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The Julian Family

Homes

Today we visit the colourful family home of Karen Julian, her husband Bruce and their two grown-up daughters Holly and Megan, in Sydney’s Randwick.

Holly and Megan are architecture students with a passion for bold colour and pattern. The house they have helped their Mum decorate over the past ten years is, in their own words, ‘a fairly colourful and chaotic culmination of all of our tastes’!

 

23rd March, 2016

Living room details. Wallpaper by Anna Spiro for Porters Paints, Bitossi vase, light fitting bought on eBay, vintage art glass from eBay, and retail shelving as bookcase. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The home of the Julian Family in Sydney’s Randwick. Wallpaper by Anna Spiro for Porters Paints. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The home of the Julian Family in Sydney’s Randwick. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room and kitchen. Artwork by Richard Blundell, linocut bought from a market, vintage Sebel school chairs from eBay, painting on back wall by Angelina Pwerle, and ornaments on table from Dinosaur Designs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Study Nook. Vintage wallpaper found on eBay, vintage pendant light from eBay, ornaments found at Vinnies, and shelving made by Bruce. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Stairwell. Painting by Lydia Miller. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Vintage Parker sideboard and iitaala candlesticks bought from various vintage stores. Artwork by the band Yeasayer bought from FBI radio station. Vintage leather chair from Gumtree and cushion from Vinnies. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Stairwell. Paintings by Mella Ward and Wilmotte Williams. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Holly’s room. 1960s wallpaper and vintage posters sourced from eBay. Jewellery stand bought at a market at Fitzroy primary school, mask and bowls from Vinnies. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Holly’s room. 1960’s wallpaper found on eBay, cushion from Marimekko, linen from IKEA, and vintage ceramic lamp with shade from Graham & Graham. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Megan’s room. Vintage wallpaper found on eBay, antique lamp and bed found on Clean Up. Tapestry art and cushions from Vinnies and Chee Soon & Fitzgerald. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Karen, Holly and Megan in their Randwick home. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Karen and Bruce’s room. Vintage wallpaper off eBay, vintage painting found on eBay, and bed made by Karen and Bruce. Cushions from Chee Soon & Fitzgerald and Utopia Goods, and quilt from Humble Beginnings. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Karen and Bruce’s room. Painting by Greg Irvine and gold clock found on eBay. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Vintage lamp base with shade from Graham & Graham, painting from eBay, and bowl from Dinosaur Designs. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd March 2016

When I met Karen Julian and her two daughters Holly and Megan (both 23), it was instantly clear these three were a tight knit trio. The family are exceptionally close, and whilst excitedly giving me a tour of their colourful Sydney house, Karen, Holly and Megan chatted cheerfully, often finishing each others’ sentences. I didn’t meet the family patriarch, Bruce, during my visit, but Karen and the girls mentioned him a number of times – it’s clear he’s a much loved husband and Dad, who holds very little influence when Karen and the girls make up their minds about something!

The Julian family live together in a two storey Victorian terrace house in Sydney’s Randwick. Megan and Holly are both architecture students, and share a passion for bold colour and pattern. ‘Needless to say the house is a fairly colourful and chaotic culmination of all of our tastes’ Holly says!

Karen and Bruce bought their home 10 years ago. After house hunting for close to a year, Karen came upon the house quite by accident, not realising the auction was just two days away. Bruce didn’t go along to the inspection, but Karen and the girls (then 13) fell in love with it straight away. Their next challenge was to convince their Dad to buy it. Their main selling point was that no work would need to be done as the home was already in ‘perfect condition.’ ‘Little did he know…’ Karen says in retrospect!

In fact, Bruce soon replaced the existing ‘country style’ kitchen and bathroom, demolishing the existing fixtures and installing a flat pack kitchen himself. The rest of the home was slowly redecorated by Karen, with enthusiastic input (and the odd unsolicited eBay purchase!) from her two creative daughters.

‘The aesthetic of the home underwent a major change after a friend fell asleep on our lounge, and woke up proclaiming that he thought he was in his Grandmothers house!’ recalls Karen! This, as well as the girls protestations that the house was ‘daggy’ led Karen to re-decorate the home over a couple of years, replacing much of the art, lighting and antique furniture, and injecting colour through a bold selection of vintage wallpaper.

‘What the girls call my ‘eBay obsession’ has led to us finding a lot of the retro glassware, furniture, art and wallpaper’ Karen says. Local markets, Vinnies and the occasional side of the road find has also played a large part in the homes’ eclectic makeover. ‘Our home is made up of many collections’ Karen explains. ‘We will often stumble upon a single decorative vase or candlestick which will inevitably lead to a collection’.

Karen loves the idea that there is a little bit of each family member’s personality in every room. ‘The house is a reflection of our love of vintage pieces, colour and clutter!’ she says. ‘It has evolved slowly over the years, and has been greatly influenced by my daughters’ growing love of design.’

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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