The Ultimate Melbourne Share House

You might have noticed we have a new girl around here! By ‘here’, I’m referring to The Design Files HQ (duh), and the girl is question is Sally Tabart – our editorial assistant and all-round superstar, since late last year.

Not long after Sally started working with us, we became curious about her home. We’re talking 4.5 bedrooms, Victorian mansion vibes, with rambling garden, and a plush 70’s revival interior. She appeared to be living in Melbourne’s BEST share house.

Big call, I know… you be the judge.

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The lush living room in the Northcote home of housemates Sally Tabart, Pip Newell, Fushia Saulwick, Sophie Purdue and Chris Garoni.  Photo – Eve Wilson.

Milo Baughman circular three-tier swivel coffee table in polished brass, vintage Gilbert Softlite mushroom lamp, both bought second-hand off Gumtree. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Looking from the living room into the kitchen, featuring the housemates’ most prized possession – a burnt orange Featherston couch Pip found on Gumtree! Photo – Eve Wilson.

From left to right: Sophie Purdue, Pip Newell, Sally Tabart, Chris Garoni, Fushia Saulwick. ‘There have been so many good times spent around that sofa. Something about the shape and structure of the design invites many long and wonderful nights slumped all together around the sofa,’ says Pip! Photo – Eve Wilson.

View into the dining room through one of the beautiful, arched doorframes. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Vintage rattan folding chairs and a custom-made Bentwood cantilever cane chair. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Bountiful fruit and veg spread in ceramic bowls purchased when Sally worked at Mud Australia! Photo – Eve Wilson.

The kitchen, which was part of an extension made to the house in the 70s. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Pip and Chris’ room – the master bedroom. Featuring a built-in marble mantlepiece and a GIANT Monstera deliciosa Pip picked up for under $200! Photo – Eve Wilson.

A sneak-peek at the incredible timber paneled wall in Fushia’s room. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Sally’s room. BFGF wall feature blanket brought back from her time living in New York, plant table, cane baskets and plant holders from the op-shop. Pink furry rug from Kmart! Photo – Eve Wilson.

The other side of the living room, featuring a family of plants and a day bed that was made out of a king-single base, a futon and a whole lot of furs and pillows from IKEA. Photo – Eve Wilson.

THAT incredible wood-paneled wall and built-in shelves in Fushia’s room. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Ummm can you believe they’ve got a HUGE garden as well?! ‘We have people over all the time in summer for long, lazy dinners in the garden,’ says Sally. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The double-storey, heritage brick house in Northcote is over 130 years old. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Lucy Feagins
24th of January 2018

Sally Tabart shares this epic 4-and-a-half bedroom Northcote mansion (aka ‘the commune’) with housemates Pip Newell (an interior stylist and secondhand furniture seller), Pip’s boyfriend Chris Garoni (a psychology masters student), Sophie Purdue (who works in the not for profit sector) and Fushia Saulwick, who works in marketing and events.

Together, this industrious group of twenty-somethings appear to host a constant stream of garden dinner parties… whilst Pip spends most of her time buying and selling furniture on eBay or Gumtree, resulting in all kinds of amazing furniture scores, and endless redecorating!  One particularly beloved piece of furniture is the burnt orange Featherston modular sofa. ‘There have been so many good times spent around that sofa’ Pip says. ‘Something about the shape and structure of the design invites many a long and wonderful night slumped altogether’.

It’s the house, though, (and garden) which really commands attention. Victorian on the outside but sort of 70s revival on the inside, the first notable feature is that this place is HUGE. I mean… Pip’s bedroom is quite honestly the size of some inner city apartments. With its robust bones and big, communal spaces, this is a home that comfortably houses all five occupants – both bringing them together, and giving each of them adequate space when needed.

The housemates have become so attached to the place,  Sally is mildly concerned about its future. ‘It would be devastating if anything major changed!’ Sally says. ‘I get scared that when this house is eventually sold it’s going to get knocked down and made into horrible apartments.’

Until then, it seems this grand old dame has found the perfect custodians. ‘This house has been around for over 130 years, and our landlord and her family grew up here…’ Sally muses. ‘The fact that the house has such sentimental value makes it so special to us, and we do our best to respect the heritage and memories.’

Pip’s vintage furniture biz is well worth checking out – here! And when Sally isn’t at TDF, she’s editing her own awesome publication and associated events – Ladies of Leisure.

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