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!