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Jo Dabrowski and Andrew Fisher

Homes

COLOUR is the overarching theme in the home of former advertising copywriter Jo Dabrowski, her husband Andrew Fisher (a freelance copywriter / creative director) and their kids Fred (age 7) and Herbie (age 5).

Adopting a bold and varied palette throughout their Californian bungalow in Melbourne’s inner West, Jo and Andrew have created a home that is vibrant, distinctive and full of joy!

15th June, 2016

The home of Jo Dabrowski and Andrew Fisher. Above – Living room. Brown leather Longreach sofa by Neil Burly for Anibou (Thonet NZ). Coffee table custom built in London and designed by Andrew Fisher. Bertoia Diamond chairs from Alfie’s Market London. Yellow lamp from Mill Markets, Geelong. ‘The words on mantelpiece spell out our wedding date. Fish had them made for me by Melbourne artist, Tim Fleming, so I never forget our anniversary!’ explains Jo. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room
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Custom made table, Thonet dining chairs that Jo had sprayed (two-pack) in her favourite shade of green. Fruit bowls from Mud. Polish circus poster in background from Sklep. Various plates have been collected by Jo (and received as gifts) mostly from the couple’s time in London. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Back garden and shed
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Vintage Melbourne Fire Museum sign bought via Jo’s local Wst ‘Buy, Swap, Sell’ Facebook group. ‘Hello’ sign from Down To The Woods, which Jo spray painted red. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen
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Chairs from IKEA. Fruit bowls from Mud. Cute ceramics on shelf by Camila Prada. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room
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‘The Bromley painting was a joint wedding gift from all our friends,’ says Jo. Mark Tuckey egg cup stool Sigurd Ressell Falcon chair, and David Trubridge ‘Flip’ side table. Rocking dinosaur seat from Habitat in the UK. Black felt garland made by Jo. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Herbie's room
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Orange chair found at an op shop in Napier, New Zealand for $5, chest of drawers from IKEA, and cushions on chair made by Jo. Rug from Living Edge. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Jo Dabrowski
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Cased glass vase collection on top shelf from various antique shops and markets. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Home office details
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Art deco drinks trolley found at an op shop in Napier, New Zealand. Various artworks from London. Signed 2003 England Rugby World Cup jumper – a gift to Andrew from his Dad. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Fred's room
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Lego head from Target. Bed linen from IKEA. Sock monkey and soft toys on bed made by Jo. Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Herbie's room
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Bed linen from IKEA. Wooden gorilla by Areaware. Monster on bed made by Jo based on one of Herbie’s drawings! Photo – Anette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 15th June 2016

Jo Dabrowski and Andrew Fisher purchased their Californian Bungalow on a big block in Newport in late 2013. Though the house was in good structural condition, the interiors were in need of an update (it was very ‘peach’ throughout Jo says!). So, before moving in, she and Andrew set to work ripping out old wardrobes, pulling up tiles in the kitchen and replacing timber floors. They also changed the light fittings, door knobs, and picture rails, added built in robes and shelving, and painted throughout.

After settling in, the family started working on plans for a side extension, to add a playroom, master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Once their plans were approved, Jo and Andrew went down the owner/builder route to complete the works, in collaboration with a great local carpenter called Stewart James (@builtbystewy). ‘He cared about the details as much as I did, and made the process much less stressful than it could have been’ Jo says.

The standout feature of Jo and Andrew’s house is, of course, the incredible use of COLOUR! It’s so rare and so brilliant to see such a brave and varied palette used throughout a home – from the deep grey walls in the front living room, to the softer grey in the master bedroom, and vibrant yellow of the home office. Jo and Andrew’s house proves that colour is definitely not just for kids’ rooms!

‘Choosing different colours for each room was absolutely one of my favourite parts of the process, and even today I’m still thinking about rooms I may re-paint one day’ says Jo! ‘I’m dreaming of a pink and a navy blue’.

An advertising copywriter in a former life, Jo is an incredibly creative Mum, with an intuitive sense for design, and a cheerful ‘can-do’ attitude when it comes to home improvements! She often finds herself updating furniture pieces with a fresh coat of paint, new upholstery or new handles. ‘We’re not big on buying things just because they may look nice on one of our shelves’ she explains. ‘We prefer to wait until we happen upon something that has a bit of a story, or something that will bring back happy memories’.

What is special about this relaxed, vibrant family home is that it says so much about the family who live here.  ‘Our house is definitely a reflection of all of us’ says Jo. ‘We love colour, design, books, art and making stuff! It’s a collection of objects we’ve accumulated over the years, both separately and together, from our travels and from the different cities we’ve lived in.’

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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