This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Retro Perfection In Abbotsford

Homes

The residents of this buttery, light-wrapped home show what can be achieved in a rental, through mixing  treasured vintage finds with a warm, textural palette, and clean architectural lines.

Kelly Thompson, director of Maker’s Mgmt and Maker’s Mrkt, and restaurateur Christian McCabe live in this enticing urban ‘treehouse’, with Billie the beagle and Butler the cat.

25th April, 2018

The middle-level lounge room inside the chic Abbotsford home of illustrator Kelly Thompson and restaurateur Christian McCabe. Kelly calls it the ‘Lady Lounge’! Vintage brass clam lamp Tyabb Packing House. Glass ornamental grapes Kelly found at Chapel Street Bazaar. The guitar belongs to Kelly’s husband Christian. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Another lounge! The windows run the full width of the room and completely slide across to open air. Vintage globe lamp and sideboard from Little Prince. Kerryn Levy ceramics from Makers Mkrt. Armadillo and Co. rug from Curious Grace. Velvet cushions from Nathan & Jac Melbourne. Vintage couch Kelly and Christian found in a shed in Brisbane and restored. Brown calf skin from Used PTY Johnston Street. Coffee table from Glen Waverley Bazaar. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Kelly in her living room wearing one of her favourite designers, Kate Sylvester. Golden velvet chair and soft pink marble table both from CCSS Melbourne. Old wardrobe door used as a mirror from Curated Spaces. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Christian is learning the guitar and Kelly was pretty happy when he came home with a golden one! Vintage brass clam lamp that Kelly almost couldn’t fit in the car and enlisted help from strangers to get it in -from Tyabb Packing House. Glass grapes Kelly found at Chapel Street Bazaar intended as decoration for Christian’s restaurant, Embla, that never quite made it. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The main lounge area adjacent to the kitchen and dining spaces. Artwork from top left: A photograph Kelly gifted Christian when he sold his restaurant, The Matterhorn, in Melbourne. Picture stack from top: Sara Orme photograph from her Freedom series, Tomer Hanuka print, Adam Custins polaroid from Maker’s Mrkt. Next to this is a large Kate Banazi screenprint. Orange and purple face by Rudi De Wet. Fellows Mobiles mobile from Maker’s Mrkt. Adam Custins nude from Maker’s Mrkt next to a Kat Macleod print. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Kelly has an incredible knack for sourcing and styling vintage furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Item details in the lounge room, featuring Kerryn Levy ceramics from Makers Mkrt. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The master bedroom with vintage lamps and bedside tables. Bed frame from Snooze and linen from Cultiver. ‘Lilli’ print by Kelly Thompson from Kelly’s business, Makers Mkrt. Photo – Eve Wilson.

A view from the middle level from the front door, featuring a bathroom at the end of the corridor with sliding wooden walls for privacy. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The exterior of Kelly Thompson and Christian McCabe’s Abbotsford house. Photo – Eve Wilson.

After living in an open-plan warehouse in Collingwood, creative agent Kelly Thompson and restaurateur Christian McCabe moved to this three-level townhouse designed by Melbourne architect Robin Williams four years ago. They were attracted by the grand ceiling height in the upstairs living area, and the diffused light that streams through shutters into the ground floor level. While unable to make structural alterations to the building, the couple have imbued the place with their own unique sense of style, simply by ‘filling it with things they love.’

This love is evident, in the way Kelly and Christian have married the architectural characteristics of the space with their own distinctive aesthetics. The golden, timber-clad interiors give the home a warm, nostalgic feel, which the residents have enhanced with carefully selected furniture and artworks. Vintage gold lamps, pink marble side tables, and cascading ferns contrast with the ‘perfectly square, considered building’.

Mid-Century Magic in West Footscray

Swing into the best of the 60’s, with this timber-panelled, plant filled delight in Melbourne’s west.

Kelly says her styling approach here has been to deliberately ‘mess up’ the clarity of the home’s architectural  lines, with a warm materials palette, inviting textures and pre-loved finds. Kelly has an eagle-eye for second hand and vintage furniture, and loves the thrill of the hunt! ‘The house has clean lines, but we want to clutter it up a bit and want it to be comfortable’ Kelly explains.

Another distinctive feature of this home, is the way the interior spaces connect to the exterior streetscape. Tall, narrow and framed by giant plane trees, this home has the feeling of an urban ‘treehouse’. Kelly describes the joy of sliding open the windows to have the room open to the treetops ; ‘it’s so nice being high up and watching the trees change with the season.’

This Week

News

An Australian Christmas Story Takes Over Fed Square

Beci Orpin illustrates a distinctly Australian Christmas story in collaboration with creative film producers General Strike.
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Home That Balances Mid-Century And Modern

Hindley & Co architects bring mid-century design into the 21st century with elegance and restraint, in Newtown, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

News

Frida Kahlo In Bendigo

An exclusive exhibition drawing on the archives of Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s former home, comes to Bendigo Art Gallery.
Elle Murrell

Small Business

Knowing When To Call In The Experts, According To KeepCup

This Melbourne-born business has taken the world by storm, but they haven't gone it alone.
Fiona Killackey

Architecture

A Concrete House In A Coastal Setting

Exploring Australian beachside Brutalism, with 'The Concrete House' by AuHaus in Torquay.
Miriam McGarry

Indigenous Art

A Joyful Exhibition Featuring Some Of Australia's Most Talented Indigenous Artists

A group exhibition and celebration of Australia's first Indigenous owned and operated gallery.

Creative People

11 Great Craftspeople Who Can Make You A Table

A round-up of the best bespoke furniture makers and designers in Australia!
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

News

A Zen Group Show In Sydney

Saint Cloche gallery celebrates the feeling of home with CASA, an end-of-year group exhibition.
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Home Designed For Connection

A dual occupancy sub-division results in a surprisingly roomy home for six (!) - the 'Connect Six' House in Brighton, by Whiting Architects....
Lucy Feagins
  8 hours ago

Art

An Exhibition of Modernist Suburban Homes, Painted In Brilliant Detail

Artist Robyn Sweaney looks back to the modernist homes of the 1960s, in a new exhibition at Arthouse Gallery in Sydney.

Food

Alice & Marlon's Amazing Wholegrain Mustard

WHO KNEW it was so easy to make your own mustard? SO much better than the store bought variety – think Xmas and summer BBQ crowdpleaser!
Alice Johnson
  11 hours ago

Regional

Surreal Scenes At Mountaintop Mushrooms

Our regional columnists discover a world of wonder inside an unassuming shed in South-East Queensland.
Karen Locke

Every Painting Tells A Story

Uncovering The Hidden Symbolism In NGA's New Blockbuster: 'Love & Desire'

Our collaboration with National Gallery of Australia, celebrating their incredible new exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from London...

News

ACCA’s Explosive New Program Of Reality-Warping Works

The first pieces commissioned by The Macfarlane Fund supporting emerging artists to create career-defining works.
Sponsored

News

Having A Nice Time!

The Melbourne pop-up plant and gift shop with a focus on plants and local makers.
Sally Tabart
  8 hours ago

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

'Two-in-One' Northcote Warehouse

The unconventional, self-built home of ARIA award-winning musician Wally Maloney, and interior designer/woodworker Leah Hudson-Smith.

Homes

A Hidden, Architectural Dream Home In Elsternwick

Nestled in an unexpected spot on the site of a former tennis court, this bold, contemporary home captures the discerning aethestic of owners...

Homes

A Handcrafted Cabin In Gippsland

Interior designer Andrea Moore’s contemporary rural country cabin, nestled in South Gippsland, Victoria.

This Week

News

Frida Kahlo In Bendigo

An exclusive exhibition drawing on the archives of Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s former home, comes to Bendigo Art Gallery.
Elle Murrell

Architecture

A Home That Balances Mid-Century And Modern

Hindley & Co architects bring mid-century design into the 21st century with elegance and restraint, in Newtown, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

News

An Australian Christmas Story Takes Over Fed Square

Beci Orpin illustrates a distinctly Australian Christmas story in collaboration with creative film producers General Strike.
Sally Tabart

Art

An Exhibition of Modernist Suburban Homes, Painted In Brilliant Detail

Artist Robyn Sweaney looks back to the modernist homes of the 1960s, in a new exhibition at Arthouse Gallery in Sydney.

News

A Zen Group Show In Sydney

Saint Cloche gallery celebrates the feeling of home with CASA, an end-of-year group exhibition.
Sally Tabart

News

Having A Nice Time!

The Melbourne pop-up plant and gift shop with a focus on plants and local makers.
Sally Tabart
  8 hours ago

Creative People

11 Great Craftspeople Who Can Make You A Table

A round-up of the best bespoke furniture makers and designers in Australia!
Lucy Feagins
  19 hours ago

Architecture

A Concrete House In A Coastal Setting

Exploring Australian beachside Brutalism, with 'The Concrete House' by AuHaus in Torquay.
Miriam McGarry

News

ACCA’s Explosive New Program Of Reality-Warping Works

The first pieces commissioned by The Macfarlane Fund supporting emerging artists to create career-defining works.
Sponsored

Architecture

A Home Designed For Connection

A dual occupancy sub-division results in a surprisingly roomy home for six (!) - the 'Connect Six' House in Brighton, by Whiting Architects....
Lucy Feagins
  8 hours ago

Regional

Surreal Scenes At Mountaintop Mushrooms

Our regional columnists discover a world of wonder inside an unassuming shed in South-East Queensland.
Karen Locke

Food

Alice & Marlon's Amazing Wholegrain Mustard

WHO KNEW it was so easy to make your own mustard? SO much better than the store bought variety – think Xmas and summer BBQ crowdpleaser!
Alice Johnson
  11 hours ago

Indigenous Art

A Joyful Exhibition Featuring Some Of Australia's Most Talented Indigenous Artists

A group exhibition and celebration of Australia's first Indigenous owned and operated gallery.

Every Painting Tells A Story

Uncovering The Hidden Symbolism In NGA's New Blockbuster: 'Love & Desire'

Our collaboration with National Gallery of Australia, celebrating their incredible new exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces from London...

Small Business

Knowing When To Call In The Experts, According To KeepCup

This Melbourne-born business has taken the world by storm, but they haven't gone it alone.
Fiona Killackey

Similar Stories

Homes

'Two-in-One' Northcote Warehouse

The unconventional, self-built home of ARIA award-winning musician Wally Maloney, and interior designer/woodworker Leah Hudson-Smith.

Homes

A Hidden, Architectural Dream Home In Elsternwick

Built on the site of a former tennis court, this bold, contemporary home belongs to fashion designer Dana Burrows and architect Graham Bu...

Homes

A Handcrafted Cabin In Gippsland

Interior designer Andrea Moore’s contemporary rural country cabin, nestled in South Gippsland, Victoria.