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A Family Home That Channels Miami In Melbourne

Homes

Emma Abrahams, founder and creative director of Heart of Bone, is a woman with a distinct sense of style. So, it stands to reason that her home would have equal flair!

We take a tour through the renovated 1970’s Studley Park house that Emma shares with husband Justin (co-founder and director of Pedla), their two kids aged 6 and 12, Ghost the black German shepherd and Shadow the black rescue cat. Despite Emma’s style credentials, she lost the battle with Justin to fit out the home in an all black palette – instead Justin triumphed with his preferred bright, white walls. A win for everyone, we think!

31st July, 2019

The unbelievable Studley Park home of jewellery designer to the stars, Emma Abrahams of Heart of Bone. Concrete planters from Emma’s husband Justin’s grandparents house. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pictured inside is an artwork created by Emma. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Emma started her bespoke jewellery label, Heart of Bone, in 2013. Since then it’s been seen on celebrities around the world the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce! Emma is wearing Maticevski, Heart of Bone and Ellery. ALEXANDER THE GREAT artwork by Emma, from her solo exhibition ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ at Sophie Gannon Gallery. Just in frame is the Infinity lightbox created by Kristina Hampel for PS Light Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original B&B Italia sofa ‘Camaleonda’ by Mario Bellini. African tribal chairs were a gift to Emma from Justin for her 29th birthday. Green silk rug from RCBD. Corn cob stool from Third Drawer Down. Mixed media artwork created by one of Emma’s oldest friends, Matthew Eddeluttel, a street artist and graphic designer. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original B&B Italia sofa ‘Camaleonda’ by Mario Bellini. Samoan pot used as a coffee table. Artwork created by Emma for a window installation in her antique restoration store in 2001. Corn cob stool from Third Drawer Down.  Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original B&B Italia sofa ‘Camaleonda’ by Mario Bellini. Samoan pot used as a coffee table. Corn cob stool from Third Drawer Down.Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: Artwork in entrance purchased at Auction by artist John Crawford. Cane and crystal dog Justin found through one of the suppliers in the Husk days (the couple was the original founders of Husk). Right: 19th-century French chair reupholstered in a Chanel Boucle purchased from a French fabric supplier. Geoff Nees papercut artwork. 18th-century chaise lounge that was a beloved piece of Justin’s fabulous grandmother, Zion Abrahams. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tom Dixon lights. Bespoke oak table by Kim Moir. Black dining chairs from Space. Flowers by Flowers Vasette. 19th-century French chair reupholstered in a Chanel Boucle purchased from a French fabric supplier. Sofa from Hub by Patricia Urquiola. Carpet from RCBD Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Viking stove. Collection of copper pots and pans from Scullerymade and flea markets all over the world. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: Looking into the living room. Artwork created by Emma. Copper cladding on door frames. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

1970s Danish chair reupholstered in pink velvet. Bronze stag from Emma’s great Aunt’s collection. Gilded 1960s chairs. Skull paper cut artwork by an unknown artist. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

B&B Italia marble coffee table from Space. Bronze lost wax sculptures from Craig McDonald at Garage Art Foundry. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Alba stone (as throughout the house) in the bathroom. 1970s Jade tree from Camberwell Market. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The master bedroom. 1960s Italian porcelain lamps. Both artworks by Emma. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 31st July 2019

‘I wanted the house all black tones and Justin wanted all white’ – Emma Abrahams.

When Emma Abrahams (of Heart of Bone) and husband Justin (of Pedla) purchased their Studley Park home in 2002, it hadn’t been lived in for some time. The house was originally designed for a family of five by architect Alan Synman in 1970, and Emma explains ‘we lived in it for a while with all the multicolour shagpile carpets and bespoke 70s wallpapers.’ While it is difficult to imagine this minimal home ever being filled with wild and wonderful colours and textures, Emma confirms ‘we had a few crazy parties here in those days.’

After a year of shagpile under the feet, Emma and Justin engaged architects Coy Yiontis to renovate their home, and bring the aesthetic a little more in line with the couple’s own style. Emma explains that ‘most of the works we did were cosmetic’, but the major work was in gutting the middle of the home, to create an open plan kitchen and living space with a cosy fire. In the backyard, the pool and landscaping were given a new lease on life, and two enormous palm trees (wedding gifts from friends) were made right at home.

With two creative directors at the helm, Emma admits there were some robust discussions over the colour palette of the home. ‘I wanted the house in all black tones and Justin wanted all white.’ Justin won (‘this time’ Emma notes!) and the interiors of the home are painted in Dulux ¼-strength Berkshire White.

Against these bright white walls, the family have created a contemporary, fun Miami beach vibe. Emma highlights the 18th century Venetian chaise-lounge from Justin’s flamboyant grandmother as a favourite piece. Originally upholstered in ‘hot pink velvet’, the chair has now been refurbished to fit into the family’s sleek aesthetic.

For Emma and Justin, the Studley park location is perfectly positioned near both of their Collingwood offices, and provides great walking tracks for their German Shepherd. Emma highlights ‘the streets are quiet enough for the kids to ride and scooter around, and the garden faces west so its filled with beautiful warm afternoon light.’ While Melbourne weather can’t quite match Miami’s, the pool, tropical plants and bright interiors definitely make this home feel like an eternal holiday!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net