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David and Yuge Bromley and Family

Homes

NO ONE pulls together a space quite like David and Yuge Bromley – these two are the ultimate creative partnership, and there is truly some kind of unique Bromley magic that goes on with every project they turn their hand to.

Today we share David and Yuge’s latest project – their family home in Hepburn Springs, around 125km North East of Melbourne. Not surprisingly, it’s brilliant.

13th April, 2016

Sitting room off hallway. Bunny sculpture by Udom Taepanich on the ground, Harlequin rug by Loom rugs, Bromley sculpture ‘Follow the leader’ up on the tall timber plinth, and Charles Blackman works on facing wall. Featherston lounge and Minnie Pwerle painting above mantle. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Hepburn Springs home of David and Yuge Bromley. Above – dining room. Matthew Johnson painting, and Charles Blackman ‘Feet beneath the table’ giclee print. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Hallway between the dining and reading room. Artworks on wall by George Raftopoulos, Colin Pennock, Minnie Pwerle, Bernard Buffet, David Bromley, and drummer boy sculpture by Charles Blackman. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Reading room. The Old Japanese timber bench is a favourite piece, which Yuge says ‘looks like it would fit well in a hobbit hole’, paintings up top by Mark Schaller, and landscape by Zhong Chen. Reupholstered spotty lounge, and rug by Loom. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Reading room. Blobby man sculpture by Udom Taepanich, and old Japanese timber coffee table. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom. Painting on easel by Colin Pennock, blossom jars by Michael Pugh, artworks on back wall by unknown Japanese artist, Heidi Yardley, David Bromley & Mark Schaller. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Yuge and David Bromley with their three-year-old daughter Wen. (Not pictured, little Bei-Bel who was born a few months after our shoot!). A big circle has been cut into the wall to open up two bedrooms. Artworks on back wall by unknown Japanese artist, Heidi Yardley, David Bromley and Mark Schaller. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room. Rug by Loom rugs, sculpture by French artist Christian Maas, Spanish chair by Hans Wegner, girl portrait by Poh Ling Yeow, Chinese portraits from markets in Beijing (based on works of artist Zhang Xiaogang). Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living Room. Bronze sculptures by David Bromley, teapots by David and Yuge Bromley made in conjunction with Robert Gordon ceramics, and portraits of David’s children 9-year-old Willem and 6-year-old Arlo by Mauro Palmieri. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom bathroom. Paintings by Mark Schaller and Heidi Yardley, hand from Tarlo & Graham. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bathroom. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Reading room. Cup noodle alien light from Japan, collection of 20th century African masks and sculptures, old 19th century birdhouse from Argentina. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside barbecue room. Paintings by David Bromley, Heidi Yardley, and from an Adelaide trash and treasure market. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Outside bathroom. Painting by George Raftopoulos, Missoni towels, and timber turned plinth. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Garden. Bottle trees, wire elephant and giraffe sculptures by Tom Rippon, and cement kangaroo sculpture from France. Photo – Sean Fennessy. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

We’ve had the great privilege of photographing a number of homes, businesses and workspaces belonging to David and Yuge Bromley over the past few years. NO ONE pulls together a place quite like David and Yuge – these two are the ultimate creative partnership. There really is some unspoken magic injected into every project they turn their hand to.

They also move around – a lot. Every few years it seems Yuge and David have either moved house, or taken on a new property for their business. Most recently they opened a CBD outpost of their popular store and gallery, Bromley and co, in Melbourne’s Block Arcade. They also retain an incredible residence and workspace in Prahran, along with a sprawling warehouse and event space in Daylesford, filled with the Bromley’s incredible art and furniture collection.

BUT TODAY is all about David and Yuge’s latest project – their family home in Hepburn Springs, around 125km North East of Melbourne. Oh my. It’s a dream.

In true Bromley fashion, this rambling Victorian home is layered with a remarkable collection of antiques, artwork and vintage ephemera, giving the impression the couple have lived here for a lifetime. In fact, the Bromleys purchased the property (sight unseen!) three years ago, whilst living in Byron Bay. Together with their children Wen (3 years) and Bei Bel (2 months), they now split their time between here and a property in Prahran in Melbourne, close to their Windsor gallery.

When David and Yuge first purchased the property, it had been used for over three decades as a care home for older people with dementia, and prior to that as a boarding house. As a result, when the Bromley’s took possession, the house was a convoluted mish mash of small rooms (13 bedrooms in total!), all branching off a long central hallway. When the couple moved in, the first thing they did was to open up doorways, knock out wall openings, paint interior walls white, and change all the floor coverings to new carpet and seagrass. ‘Doing this as a foundation really ‘unlocked’ the house, and it started transforming into a family home’ Yuge recalls.

Soon, the various bedrooms were transformed into beautifully decorated sitting rooms, studio spaces, and a couple of additional bathrooms… to the point where friends came to visit late last year, and David and Yuge realised they now only had 2 bedrooms – instead of the previous 13!

The garden has been a particular passion project for David.  ‘We get great pleasure seeing our bottle trees flourishing in the garden, particularly as we trucked them down to Daylesford from our previous home in Byron Bay’ Yuge says.  ‘They are deciduous, so when we replanted them, they looked like they were dead. We spent 2 months tending to them, as David is obsessed with his garden, and the day the leaves started budding again, he came screaming through the house and we both rejoiced in the garden around our trees!’ Nestled amongst these trees are a collection of amazing animal sculptures, as well as a number of self contained outside bedrooms, bathrooms and reading rooms dotted across the garden.

Though they’ve lived in many different homes, it seems the Bromleys are quite settled here, for now! ‘It is big and ramble-y, and since moving in, it has really moulded to us and become a family home’ Yuge says. With the recent arrival of little Bei-Bel, both Yuge and David are also really cherishing the ‘mental health benefits’ that come with living in the country. ‘We really feel a great sense of ‘ahhhhh’ as soon as we drive in to Daylesford, that sense that you can breathe deeply’ Yuge says. Which sounds idyllic, except… I’m not convinced even the most blissful country location could ever slow these two down!

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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