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 Home With A Warm Hart

Homes

When our photographer and stylist went to document doula Sunni Hart’s Eltham home, they were immediately welcomed by six year old Fox, who confidently took them on a tour of his room, introduced them to his pet fish, and the balcony where he feeds the parrots.

While Fox’s guided explanation is for visitors only, today we share Sunni’s tour of this dreamy gum-tree surrounded rental that she shares with partner Pete Baxter, and kids Fox (6) and Dizzy (8 months).

17th July, 2019

The warm, sunny rental home in Eltham of Sunni Hart, Pete Baxter and their kids Fox and Dizzy. Looking into the kitchen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lisa Sorgini photo looking over the breakfast table. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The home was originally designed by Australian designer, builder and landscape architect Alistair Knox, who is renowned for many wonderful homes in the Eltham area. Pop and Scott Dreamweaver Pot. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The reading nook with a delightful ‘hodge-podge’ of secondhand furniture. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Plenty of indoor greenery creates a wonderful link between interior and exterior. Ercol chairs. Tiled pizza shop table. Pop and Scott cylinder potsPhoto – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A corner of the kitchen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The reading nook and and one (!) of the fireplaces! Painting by Gabriel Curtain. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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

Nell Pearson painting. Alice McIntosh sculpture. Candlesticks from Modern Times. Found water vessel. Anchor pot. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The master bedroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dizzy’s cot in the master bedroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kids’ playroom. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The kids’ playroom +Fox’s room. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pete holding Dizzy, Fox and Sunni. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

”I sobbed with happiness that all I could see were trees around me’ Sunni said of the first night they moved in. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Strong Eltham vibes! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sunni and Dizzy outside their sprawling home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Another house on the property. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 17th July 2019

‘I sobbed with happiness that all I could see were trees around me’ – Sunni Hart.

This sprawling Eltham property is home to doula Sunni Hart, partner Pete Baxter (founder of Hope St Radio) and their two adorable kids Fox and Dizzy. However, moving into this bright, expansive home wasn’t completely straight forward. After Sunni initially spied the property for sale on Modernist Australia, she had to admit it was beyond her price-range and move on, a little heartbroken. Months later, and still daydreaming about the Alistair Knox designed home, the opportunity to rent popped up – and Sunni and family jumped! She cheerfully explains ‘it was truly meant to be, and made me believe in manifestation just that little bit more.’

Sunni reflects on the day they moved in, with baby Dizzy just eight weeks old. ‘I sat on the lounge room floor amongst all the boxes to feed him and sobbed with happiness that all I could see were trees around me.’ The Eltham retreat is vast (friends live in the hexagon house in the garden), but Sunni explains that it still possesses enormous ‘hygge and warmth, with so much beautiful natural light.’

The interiors blend the history of the house (including a pool table built in 1890 from fiddleback wood, and bluestone stone floor) with Sunni and Pete’s own ‘happy hodge-podge’ of treasured possessions. Sunni describes a mutual love of natural materials and bright colours, that create an understated eclectic vibe here. The home is scattered with artworks from friends (including a painting by Gabriel Curtin and collection of Nell Pearson works), ‘lucky finds’ items of furniture, and a ‘gazillion’ plants.

Sunni and Pete’s life in Eltham is spent sharing the balcony with bold king parrots, and meandering through the bushy surrounds. We can understand why Sunni fell in love with this place!

This Week

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...

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

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
  17 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
  9 hours ago

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

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

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
3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

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

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

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

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!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

The Tree House Home Of Stylist Louella Boitel-Gill

An interior designer and stylist shares her unique family home, perched in the treetops at Avalon Beach, NSW

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

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!

This Week

3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

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

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!
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...

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

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

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

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
  9 hours ago

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

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

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

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
  17 hours ago

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

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

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

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

Similar Stories

Homes

The Tree House Home Of Stylist Louella Boitel-Gill

An interior designer and stylist shares her unique family home, perched in the treetops at Avalon Beach, NSW

Homes

A Warrandyte Delight, With Sage And Clare’s Phoebe Bell

The colourful mid-century modern home of Sage and Clare's Phoebe Bell and family.

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!