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

TDF Design Awards

Announcing... The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

It's time to enter The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards! Our broad-reaching and inclusive awards program that shines a spotlight on Aust...
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

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

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

TDF Design Awards

Announcing... The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

It's time to enter The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards! Our broad-reaching and inclusive awards program that shines a spotlight on Aust...
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

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!