we liked, what we didn’t, how to make things sustainably. It was an amazing challenge. We are always up for a challenge’

It’s a supremely tranquil space, but don’t be fooled, this home is a hive of activity.  If you read Monday’s post, you’ll know Matt and Lentil are the industrious couple behind Grown and Gathered, a project which sees them farm their own organic fruit, vegetables and flowers for a growing community of loyal customers in Melbourne.  Matt and Lentil spend all week farming, foraging and tending to their animals, and then on Saturdays they make the drive into town to sell their popular vegetable boxes, or to trade flowers in Lentil’s ‘Flower Exchange’.  It’s idyllic – but it’s also very busy!

Matt and Lentil live in their sweet little farmhouse cottage on a property which is partitioned off from the Tahbilk Winery estate – owned by Matt’s family.  But, their home wasn’t always this beautiful.  ‘To put it simply, when we first saw the house it was almost falling down’ says Lentil. ‘The winery wanted to bulldoze it, but we loved the location and so decided we could make it work’.  She and Matt renovated their little house together with the help of friends, at the same time as setting up their farm.

‘There were walls falling in, the powerpoints were coming out of the walls, it was super dark, the floors were carpet and lino, and the walls were a turquoise blue and cream’ recalls Lentil. Never afraid of a little elbow grease, the pair set about gutting the house, ripping down crumbling walls and pulling away layers of junk to reveal the bare bones of the home.

‘Matt and I did most of the work ourselves, calling on friends with skills to help. So lucky for friends’ says Lentil. ‘Matt was once a designer, so he drew things up to see if they would work – he designed beautiful spaces like our kitchen. We put in lots of windows, re-did the floors, knocked down a few walls, painted, put in a new kitchen, and built the deck’.  Everything used to build or put in the house was salvaged, re-used, made by hand or traded. There is nothing new here!

Since moving in a year ago, the pair have continued to chip away at unfinished tasks, also adding a few ‘fun’ things like the outdoor bath, and a greenhouse built from salvaged old doors. As time has passed they’ve also accumulated a few more personal details – treasured gifts, and artworks made by friends, or traded in Lentil’s Flower Exchange.

Though not generally enamoured with material things, Lentil does have a few favourite pieces at home.  ‘We are a bit in love with Carla Fletcher’s prints in our spare room – the kangaroo and koala. These guys were traded for a few buckets of flowers, and she is just so lovely!’.  Lentil is also very fond of the vessels she and Matt have recently made from the clay on their property – ‘we are super happy with how these have worked out!’ she says.

Having each experienced life in the city, (working both in office jobs, believe it or not!) for Matt and Lentil, this home is about much more than just having a beautiful place to live.  The farm really has given them a new lease on life.  They’ve jumped at the chance to craft a unique lifestyle here,  to make their own rules, to invent new ways to earn a living and trade their goods, and to champion a more mindful way of living. In Lentil’s own words, life in Tabilk is ‘Simple. Not shiny’. And that’s just the way they like it.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net