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Heidi and Ben Yardley


It’s well documented that we have a *thing* for artists’ homes, and today’s sweet converted stables in North Melbourne is no exception.

This rental property is home to artist Heidi Yardley, her husband Ben (a musician) and their inquisitive cat Nico! The pair have lived here for six years.

6th July, 2016
Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 6th July 2016

Tucked way down an old bluestone lane, behind a hidden ’secret garden’ style gate and across a sweet, very overgrown courtyard, is the home of Heidi Yardley and her husband Ben. Set within an old stables, the home is completely hidden from the main street. There is, in fact, something quite magical about this. It feels like a fairytale house, a sort of ‘Enid Blyton’ type place, which exists in the moment you experience it, but which might not actually still be there if you ever return.

This is a rustic, humble and versatile space. Downstairs is entirely open plan, with a small kitchen and tiny bathroom adjoining the main living / dining space. Upstairs is one large bedroom. Heidi uses the light-filled annex adjoining the living room as a studio, sometimes migrating to the warmth of the main living room in the depths of winter, depending what she is working on. ‘The open-plan space provides great freedom for creativity’ she says.

For all its nostalgic charm, the history of Heidi and Ben’s home is vague at best. ‘We have been told that it was horse stables over 100 years ago. It was also part of what have been described as slums in the 1930’s’ Heidi explains. ‘There is a great photograph that we found online of a group of eight children of different ages, looking very poor and grubby (but mostly happy) standing right outside our gate in 1935’.

Heidi and Ben’s home is an endearingly ’unfinished’ space, layered with vintage finds, furniture made by Ben, and artwork by Heidi and other creative friends. ‘I feel that I should describe it as rustic, not that we planned it that way, but it’s how things have come together with the bits and pieces we’ve acquired over the years’ Heidi says. This, combined with the ramshackle nature of some of the renovations which occurred prior to Heidi and Ben moving in, give the home the feeling of having lived many lives, and seen many things!

Heidi is represented by Arthouse Gallery in Sydney and Jan Murphy Gallery in Brisbane. She also has a solo exhibition coming up next month, with Nicholas Thompson Gallery in Melbourne. Many of Heidi’s mesmerising works seen throughout her home form part of this upcoming show!

Lost Weekend by Heidi Yardley
16th to 27th August
Presented by Nicholas Thompson Gallery at Neospace
7 Campbell Street

Living/ Dining room. New drawing from Heidi’s upcoming exhibition at Nicholas Thompson Gallery at Neospace opening 16 August 2016. ‘The large walls allow me to hang works in progress,’ says Heidi.

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