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

An Artist's Leafy, Bohemian Sanctuary In Alphington

Homes

Edgbastion is a 1880s mansion with a robust Melbourne history! In the 1920s it was purchased by a group of artists, writers and teachers, and the bohemian gang converted the house into three separate residences, but continued to share the ‘large backyard and late nights.’ When the home turned 150 years old, a party was thrown for the iconic home.

Today, we take a tour through the Alphington property with artist Suzanne Corbett, who, after forty years of developing the garden and enjoying the close access to the Yarra and parklands, is ready to pass the apartment over to new custodians. It won’t be on the market for long!

5th June, 2019

A group of artists purchased the Alphington mansion in the 1920s, separating it into three separate residences. It became known as a hub for parties and late-night dancing! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking through from the kitchen tiled doorway panel into the sitting room. Painting by Suzanne Corbett. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bits and pieces collected over 40 years of living at this home! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Suzanne painted the kitchen a vivid chartreuse colour, Dulux’s Costa Del Sol, and delicate flowers on the floor. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Suzanne in her garden, which is her pride and joy. A bank of high graft orange trees behind in a north facing view. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pots and pans in the kitchen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘I have developed the garden over forty years to create an intimate and serene space in which to equally entertain, relax in and be inspired by’, tells Suzanne. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Many years ago Suzanne created a Colour Creation booklet created for Dulux, demonstrating decorative techniques achieved with paints. Suzanne prepared and carried out the illustrated examples of these techniques, and the cover picture is of her sitting room .Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The sitting room through to the bay window and a garden view. Painting by Suzanne Corbett. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: The mantle shelf. Picasso studio vase. Murano glass dish. Painting by Max Sherlock of the Heidelberg River Valley. 1920s Ginori turquoise ceramic vase. Painting by Suzanne of the ground floor entrance in a former home. Turquoise vase from the Venini studio in Venice. Right: a roaring fire in the cosy sitting room, looking through to the kitchen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bedroom doorway into the study, decorative pediment, white floor. Boards painted with Dulux’s Antique White USA .Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Upper floor study, with Suzanne’s painting tools. Algernon the cat takes in the noonday sun. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: Study shelf details and work materials. Right: Upper floor bedroom view through the bay window to olive tree branches. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 5th June 2019

When the home turned 150 years old, a party was thrown for the iconic home, complete with a stripper priest giving a blessing at midnight!

The Edgbastion property was built in the 1880s by Thomas Stokes as a stately family home. At the time, the Alphington house was surrounded by farmland, but as the city and suburbs crept out, the property caught the eye of a group of bohemian friends. Closely located to the artists of the Heidelberg school, it was converted into three apartments and was a hub for parties, art, and late night dancing.

Suzanne moved into her apartment in 1980, and shares the home with her cat Algernon. The architectural integrity of the home has always been paramount to Suzanne, and the residents have twice ‘saved the house from the wrecking ball’ and ‘inappropriate development.’ Drawn to the character and Victorian dimensions of high ceilings and long windows, Suzanne has only made small cosmetic changes to her home.

Using her artistic skills, Suzanne has added a fresh lick of paint, a stone and shell grotto (!), new fireplace and floor stencils on the pine floorboards. She has also spent the last forty years tending to the garden ‘to create an intimate and serene space in which to equally entertain, relax in and be inspired by.’

The home is filled with Suzanne’s favourite objects, which sit perfectly in this richly layered home, characterised by 3.5 metre ceilings and long sash windows. Special pieces include the painting by Max Sherlock (of the river and bush in Heidelberg), Suzanne’s triangular carved wood chair, and ‘bar’ cabinet that ‘has a particular warmth, and gracefully anchors the space in which it sits.’

What initially drew Suzanne to the home was the quiet seclusion, access to the Yarra and parklands, while still being close to the city. Between the generous bay windows, open fireplace, backyard studio, and ‘simple and purposeful set of rooms’ this heritage apartment is sure to find another passionate custodian soon!

Check out the listing for Suzanne’s fabulous apartment here

This Week

Architecture

A Restrained, Minimal-Waste Home In Byron Bay

Sustainable design principles and a tight budget underpin this home by Studio Jackson Scott.
Amelia Barnes

In Print

Own A Little Piece Of Ken Done!

The iconic Australian artist releases a series of four mini-books that document some of his greatest works, along with charming personal obs...
Ken Done

Creative People

Get Your Goals In Check, With These Original Artworks By Beci Orpin x kikki.K

kikki K has teamed up with the legendary Melbourne artist to create three original artworks based on new year's goals. Here's how you can wi...

Interiors

A ’60s Cronulla Home Gets A Colour-Rich Makeover!

Personality fills this renovated mid-century home designed by Lymesmith and Amber Road.
Amelia Barnes

News

Blooming With Love In This Silent Auction

Join Cecilia Fox, Katie Marx and Georgie Boy in raising funds for beloved creative Shonel Bryant of Nomad Styling, who is embarking on treat...
Miriam McGarry

Dream Job

Beatrice Preston Zly, Product Packaging Designer at Aēsop

The RMIT graduate shares how hard work, passion and preparation helped her land her dream job at the iconic Australian brand!

Shopping

Level Up Your Bathroom With Baina Organic Cotton Towels

These modern, organic cotton towels make us want to ditch every weird towel in our linen closets.
Miriam McGarry

Designers At Home

At Home With Stylist Simone Haag

The celebrated interior stylist takes us inside her Ringwood home and offers advice on how to style with technology, in partnership with Sam...

Christmas Countdown

Bookish Gifts For Christmas With Thames & Hudson - And 30% Off!

Today, we’re perusing the bookshelves at Thames & Hudson… who are offering a staggering 30% off all of our Top Picks for TDF Readers!

Art

The Art Of Abstraction With Emma Currie

In the lead up to our Art&Artefact exhibition, we visit the studio of one incredibly talented emerging Melbourne painter.

News

Museum-Quality Art Pieces At An Affordable Price!

LUMAS Gallery’s Melbourne outpost makes limited art editions and photographic artworks more accessible for all.
Sponsored

News

Share The Cheer With ‘Cake + Kindness’ Christmas Edition!

The wonderful Merchant Road Events, La Marzocco Home and Market Lane Coffee are coming together December 7 for a bake sale that supports wom...
Miriam McGarry

Homes

An Interior Designer's 'Comfortably Minimal' Home

The interior designer shares her renovated Glen Iris home, styled for chic and relaxed family living.

Stays

A Magically Restorative Waterfront Getaway In Tasmania

Once a dilapidated shack, Captains Rest is now one of the most in-demand boutique accommodations in Tassie!
Amelia Barnes

Christmas Countdown

Local Wines, Craft Beers and Gift Packs At Blackhearts & Sparrows - With 10% Off!

We've perused the shelves of our favourite local wine supplier, to create our very own (discounted!) Xmas gift guide for you!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Art

Rone · The Omega Project Location Revealed

The Melbourne artist’s open-for-inspection – a poignant homage to the beauty in decay of Australian architecture.
Elle Murrell

Homes

This Rare Robin Boyd Original Makes An Extraordinary Family Home

The Gratton family's beautifully renovated mid century home, in the sprawling bush of Warrandyte!
Fiona Killackey

Homes

A Cosy Urban Cabin Surrounded By Lush Greenery

The fuss-free North Fitzroy renovation of Cyndi Dawes.

This Week

Homes

An Interior Designer's 'Comfortably Minimal' Home

The interior designer shares her renovated Glen Iris home, styled for chic and relaxed family living.

News

Share The Cheer With ‘Cake + Kindness’ Christmas Edition!

The wonderful Merchant Road Events, La Marzocco Home and Market Lane Coffee are coming together December 7 for a bake sale that supports wom...
Miriam McGarry

Interiors

A ’60s Cronulla Home Gets A Colour-Rich Makeover!

Personality fills this renovated mid-century home designed by Lymesmith and Amber Road.
Amelia Barnes

Christmas Countdown

Bookish Gifts For Christmas With Thames & Hudson - And 30% Off!

Today, we’re perusing the bookshelves at Thames & Hudson… who are offering a staggering 30% off all of our Top Picks for TDF Readers!

Stays

A Magically Restorative Waterfront Getaway In Tasmania

Once a dilapidated shack, Captains Rest is now one of the most in-demand boutique accommodations in Tassie!
Amelia Barnes

Designers At Home

At Home With Stylist Simone Haag

The celebrated interior stylist takes us inside her Ringwood home and offers advice on how to style with technology, in partnership with Sam...

Christmas Countdown

Local Wines, Craft Beers and Gift Packs At Blackhearts & Sparrows - With 10% Off!

We've perused the shelves of our favourite local wine supplier, to create our very own (discounted!) Xmas gift guide for you!

Architecture

A Restrained, Minimal-Waste Home In Byron Bay

Sustainable design principles and a tight budget underpin this home by Studio Jackson Scott.
Amelia Barnes

Creative People

Get Your Goals In Check, With These Original Artworks By Beci Orpin x kikki.K

kikki K has teamed up with the legendary Melbourne artist to create three original artworks based on new year's goals. Here's how you can wi...

Shopping

Level Up Your Bathroom With Baina Organic Cotton Towels

These modern, organic cotton towels make us want to ditch every weird towel in our linen closets.
Miriam McGarry

In Print

Own A Little Piece Of Ken Done!

The iconic Australian artist releases a series of four mini-books that document some of his greatest works, along with charming personal obs...
Ken Done

News

Museum-Quality Art Pieces At An Affordable Price!

LUMAS Gallery’s Melbourne outpost makes limited art editions and photographic artworks more accessible for all.
Sponsored

Art

The Art Of Abstraction With Emma Currie

In the lead up to our Art&Artefact exhibition, we visit the studio of one incredibly talented emerging Melbourne painter.

Dream Job

Beatrice Preston Zly, Product Packaging Designer at Aēsop

The RMIT graduate shares how hard work, passion and preparation helped her land her dream job at the iconic Australian brand!

News

Blooming With Love In This Silent Auction

Join Cecilia Fox, Katie Marx and Georgie Boy in raising funds for beloved creative Shonel Bryant of Nomad Styling, who is embarking on treat...
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Art

Rone · The Omega Project Location Revealed

The Melbourne artist’s poignant homage to beauty in decay.
Elle Murrell

Homes

This Rare Robin Boyd Original Makes An Extraordinary Family Home

A beautifully renovated mid century home in the sprawling bush of Warrandyte!
Fiona Killackey

Homes

A Cosy Urban Cabin Surrounded By Lush Greenery

The fuss-free North Fitzroy renovation of Cyndi Dawes.