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

Sustainable Homes

An Unbelievably Energy Efficient 100-Year-Old Workers’ Cottage!

With the expertise of Altereco Design, this cute cottage in Yarraville is now an ultra sustainable homed home, powered predominantly by sola...

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

News

A New Exhibition Celebrates Visionary Black Photographers From Around The World

Bunjil Place Gallery hosts ‘New Black Vanguard’, an exhibition highlighting the overlap between art and fashion through the eyes...
Sasha Gattermayr
  Less than an hour ago

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

Homes

An Expertly Renovated Edwardian Family Home In Northcote

The Edwardian home of Catherine Keating and family in Northcote has been given a fresh overhaul by Clare Cousins Architects.
Lucy Feagins
  6 hours ago

TDF Design Awards

Presenting The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020 Residential Architecture Finalists!

From an off-the-grid cottage to a sustainable urban commune, these are the best residential architecture projects in Australia.
Lucy Feagins

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...

Regional

A Micro Flower Farm In Trentham, Decades In The Making

A florist devoted to holistic botanical living has transformed this dilapidated miner's cottage into boutique accommodation - with its own f...
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The Epic Contemporary Revival Of A Pre-Federation Homestead

An 1839 Georgian-era mansion in Tasmania undergoes a specialist update and sympathetic extension by Cumulus Studio.
Sasha Gattermayr
  22 hours ago

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

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

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

News

A New Exhibition Celebrates Visionary Black Photographers From Around The World

Bunjil Place Gallery hosts ‘New Black Vanguard’, an exhibition highlighting the overlap between art and fashion through the eyes...
Sasha Gattermayr
  Less than an hour ago

Regional

A Micro Flower Farm In Trentham, Decades In The Making

A florist devoted to holistic botanical living has transformed this dilapidated miner's cottage into boutique accommodation - with its own f...
Sasha Gattermayr

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

The Epic Contemporary Revival Of A Pre-Federation Homestead

An 1839 Georgian-era mansion in Tasmania undergoes a specialist update and sympathetic extension by Cumulus Studio.
Sasha Gattermayr
  22 hours ago

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

TDF Design Awards

Presenting The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020 Residential Architecture Finalists!

From an off-the-grid cottage to a sustainable urban commune, these are the best residential architecture projects in Australia.
Lucy Feagins

Homes

An Expertly Renovated Edwardian Family Home In Northcote

The Edwardian home of Catherine Keating and family in Northcote has been given a fresh overhaul by Clare Cousins Architects.
Lucy Feagins
  6 hours ago

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

Sustainable Homes

An Unbelievably Energy Efficient 100-Year-Old Workers’ Cottage!

With the expertise of Altereco Design, this cute cottage in Yarraville is now an ultra sustainable homed home, powered predominantly by sola...

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

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.