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Top Ten Australian Homes of 2015 · Ally Oliver-Perham and Harry Dickson


A lot of young couples in Melbourne live in rented properties built in the 60s and 70s, but not many live in homes that come fully furnished with all their landlady’s possessions!

In October last year, we visited the home of Ally Oliver-Perham and Harry Dickson, who took on the lease of an eldery Italian lady’s Brunswick home (along with all her things). We love the kooky aesthetic of this home, and how it has been embraced by its new tenants!

4th January, 2016
Lucy Feagins
Monday 4th January 2016

When you drive past a giant cream brick 1960s house in Brunswick, replete with white swirly wrought iron railings and a concrete front garden, you immediately get a sense of who might live behind the lace curtains. You might, perhaps, picture an elderly little Italian lady, the kind of house-proud local who sweeps the footpath outside her front door every morning.

You don’t imagine the residents of a house like this would be a cool young couple and their cute little dog. Well, appearances can be deceiving! This is the home of fine arts graduate / graphic designer Ally Oliver-Perham and her partner, musician and maker Harry Dickson.

Ally and Harry lease the house from an elderly Italian lady, who has since moved into an aged care facility. After house hunting for a long time, the couple were thrilled when they inspected this sprawling three-bedroom house in Brunswick. Though the house was in excellent condition, there was one challenge – it came fully furnished! ‘We both love the kitsch Italian vibe!’ says the couple. Somehow, the kooky aesthetic here works perfectly with Ally and Harry’s own sense of style, and collection of secondhand furniture, artwork and trinkets.

For the full story and many more photos of this kitsch Brunswick home, do pop back and revisit the original post!

Kitchen. Most things in the kitchen are op shop and hard rubbish finds, which perfectly complement the original owner’s decor. 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