This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Lynda Gardener and Mark Smith

Homes

Some people just intuitively know how to pull together a uniquely beautiful space, and one of those people is Melbourne stylist, decorator and retailer Lynda Gardener.

Lynda lives in a converted warehouse in North Fitzroy with her partner Mark Smith, and beloved cocker spaniel Jack. This supremely photogenic space has been her home for over 15 years.

23rd September, 2015

Kitchen. Industrial light shade with a huge collection of milk glass all made in the USA, sourced and found after many years of collecting. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jack Gardener in one of his favourite spots in front of an original mirror from Denmark, collections of vintage books. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

View from the entrance looking through the dining room into the kitchen and living area. Industrial pieces, old French chairs, trestle table with assorted country chairs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

 The White Room kitchen area, featuring a medical cabinet and old trolley. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lounge area. The space is filled with oil paintings from markets and Moroccan leather poufs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Industrial metal lockers paired with an oil painting portrait from Amsterdam. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

‘My huge collection of male portrait oil paintings sourced from Paris, Istanbul, Melbourne and Amsterdam,’ says Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom and bedroom. Layered rugs from Gardener and Marks and original cast iron bath. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom. Original French bed, collections of oil paintings found at markets and trips overseas, rope lights via my store Gardener and Marks. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Details from Lynda’s beautiful bedroom. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom in bedroom. Wood stool from Gardener and Marks, Deborah Bowness wallpaper from Gardener and Marks, and an old industrial trolley Lynda bought 20 years ago. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The White Room. ‘This is my lovely accommodation at the rear of the warehouse available for rent. This is the kitchen and study area featuring old furniture and finds,’ says Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The White Room bed, layered with throws from Morocco. Collection of sketches and photos above from markets around the world. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lynda Gardener in her Fitzroy home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd September 2015

Lynda Gardener is well known in Melbourne’s design, decoration and styling community for her beautiful little store, Gardener and Marks, which she owns with Amanda Henderson. Lynda previously owned much loved Empire Vintage in Albert Park for 22 years. Her signature look is a crisp neutral palette of mainly white and grey, with antique and rustic details layered to perfection. This distinctive aesthetic defines each of  Lynda’s various design and decoration projects.

This converted warehouse in North Fitzroy has been Lynda’s home for over 15 years. Originally, it was a mattress factory. When Lynda first took it on, the building was derelict, with dumped cars piled up inside! Buying the warehouse meant facing a significant renovation project – but Lynda is never afraid to get her hands dirty! ‘It had asbestos all the way thorough it, no plumbing, caved in ceilings and was pretty much derelict for many years prior’ she says. Retaining the structural features and character of the place, Lynda set about cleaning up and opening up the internal spaces, creating one large open plan living / kitchen / dining space downstairs with white polished concrete floors, and a spacious master bedroom with bathing space upstairs (the original cast iron bath sits right in the master bedroom!), plus a roof garden overlooking the laneways of Fitzroy. Essentially, this is a simple one bedroom home – albeit a very special one!

Last year, Lynda added a new element to her home. Beyond the leafy courtyard garden, she created The White Room, a self contained living space complete with ensuite, kitchen and its own separate entrance via rear laneway, which she leases out as guest accommodation. This sweet and supremely photogenic little unit is also often used for photoshoots.

Lynda has an incredible eye for uncovering the most exquisite vintage furniture and accessories, and has turned this uncanny knack into an artform over the years. Her home is her living museum, where salvaged treasures are displayed, on rotation, before perhaps finding themselves for sale in her store, or utilised in one of her many other design projects. Her favourite collection currently is the wall of painted portraits she has sourced over many years, hanging proudly above her dining room table. ‘I have filled the wall with male portraits from the 1800s through to the 1950s. I love looking at them in detail, the attire, the hairstyles and so on!’ she says.

What is perhaps most admirable about this space is that it really is a home created without compromise. It has been a labour of love getting it ‘just right’, and though perhaps having a freestanding bathtub in the centre of one’s bedroom mightn’t work for everybody (!), for Lynda, this is perfection. ‘I love everything about living here, and can’t see myself ever moving’ she says. ‘It’s a little industrial, a little rustic, with a touch of the new… and forever evolving and changing’ says Lynda. ‘Even as I write this I am waiting for my new couch and coffee table to arrive!’

Linda’s other properties and projects include The Whitehouse in Daylesford, and the more recently completed Estate in  Trentham – they are each available for accommodation, events and photoshoots.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Phi Do and Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Homes

This Rustic Melbourne Apartment Is A Zen Retreat From Inner-City Life

Loui Burke has created the perfect rustic retreat in the heart of a bustling CBD.

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Playful Family ‘Art House’

The playfully decorated Toorak home of interior designer and stylist, Zoe Murphy, and family.

This Week

2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  15 hours ago

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras
  23 hours ago

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

Gardens

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden

Cameron Kimber’s pocket-sized patch contains a folly and a sweet guest cottage mirroring his stately home in the Southern Highlands.

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Phi Do and Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Homes

This Rustic Melbourne Apartment Is A Zen Retreat From Inner-City Life

Loui Burke has created the perfect rustic retreat in the heart of a bustling CBD.

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Playful Family ‘Art House’

The playfully decorated Toorak home of interior designer and stylist, Zoe Murphy, and family.

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