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An Artistic Haven In Jan Juc


Waaaaay back in 2014 we first shared the city apartment of artists Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran. At the time they were based in East Melbourne, planning a wedding… and there were whispers of a move down the coast.

It’s 2018, and we’re pleased to report they made it! The prolific creative couple now reside in Jan Juc, and whilst their colourful new digs have all the hallmarks of the ultimate beach party house (!), For Rowena and Geoffrey, home is where work and life coexist happily, all under one roof.

7th February, 2018

Some of the MANY pieces of art in the Jan Juc home of Rowena Matinich and Geoffrey Carran. Here: top left, ‘Morning Vision’ Geoffrey Carran; bottom left – ‘New Romantics’ Arite Kannavos; Cat painting, gifted to us for our engagement by Wen Jun, a Chinese artist (and past collaborator); bottom right, drawings by Chloe Vallance. Right centre – embroidered shoe inners that Rowena bought in China. Ceramic jug by Andrew Carran (Geoffrey’s dad.) Wall colour is Dulux’s ‘Army Fatigues’. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

‘We painted the house in Dulux ‘Taihape’ after adding the downstairs deck and upstairs balustrade. We love spending time in the garden, and it’s slowly taking shape around the large established trees, which create a haven for a vast array of native birds,’ say Rowena and Geoffrey. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

‘Original art is a key feature in our home, and we feel it brings a lot to a space. In our lounge hangs Geoffrey’s painting ‘Equinox,’ inspired by the yellow-tailed black cockatoos that are often in the trees outside’, says the couple. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Antique Anatolian kilim from Loom Rugs. Armchairs from Coco Republic. Bespoke cushions by Mercurious. Coffee table by Moroso. Looking through to the green room, you can sneak a peek of ‘Pink Chilli’, a new painting by Rowena. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Featured is ‘Seafoam Spritz’, by Rowena, hanging above her hand-painted woven baskets. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Geoffrey Carran and Rowena Matinich – both esteemed painters in their own rights! Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

The vast, open-plan kitchen/living/dining areas. Walls in Dulux’s ‘Vivid White’. Photo – Eve Wilson, Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

The master bedroom, painted in Dulux’s ‘Duck Egg Blue’. Geoffrey made the bed with timber from the family(!). The bed (which is always made up with a mish-mash of linen) features linen/velvet throw and cushions from the Martinich&Carran range, and a mirrored Indian quilt the couple picked up in Rajasthan. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

‘Strike 1’ and ‘Strike 2’ prints by Rowena Martinich. Antique rug from travels in Cappadocia. Moroccan woven ties hang from the bed frame. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Bed frame painted by Rowena! Geoffrey’s limited edition print of ‘Blue Wren’ keeps an eye over a painting of Torquay Point’ by Kathryn Junor ,below Rowena’s ‘Leather Jacket’ limited edition print and ‘Saving It For Later’ print by Natalie Martin. Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Martinich&Carran range hand-painted planters and baskets by Rowena, as well as the framed limited edition print of Rowen’as ‘Glint’ above the bed. .Photo – Eve Wilson. Styling – Annie Portelli / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 7th February 2018

‘We often come across locals who ‘know the house’ and have a story to go with it!’ – Rowena Martinich.

Some people crave a sea-change for a change of pace;  to pull back on long working hours, and swing that elusive work/life balancing act into less work, more life.

Rowena Martinich and Geoffrey Carran aren’t quite those sort of sea-changers. Whilst they relish proximity to the beach at home in Jan Juc, Rowena and Geoffrey haven’t exactly slowed down. This house is, in fact, both a relaxed beach house, and a place for creating art, hatching plans, and running their prints and homewares business.

The house is a classic Jan Juc early 1980s build, all weatherboard construction and robust, chunky timbers. ‘It was originally a “pole house” that has been filled in, added to and renovated all in a rather ad-hoc manner,’ recalls Rowena. ‘It had been a combination of family home as well as a share house at various stages… We often come across locals who “know the house” and have a story to go with it!’

Rowena and Geoffrey are colour-lovers, and are known for the bright, eye-popping palettes used in their work. SO, no surprises they’ve injected some serious colour into their much loved beachside home – with bold, almost-black exterior weatherboards (Dulux New Zealand colour ‘Taihapi’ – so perfect with ‘Vivid White’ on doorframes and accents!), and rich greens, blues, and red used in various rooms inside.

All up, the pair have painted the entire house inside and out, knocked out internal walls, built new balustrades, repaired staircases and built a new deck, removed carpet and refinished floorboards, installed new cabinetry, skylights and a new fireplace… not to mention landscaping outside! Now, they are slowly acquiring furnishings – a mix of vintage finds, contemporary pieces, and their own creations.

And of course.. there’s the ART. This home is a shrine to Rowena and Geoffrey’s own painting practices (Rowena’s works are the generally abstract, hyper-coloured canvases, whilst Geoffrey is known for his bird portraits, amongst other things!). Alongside these are treasured paintings collected on travels – an Indian tapestry, a Brooklyn brownstone painting bought in New York, as well as pieces by local painters Chloe Vallance, Kathryn Junor, and others.

‘This is a relaxed surf shack filled with our art, we have never had to be precious about it, we just have fun living here, and enjoy being at the beach’ Rowena says. ‘We love lighting the fire in winter, sitting out on the deck and in the garden… and we love that there is enough space for our house to be a relaxed shack, as well as a place of business.’

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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.

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