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Kylie Zerbst and Simon Murray

Homes

Today we have a compact, colourful and slightly quirky Northside family pad to share!

This is the North Fitzroy home of Kylie Zerbst (owner and creative director of local fashion label Obus), her partner Simon Murray (a digital director at Doris), and their little boy, Orlo, who is almost three.

5th August, 2015

View from the hall through the living room and into the kitchen. Turkish kilim, fave cactus in a Pop and Scott pot, circular coffee table from Plyroom. Photo Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The North Fitzroy home of Kylie Zerbst and Simon Murray. Above – dining room, with Kirra Jamison painting, light shade from Lightly, salvaged work trolley. Dining table from NOMI furniture and vintage chairs. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Orlo, Simon and Kylie at home! Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Mid century leather couch in the lounge room, Pop and Scott pot, kip and co. cushion and some of Kylie’s favourite vintage postcards and kimono designs on the wall. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kylie and Simon’s fab new kitchen! IKEA cabinets/drawers with benches made by Simon and his Dad. ‘It’s a non fussy kitchen with everything within easy reach!’ says Kylie. Artwork on fridge by Orlo! Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Recently renovated kitchen! ‘Our massive new kitchen sink is the best!’ says Kylie. Subway tiles installed by Simon’s dad and grouted by Kylie, beautiful Jessilla Rogers bowls. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kylie and Simon’s colourful bedroom. Artworks by Jade Walsh, vintage planet lamp, all bed linen from Kip and Co – ‘we love their bold colours and patterns so much!’ say Kylie. Black wooden box (used as side table) belonged to Simon’s grandpa Noel, from the 50’s. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Oslo’s room! Simon recently built the ‘half bed, half play’ platform, it has drawers underneath and works a treat! Eames hanger, top artwork by Sarah Parkes and the framed Ibex print is from a trip to Turkey. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom detail. One of Simon’s old artworks on the wall, Orlo’s painting framed below. Sideboard from The Family Love Tree, and two vintage vases were birthday presents from friends. Photo –Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Orlo hanging out on the little deck in Kylie and Simon’s garden. The big old stripy canvas umbrella is a favourite find from a Collingwood op shops years ago. Photo – Annette O’Brien, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 5th August 2015

Kylie Zerbst and Simon Murray have lived in this house for TWELVE YEARS. However, up until just before their son Orlo was born, they had made only fairly minor changes to the house. Around 3 years ago, though, whilst Kylie was heavily pregnant, ‘EXTREME nesting mode’ kicked in!

‘We started planning a new kitchen/living space while I was pregnant’ recalls Kylie. ‘We are pretty hands on in general, and have renovated all of the Obus stores ourselves, so making the changes at home was no different’ she says. Simon’s Dad helped with big things, like knocking out walls. Though she says she can think of loads of things she probably should have been doing while heavily pregnant (‘like resting’) Kylie got involved, loading as many bricks as she could muster, ordering materials and organising all the finer details. For his part, Simon pretty much laid a new timber floor single handedly!

Although they dreamed of a brand new kitchen, Kylie and Simon ran out of steam by the time Orlo came along, so once the floor was finished, it was another year and half before their new kitchen/dining space came to fruition. It was worth the wait! It’s a gorgeous open plan space combining salvaged cabinets from the original 1950’s kitchen, new cabinetry from IKEA, subway tiles and handmade benchtops.

‘Simon and I think very differently – he can imagine things fully finished, whereas I make decisions along the way’ says Kylie. Consequently, she says, working together can be a little stressful at times, but it always works out in the wash! ‘We’d love to renovate the back of the house – bring the laundry inside, fix up the bathroom, and open up the back of the house to the garden – but will have to let the stress levels even out for a while first!’

Many of Kylie and Simon’s most treasured possessions are pieces they have traded with other local artists and designers. ‘So much work goes into creating and designing every piece of the Obus collections, and to be able to trade a little piece of that for a piece of somebody else’s hard work and creativity is pretty cool’ says Kylie. One particularly special  trade is the huge and amazing Kirra Jamison painting in the dining room – a piece Kylie says will always be very special, particularly as it was delivered in the hazy, blissful week just after Orlo was born.

When asked to describe her general aesthetic, Kylie is hard to pin down! ‘I’m a Gemini, and have a very mixed aesthetic!’ she says. ‘I love modernism, I love clean and practical, but I also love LOADS of colour and pattern, and things that have a history. The house is a mixture of all of these things.’

This week Kylie has JUST opened a brand new Obus store on Lygon St in Brunswick East (literally YESTERDAY!), if you’re a fan of her quirky, colourful aesthetic and/or just generally a fan of lovely local retailers (who isn’t?), do pop in, and say we sent you!

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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