A Cosy Urban Cabin Surrounded By Lush Greenery

Do you have your eye on a house down the street? Well sometimes, sitting tight on a dream property really pays off! The North Fitzroy home of human centered designer Cyndi Dawes wasn’t on the market for years. But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.

Cyndi renovated the property to re-fresh the original footprint out the front, and expand to a new wing at the rear with the help of architect Stuart Harrison, and interior designer Jessica Nixon of Okologi. Cyndi shares the home with her daughter Ruby, and two groodels Rosie and Blue.

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The unassuming façade of Cyndi Dawes’ sweet North Fitzroy home. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A slice of the kitchen and dining, looking out to the garden. Table by Mark Tuckey (‘when he was at Ancient Modes!’ recalls Cyndi). Print on wall by Belynda Henry. Outdoor table by Ingrain Designs. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Clever landscape design makes this small urban site feel dense and lush with greenery! Landscape design by Amanda Oliver.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The cosy living room. Sideboard and chair from Grandfather’s Axe. Blackwood coffee table circa 1955 from Cyndi’s parents. Art from left-right: David Bromley tea towel from Third Drawer Down (framed); Crocodile print by Kei Kalak; three prints underneath by Hollie Chastain, purchased in Newcastle. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The monochromatic kitchen. Tiles by Urban Edge. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The link between the kitchen and back pavilion. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A corner of the kitchen. Storage box by Bonnie and Neil. Handmade wooden boards by friends. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The ‘treehouse’ bedroom. Side table by Ingrain Designs. Bedlinen by Cultiver and Kip & Co. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The third bedroom, otherwise known as ‘the treehouse’. Chair by Grandfather’s Axe. Cushions by Southwood. Rug by Loom. ‘This is my favourite room in the house’, Cyndi tells ‘it’s like being in a greenery eyrie…my neighbours Mulberry and its birds, the street plane trees and the Merri Creek foliage can all be seen from this room.’ Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The second living room, otherwise known as ‘the retreat’. Couch by MCM House. Rug by Loom. Chair by Curious Grace. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Cyndi and her gorgeous groodle Blue in the courtyard. Table by Ingrain Design. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Halfmoon bedhead by Leÿer from Greenhouse Interiors. Side table is vintage Country Road. French bed linen purchased in France. Pillows from Kip and Co. Cushion by Kara Rosenlund from Harvest Textiles. Antique Indian Kantha (throw) purchased in India.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The master bedroom. ‘Black Betty No 1’ print by Amelia Anderson. Roar+Rabbit bedlinen from West Elm. Cushions from Southwood Home. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Magical garden by Amanda Oliver Gardens. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
27th of February 2019

Cyndi Dawes lived in her North Fitzroy home for a year before undertaking a thorough makeover of the house. Working with the expert guidance of Stuart Harrison and Jessica Nixon, the property was reconfigured to create new light filled spaces, garden views, an extension for a new kitchen, laundry, living space, bedroom and bathroom. The redesign created two distinct living zones, connected by the kitchen as the heart of the home.

After deciding her previous family home exceeded her spatial and lifestyle needs, Cyndi identified this home down the street as an ideal location and size, despite it not being on the market. She kept a keen eye on it for several years, and pounced when it became available. When it comes to real estate, patience is a virtue!

Cyndi describes her home as ‘welcoming, feminine, generous hearted, evolving and providing a green sanctuary from the world.’ The house is a reflection of Cyndi’s personality, and features a collection of items she loves and has collected over a life time of travel.

The home is warm and vibrant, and lined with rugs that Cyndi explains as ‘taking 20 years to find!’ She highlights ‘I am now in LOVE with my gorgeous Loom rug in the front living room, it is full of colour and vibrancy and is just gorgeous to walk on.’ Other favourite aspects of the home include the ‘deep murky swamp green cabinetry’ in the kitchen and laundry, and the Belynda Henry artwork that brings a sparkle of colour into the kitchen. Most beloved is the garden, and the way the new extension frames the lush greenery of the outdoors.

Architect Stuart and interior designer Jessica were instrumental in shaping the house to be a highly functional and un-fussy space. Cyndi highlights the bathroom, kitchen and launry as the trickiest rooms to negotiate, but after working closely with the team for eight months, everything now feels ‘just right.’

This super functional and beautiful home is located in North Fitzroy, which Cyndi loves so much, she would almost like to keep slightly secret. She loves the small village feel of the suburb, the walking paths along Merri Creek, and easy access to Melbourne’s best bread!

She highlights ‘North Fitzroy is also home to a lovely mix of people, and loads of quirky dogs which makes for entertaining walks.’ We think Cyndi’s pooches Rosie and Blue are some of the luckiest dogs in Melbourne.

Love this home? Cyndi rents out a room of her house on Air BnB! Click here for more information.

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