Anna Clippingdale, Nick Wild and Family

The Fremantle residence of Anna Clippingdale and Nick Wild is adorned with an abundance of salvaged finds and family heirlooms. Renovated from a turn-of-the-century cottage that was once in shambles, it is today a modern, art-filled family home.

The Perth trio of writer Nikki Liley, stylist Jo Carmichael, and photographer Jody D’Arcy, take us on a charming Western Australian house tour.

Nikki Liley
Supported by Dulux

View through the dining area into the lounge and courtyard, showing a Parker-style extension table and original Thonet Corbusier oak chairs – Gumtree gold. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

For the handrail, Nick fastened a broom handle to the wall with hardware from a ship chandlery. The retro orange pendant is from Old Yeller in South Fremantle, and the charcoal pendants, Ikea. Nick’s grandma bought the bronze cherub sculpture (above the fridge) home from Florence – in the days before hand-luggage restrictions! Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Galley kitchen with overhead ply cabinets, aquamarine tiles (from Bunnings) and concrete bench all built by Nick, who also painted the oil artwork ‘Still Life 3‘. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Study nook behind an old kitchenette, oil painting ‘Approaching the Storm‘ and an architectural model of a post-apocalypse prison by Nick. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

In the lounge, Nick’s oil painting Lighthouse hangs above the low ply bench, also made by Nick. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Detail of the book-filled lounge room showing a 1950s style sofa from Melbourne and a Persian rug. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Nick made the balustrade with timber salvaged from an old stable demolished nearby, and the white Parker sofa, concrete pot and pouf were vintage finds. The Elkhorn fern is over 50 years old, and as a kid, Nick called it ‘the monster’ until one day, when it fell out of the tree and broke, so all the grandkids took a piece. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Lounge detail of an etched-glass panel of a ship in the tropics. It evokes a 1950s beach shack vibe, and fond memories for Nick of his family beach shack in Augusta. The green chair was his Grandmother’s. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Hall details of Nick’s oil painting ‘The Crossing 3‘ above a timber dresser. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

In the master bedroom, the pretty Venetian glass chandelier is vintage Murano. Nick’s father (an electrician) accidentally dropped it while installing it in someone’s home. The green chair came from his grandmother and oil painting, by Nick, is The Crossing 2. Nick added ply cladding to the Ikea drawers. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Bathroom detail. The 18-pane window shows this room was originally a bedroom. The bath was a lucky find at a discount store, and the mirror is from Ikea. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Detail in the girls’ bedroom. The antique gilded-wood framed painting (above the salvaged fireplace surround) was a birthday gift from Anna to Nick. Nick added a ply dado behind the bed, and used an epoxy coating over boards on the floor. The bed and side table are from Ikea. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Nick built the decks from an old pergola, while friends going through a ‘natives-only’ phase gave them the ornamental pear tree. The couple hope the next phase in their build will be an art studio and roof deck for Nick above the lounge, capitalising on the ocean view. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

Nikki Liley
5th of April 2017

Teeming with an enviable stash of vintage hand-me-downs, original oil paintings, and Gumtree gold, this tranquil home on the edge of Fremantle is effortlessly arty.

Nine years ago, on just their second date, Anna, a manager at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, dragged Nick, an artist/designer, along to see the property. Like many turn-of-the-century cottages, the home was a shamble but, fighting through a veritable forest in the rear garden, they found ocean views, and gamely put in an offer.

‘Five months later, it was ours, and we’ve been renovating ever since!’ laughs Anna. (This is most people’s idea of hell, so it’s encouraging this is said with a laugh!) The industrious pair revamped the old part of the cottage, before adding a pavilion out the back with a kitchen, living area and interconnecting decks. Intentionally gappy oak floorboards soaped with lime wash, and raked ceilings (like in the original lean-to) maintain a consistent rhythm throughout. Virtually the entire western side of the house opens onto the garden, and welcomes the sea breeze in summer, or as locals say, the ‘Freo Doctor’.

Perhaps more remarkable than a brand new couple buying a home so early in their relationship, is that Nick designed and built virtually the whole renovation and extension himself – while studying, and being a stay-at-home Dad! Did I mention he is also a talented artist?

Nick got crafty with salvaged materials, building decks from an old pergola, balustrade with timber from a nearby stable, and masterful cabinetry with simple plywood. For a handrail in the kitchen, he fastened a broom handle to the wall with hardware from a ship chandlery, and there’s a lot to be said for his Ikea hacks!

Prized items include the vintage etched glass window, found at a salvage yard. The family are also fond of the bronze cherub sculpture in their kitchen that Nick’s grandparents brought back from Florence (in the days before luggage restrictions!) and a pretty Murano glass chandelier in their master bedroom, which Nick’s father (an electrician) accidentally dropped during installation in a salubrious Perth home!

Design-wise, Nick explains, they were seeking a 1950s beach shack vibe. ‘If I’d built it after finishing my architecture degree, I’d have been tempted to complicate things,’ says Nick. ‘But designing it before hand, and with virtually no money meant we had to keep it simple, and we love the simplicity.’

The family pictured on their front veranda (left to right): Violet (8), Anna, Olive (6) and Nick, with Finley (3) by his feet. ‘We love living here, it’s the quietest street so the kids roam in and out of each others houses, and we’re two minutes to the beach,’ says Anna. The blue wicker furniture was another vintage find and the wall lights are from Subiaco Restoration. Styling – Jo Carmichael. Photo – Jody D’Arcy.

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