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

A Stylish, Sentimental Home In St Kilda

Homes

Our eternally chic stylist Annie Portelli came back from this photo shoot completely buzzing about the St Kilda home of Barb Hyman and her family. Annie (whose own apartment is one of our most popular home tours!) enthused ‘I was as impressed as I was envious. This is the DREAM home!’

Barb’s home has undergone some serious renovations since the family moved in 2013 – transforming a once derelict, grand mansion into a chic, pared back, yet richly layered family home. She shares this sprawling terrace with her three kids, her partner, and his dog named Thai.

24th July, 2019

The effortlessly chic St Kilda home of Barb Hyman. Scarf from est Living used as affordable artwork. Kitchen storage cupboard from Izzi and Popo. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Incredible PET Lamp woven lampshades (using recycled plastic bottles!) from Safari Living. Wooden shutters from Manon bis.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘I am very sentimental about everything. I don’t have anything that doesn’t mean something to me’, tells Barb. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking through the dining room out to the garden. Lamps in distance by PET Lamp from Safari Living. Washed blue cabinet from Manon bis. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Barb’s spectacular heritage home is COVERED with thriving creeper vines. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Barb in her lush European garden, which she created with the help of local landscaper Gavin Smith. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A quiet nook. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A divine example of a historic home, with a new heart. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Couch purchased from a friend for $300, recovered in blue velvet. Slate grey couch by Paola Navone. Missoni pink rug from Spence & Lyda. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom. A simple desk where Barb sometimes works. Bed from Weylandts. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom. Rug purchased in Morocco. Oversized leather chair from Modern Times. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Beautiful light in the master bedroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Objects from Barb’s travels. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

There are two staircases in this home (!), and no internal doors! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bed from Weylandts. Rug from Morocco. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

One of Barb’s daughter’s rooms – fun and colourful whilst elegant and restrained. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The perfect spot for curling up with a book. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 24th July 2019

‘I am very sentimental about everything. I don’t have anything that doesn’t mean something to me.’ – Barb Hyman.

When Barb Hyman moved into this sprawling St Kilda terrace in 2013, there was a lot of work to do! She evocatively describes this history of the property as shaped by ‘a probable mix of debauchery and neglect!’

The largest job was knocking down the lean-to attached to the back of the house, and replacing it with large steel framed glass doors, that welcome light into the home. In addition to plastering unfinished walls, and providing support to the original wooden stairs – the garden was what sold Barb on the home, and has been her biggest challenge (and reward!).

Barb explains that when she purchased the property, the garden had ‘only one tree, a fig tree, and loads and loads of hard-waste rubble in the soil.’ After spending endless weekends clearing out the space and filling tips, Barb created a l’orangerie (orange orchard) out the front, and a ‘wild Mediterranean style garden out the back’ with the assistance of brilliant local landscaper Gavin Smith.

Inside, the home is brought to life with personal touches that sit gently within the grand proportions of the space. Barb explains, ‘I am very sentimental about everything. I don’t have anything that doesn’t mean something to me.’ Our photographer and stylist found little notes and drawings from her kids, poked into a gap in the window sill or pinned to the side of an antique dresser. For Barb, the most precious objects are the books she made when the children were babies, and ‘tell the story of their growing up, with drawings, pictures and loads of quirky mementos.’

While Barb is charmingly elusive about how she ended up in this St Kilda residence (she explains ‘lets just say it wasn’t via the usual means – serendipity, lots of patience, and a story best shared over a bottle of wine’), it is clear that she is right at home. She enthuses ‘I feel eternally grateful to live here and come home to this space. The greenery, watching the garden grow and change shapes in the seasons, it’s an absolute gift!’

This Week

Architecture

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

A $60,000 budget goes a long way in this ambitious project in Flowerpot, Tasmania.
Miriam McGarry

TDF Design Awards

Celebrating Australia's Best Stylists And Art Directors

Highlighting ten outstanding styling and art direction projects, shortlisted for the TDF Design Awards!

News

Join The ‘Garden Party’

A star-studded group exhibition at BSIDE Gallery from August 21-25th of illustration, textiles and ceramics that celebrates growing together...
Miriam McGarry
  7 hours ago

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Seasonal Flavours : Citrus

One of our FAVE foodies, Julia Busuttil-Nishimura joins TDF this month as a columnist! First up, she shares a flavour-packed roasted caulifl...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Art

Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Direct from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ arrives at the Bendig...
Miriam McGarry

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan

Interiors

Brown Is The New Neutral

Brown is back! Lauren Li gives us the lowdown on how to add warmth and texture to your home, with this somewhat divisive colour.
Lauren Li
  10 hours ago

Homes

A Prahran East Atelier Adorned With Layers Of History

Revered Melbourne interior designer Tigger Hall shares her artistic home, filled with objects from all over the globe.
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

News

Australian Ceramics Open Studios Is On Again This Weekend!

Clay artists around Australia are opening their doors this weekend for Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019.
Amelia Barnes

News

Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence In Conversation With The Planthunter

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter sits down with artists Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence in a new conversation series connecting ar...
Amelia Barnes
3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

Our latest video, celebrating a very special collaboration between Sheridan and Grandiflora.

Shopping

Bright New Ceramic Artists On Show At The Old Clare Hotel

An old bottle shop is home to some of Sydney’s best emerging design until this Sunday!
Maggie Scardifield

News

Buxton Contemporary Reflects On 100 Years Of Bauhaus Design

See archival footage and contemporary works inspired by the Bauhaus movement in this Melbourne exhibition.
Amelia Barnes

News

All Are Welcome At North Melbourne School Of Displacement

Learn about and honour the First Nations in this accessible North Melbourne discussion series.
Amelia Barnes
48:47

Podcast

TDF Talks with Architect, IADV Co-founder, and Academic Jefa Greenaway

The trailblazing architect, advocate and academic reflects on his pivotal role as the first indigenous architect to be registered in Victori...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Loving Heritage Restoration

A historic 1870s Armadale home is refurbished to former glory, with contemporary flourish!

Homes

An Artist's Leafy, Bohemian Sanctuary In Alphington

Take a tour through the 120-year-old Alphington home of Suzanne Corbett, now on the market!

Homes

An Incredible Adventure In Renovating An Iconic Piece Of Architectural History

Mary and Marc Parlange take on the challenge of bringing Walter Burley Griffin's Salter House back to life.

This Week

3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

Our latest video, celebrating a very special collaboration between Sheridan and Grandiflora.

Art

Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Direct from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ arrives at the Bendig...
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

A $60,000 budget goes a long way in this ambitious project in Flowerpot, Tasmania.
Miriam McGarry

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan

Homes

A Prahran East Atelier Adorned With Layers Of History

Revered Melbourne interior designer Tigger Hall shares her artistic home, filled with objects from all over the globe.
Lucy Feagins
  18 hours ago

Interiors

Brown Is The New Neutral

Brown is back! Lauren Li gives us the lowdown on how to add warmth and texture to your home, with this somewhat divisive colour.
Lauren Li
  10 hours ago

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Seasonal Flavours : Citrus

One of our FAVE foodies, Julia Busuttil-Nishimura joins TDF this month as a columnist! First up, she shares a flavour-packed roasted caulifl...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Shopping

Bright New Ceramic Artists On Show At The Old Clare Hotel

An old bottle shop is home to some of Sydney’s best emerging design until this Sunday!
Maggie Scardifield

News

Australian Ceramics Open Studios Is On Again This Weekend!

Clay artists around Australia are opening their doors this weekend for Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019.
Amelia Barnes

News

All Are Welcome At North Melbourne School Of Displacement

Learn about and honour the First Nations in this accessible North Melbourne discussion series.
Amelia Barnes

News

Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence In Conversation With The Planthunter

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter sits down with artists Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence in a new conversation series connecting ar...
Amelia Barnes
48:47

Podcast

TDF Talks with Architect, IADV Co-founder, and Academic Jefa Greenaway

The trailblazing architect, advocate and academic reflects on his pivotal role as the first indigenous architect to be registered in Victori...

TDF Design Awards

Celebrating Australia's Best Stylists And Art Directors

Highlighting ten outstanding styling and art direction projects, shortlisted for the TDF Design Awards!

News

Buxton Contemporary Reflects On 100 Years Of Bauhaus Design

See archival footage and contemporary works inspired by the Bauhaus movement in this Melbourne exhibition.
Amelia Barnes

News

Join The ‘Garden Party’

A star-studded group exhibition at BSIDE Gallery from August 21-25th of illustration, textiles and ceramics that celebrates growing together...
Miriam McGarry
  7 hours ago

Similar Stories

Homes

A Loving Heritage Restoration

A historic 1870s Armadale home is refurbished to former glory.

Homes

An Artist's Leafy, Bohemian Sanctuary In Alphington

Take a tour through the 120-year-old Alphington home of Suzanne Corbett, now on the market!

Homes

An Incredible Adventure In Renovating An Iconic Piece Of Architectural History

Mary and Marc Parlange take on the challenge of bringing Walter Burley Griffin's Salter House back to life.