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Martine and Jason Cook

Homes

Today’s beautiful family home in Seddon belongs to art teacher Martine Cook, her husband Jason, a podiatrist, and their two children Annie (8) and Barney (5).

Their simple, thoughtful renovation has transformed a former private ‘lying in’ hospital into a classic yet creative family home.

9th September, 2015

The Seddon home of Martine and Jason Cook and family. Above – Kitchen. Nasturtium artwork by Annie, original pressed metal ceiling, kitchen shelf built using Oregon from a friend’s family farm, Marimekko plate and platter, and timber board from Izzy and Popo. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Martine with her children Barney and Annie in front of their Seddon home! Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dawn Tan Original succulent illustration, Cottage Industry pennant and op shop chair reupholstered. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lounge room. Side board and side table are roadside finds, tan leather Wassily chairs from Inner West ‘Buy Swap and Sell’ Facebook group!, heart ceramic plate from Market Import. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Cheese board from Shelley Panton Store, Dawn Tan soup illustration. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Framed David Bromley quilt, planet lamp from Martine’s father’s garage, iron kettle from Martine’s childhood, sideboard an Ebay find, and the side table was a hard rubbish find. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Annie’s bedroom. Her couch is another Inner West ‘Buy Swap and Sell’ freebie, on this is Martine’s ‘all time favourite’ Bonnie and Neil cushion from Sedonia, oil painting sourced from Inner West ‘Buy Swap and Sell’ Facebook group, sunflower hanging mobile by Annie. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Annie’s bedroom. Fictional Objects doona cover, Kip and Co cushion and Pirum Parum Pear poster by Fine Little Day. The bed head is an eBay find. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom. Panama ship flag from a friend, David Fusseneger blanket, and Gorman pillowcases. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Barney’s bedroom. Framed David Bromley quilt, bookshelf and bed head are eBay finds, the lamp is an Inner West ‘Buy Swap and Sell’ find, Bonnie and Neil cushion and quilt from Sedonia. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Barney’s bedroom detail. JC de Castelbajac wallpaper, map, desk and chair are both roadside finds, and the tan leather couch is an Inner West ‘Buy Swap Sell’ freebie. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master bedroom detail. Planet lamp from Martine’s father’s garage, walnut cabinet from Inner West ‘Buy Swap and Sell’, and bird artwork by Kate Sellars-Jones. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 9th September 2015

Art teachers are always the coolest. Am I RIGHT!? As it happens, Martine Cook teaches art with Madeleine Stamer, whose house we also LOVE. What’s with these clever teacher-types? So good at pulling a cute house together.

Martine lives in Seddon in Melbourne’s inner west, with her husband Jason Cook, a podiatrist, and children Annie (8 years) and Barney (5). The family bought their Edwardian home six years ago, and spent five months renovating before moving in.

Set on a prominent corner block with a pretty verandah all the way around, Martine and Jason had their eye on this house for many years before they were lucky enough to buy it. ‘We had dreamed about owning it one day’ says Martine. Previously, the house had served as a small private Maternity or ‘lying-in’ hospital. ‘Several local residents have approached us to say they were born here or have relatives that were born here or lived here!’ says Martine.

Eventually, the timing was right and Martine and Jason bought the house, filled with excitement about the prospect of returning it to its former glory. When they took possession, the house had original fireplaces, pressed metal walls and ceilings and ornate plasterwork. Whilst retaining much of the house’s history, Martine and Jason have updated it for their young family, refurbishing two bathrooms and adding a new kitchen. Original floor boards were whitewashed and polished, laden plaster walls restored, and a wall was removed at the rear of the home to create an open kitchen and living space. Water and energy efficiency was also a major consideration – solar panels were installed, and a 3500 litre water tank installed under the back deck.

As seems to be so often the case, at the time all the renovations were going on, Martine was pregnant with Barney.  She lived at her parents with little Annie, whilst Jason lived in the house and worked on it every spare moment he had, all whilst working full time! All family members were roped in to help paint, plant, clean and babysit, to get the family moved in just in time for Christmas!

More recently, Martine has had fun decorating her childrens’ bedrooms. Both rooms were papered in beautiful printed wallpaper, after years of looking for just the right thing! The gorgeous green wallpaper in Annie’s room is perfectly complemented by an incredible green velvet vintage couch – Martine is the queen of second-hand finds! ‘Nothing here has been purchased new apart from the beds!’ says Martine. Jason is also the expert roadside spotter – ‘it’s the real reason we hold on to his old ute!’ Martine says.

What is perhaps most special is the sense of lingering history about this home. It feels like a house that has seen many faces! ‘Our little family have space to create and imagine here, adding to its story’ says Martine. ‘It’s not on trend or over thought, but it’s our nest and where we feel most comfortable, we’re surrounded with our found treasures and things we like. This makes it beautiful to us’.

Apart from her day job as an art teacher, Martine also has a side business, The Whistle, where she creates storage and style solutions for small spaces – well worth checking out!

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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