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Kylie Johnson


Today’s home in sunny Brisbane is more than just a house – it’s a home, studio and shop all in one, and it belongs to well known ceramicist Kylie Johnson of Paper Boat Press.

From here, Kylie and her small team create their extensive range of handcrafted ceramics, and Kylie runs her shop and gallery, which showcases her own work alongside the work of other local artists and makers.

15th July, 2015
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 15th July 2015

Kylie Johnson of Paper Boat Press bought this building in the leafy suburb of Ashgrove just three years ago.  The home was originally built 1926, and a lot of structural work was required as soon as Kylie took possession of the property.  ’It didn’t even have a kitchen, and the bathroom was from the 1980’s’ Kylie recalls.

With the assistance of various skilled tradesmen, Kylie re-roofed the whole house, gutted most of the rooms, restored and installed enormous doors that she found under the house(!), and created a new kitchen in what was once a walkway and verandah. ‘I designed everything here and had various tradies and furniture makers create my vision’ says Kylie.

Kylie’s home is cosy, artful and eclectic.  Every surface is crammed with handcrafted pieces by Kylie and other makers, and every wall adorned by artwork by Australian artists and creative friends.  Kylie often travels to Japan, and is very influenced by a Japanese aesthetic, so there are inky blues and ceramics on every surface. She also loves being surrounded by books!

Kylie is particularly fond of her ‘ridiculously large’ ceramics collection, and also her collection of Australian art. ‘I’ve been collecting art since I went to art college 25 years ago, and my walls are covered with some of my favourite artists, some of whose work is quite personal to me’ she says. Artists include David Usher, Michael Leunig, Allyson Reynolds, Stephen Brash, Leonard Brown and Lincoln Austin.

What Kylie loves most about her home is that this property has allowed her finally to combine all three aspects of her creative life – a gallery, a shop and a home.  It means that although she lives alone, her home is always filled with conversation and company, with friends, family and staff here every day of the week!

‘I love that this building is a true atelier – shop, studio and home all in one’ says Kylie. ‘And I love that it’s an old building, it holds history and stories and memories from long before my time’.

Back verandah details featuring vintage light from Wooloongabba Antique Centre. ‘My bedroom adjoins end of the verandah. The big clam shell is a gift from dear friend Kara Rosenlund and the bird sculpture by amazing friend Miriam Porter from Daylesford,’ says Kylie. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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