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Louise and Martin McIntosh

Homes

SUCH A GOOD ONE TODAY, people! Welcome to the incredible Melbourne home of Martin and Louise McIntosh, founders and owners of Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.  If you know Outré, the mid-century styling, impressive art collection and eclectic details in this colourful family home will come as no surprise… these two passionate art and design aficionados certainly practice what they preach!

19th November, 2014

Front garden and separate guesthouse, designed by local architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects to complement the mid-century style of the main house.  ‘We regularly have interstate family, friends or visiting artists come and stay so it is often full’ says Louise. ‘Essentially it’s just a bedroom with ensuite, but we had a chance to do something really fun here, and Emilio indulged our folly… as this sits within our front garden we wanted something that could be both functional but also be something we liked to look at’. Inspired by mid century Australian designer Gordon Andrew, the facade is series of colour-backed glass panels with a slight slope to the roof.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from the front room to the formal dining area. The clerestory windows, joinery and lights are all original to the house, one of the many design features which Louise and Martin originally fell for! On the walls hang favourite artworks including an original painting by Margaret Keane (who is the subject of the new Tim Burton movie “Big Eyes”) and a piece by US artist Shag, who Louise and Martin show at Outré Gallery. The open shelves house many of the pair’s favourite glass and ceramic pieces. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Martin’s AMAZING collection of American tiki mugs, proudly on display in the ‘Den’. These mugs have been collected over many years on regular trips to the US, as well as travels around the South Pacific including Hawaii and the Marquesas Islands.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The incredible mid-century Melbourne home of Martin and Louise McIntosh, founders and owners of Outré Gallery!  Pictured above, Louise and Martin’s front room / record room – ‘this is the room we use for ‘best’ says Louise!  ‘Martin will often play something from his large vinyl collection in here which opens to the dining area.  It’s a great space to sit with friends after a meal’.  Green Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair (Martin’s first furniture purchase in the early 1990’s and to this day still his favourite chair!’.  Salon hung artwork on the wall includes an early 1960’s original MAD magazine illustration, a 1953 abstract by Danish artist Mogens Lohmann, an original 1967 Men’s Adventure Surfing cover illustration, contemporary self portrait in top right by US artist Charles Schneider, and George Nelson Eye clock. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Den!  Louise’s favourite room for the size and colour and atmosphere.  The timber lined ceiling is original, Louise and Martin added grasscloth wallpaper to the walls. Cushions on the couches are by Swedish designer Stig Lindberg.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

A corner of the master bedroom – Eames fibreglass shell chair and original Danish Harp chair by Jørgen Høvelskov, alongside original built-in vanity. Louise and Martin went to great lengths to make sure details such as the carpet and curtains were period appropriate to the house. ‘Small details like this are important to us – it can take a bit more work when renovating, but the results are worth it!’ says Louise. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom detail.  ‘We rotate artworks behind the bed… the ballerina painting is a Swedish piece from 1959 that we originally bought for our new business, Gallery Midlandia, but is one of many pieces that may not make it into the gallery!’ says Louise.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from the kitchen towards the newer extension at the rear of the house. The kitchen and the new extension were both designed by local architectural firm Nest.  ‘We particularly love the use of a curved batten ceiling that Nest Architects designed to link the extension to the original home’ says Louise.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Above the kitchen table is a 1960’s Mexican slump glass light. On the walls is a Margaret Keane artwork, and a photo portrait of Colonel Sanders that was previously used in a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the US. ‘Whilst we don’t really eat at the Colonel’s establishments, he’s our patron saint of cooking and overlooks us in the kitchen’ says Louise.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kids bathroom, part of the new extension designed by Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects. ‘We wanted a King Neptune theme and colour, and think we pulled it off!’ says Louise. ‘Emilio suggested we take the tiles right up to the ceiling and I’m really glad that we did, as it makes the room seem a lot bigger’.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Martin and Louise McIntosh of Outré Gallery at home. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Louise and Martin’s rather incredible mid-century inspired courtyard garden, with a beautiful maple, various succulents and a tea tree fence. ‘When we did work on our house we were always quite sure on what we wanted and liked. however when it came to our garden (an essential element to any mid century home) we were less than knowledgable’ says Louise. Luckily, the pair came across local landscape designer Matthew Bowers (aka The Modernist Gardener) who transformed their garden!  ‘Matthew knows his stuff and is also a keen mid century aficionado. We love everything about the garden now and were thrilled when we had this tea tree fence built – this is a nice mid century detail common in many Australian homes of the era’ says Louise.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 19th November 2014

‘More is more for us!’ says Martin. ‘We like our house to be filled with objects and memories, have things on show and this means stuff – a minimalist all white house is not for us… we are obviously fans of the mid-century aesthetic in terms of materials and form, and we are not afraid of colour!’

Martin and Louise McIntosh live in this amazing mid century home in Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs with their two kids April and Edward, and much loved dachshunds Parker and Fritz.  If you know their business, Outré Gallery, it will come as no surprise to learn that the McIntosh family home is filled with mid-century inspired details, artwork by Shag and other popular lowbrow artists, alongside an eclectic range of collectibles such as tiki mugs, mid century ceramics and glassware and much more.  With popular galleries in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, this month the pair have opened their latest venture, Gallery Midlandia in Collingwood, a vintage store which extends their appreciation for mid century design, selling a range of furniture, lighting and artwork from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

Martin and Louise’s home was originally designed by architects Godfrey, Spowers, Hughes, Mewton & Lobb, and built in 1964 for a doctor who practiced from the house.  The pair purchased the home twelve years ago from the original owner’s daughter, and apart from kitchen, which was updated in the 1980’s, the house was in entirely original condition. ‘It was so well built and done we made sure didn’t mess with it’ says Louise!

Four years ago, Martin and Louise decided to tackle an extension / renovation, with the assistance of local architect Emilio Fuscaldo of Nest Architects.  Keen to create additional rooms (kids bedrooms, a playroom, an additional bathroom and guest bedroom) that were sympathetic to the era of the original house, Louise and Martin were thrilled with the results. The add-ons are almost indistinguishable from the original building, especially the separate guest house in the front garden, inspired by mid century Australian designer Gordon Andrew, with its facade of colour-backed glass panels. ‘We wanted something that was sympathetic to the era of the original house, and the collaboration with Nest was perfect for our requirements’ says Martin.

Alongside the impressively preserved mid century features of the home, it’s worth noting just how special (and perfectly era-accurate!) the garden is.  After a fortuitous meeting with landscape gardener Matthew Bowers aka The Modernist Gardener a few years ago, Martin and Louise embarked on a major redesign of their extensive garden and central courtyard. ‘When we did work on our house we were always quite sure on what we wanted and liked, however when it came to our garden (an essential element to any mid century home) we were less than knowledgable’ says Louise.  ‘Matthew knows his stuff and is also a keen mid century aficionado. We love everything about the garden now and were thrilled when we had this tea tree fence built in our courtyard – this is a nice mid century detail common in many Australian homes of the era’.

Of course, in addition to all these beautifully considered design details, there is something to be said for simply having the most awesome collection of stuff.  Martin and Louise love brave colour and pattern, and though he attests he doesn’t really consider himself a ‘collector’, Martin has amassed an incredible collection of mid century art, objects, books and records since he was a teenager.  His Tiki mug collection is particularly impressive!

Huge thanks to Martin and Louise for sharing their very special home with us today!  If you like their style, do check out both Martin and Louise’s businesses – Outré Gallery in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, and their brand new mid century store Gallery Midlandia, which opened just this week in Collingwood, Melbourne!

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