Jenna Holmes, owner and creative director of Plant Mama, moved into her Collingwood home in early 2018 (after moving out of a divine historic Richmond home that was demolished. Devastating.) While the shopfront on Johnston Street looks unassuming from the outside, enter Jenna’s jungle house and find an absolutely enormous two-storey haven – complete with a resplendent Edwardian staircase – right in the hustle and bustle of Collingwood!
Located just a hop, skip and a jump away from both Smith st and Hoddle Street, Jenna’s rented home is located in an area dense with other small businesses. ‘It’s apparently been called “The Friendship Strip” for years – Nicholson Street, Abbotsford to Smith Street, Collingwood’, she says. ‘We all support and know what’s going on with each other, everyone goes to the same café every morning.’
Jenna initially moved in with her friends, who joined forces to transform the space – starting off by painting the interiors all white. When the Plant Mama business started to expand (quickly!) she found she ‘needed a bigger studio’, so she took on the whole space herself, and put her own twist on it. While some would have baulked at the task of overhauling this space and making it feel homey (it really is enormous, especially by Collingwood standards!), Jenna’s can-do attitude and aptitude for paintbrushes and power tools made her the perfect woman for the job.
Given this property is a commercial space, Jenna has been able to make more substantial changes than a regular residential rental. ‘This is the first place that I have been able to paint the walls, and when I realised I was able to, I went completely nuts!’ Jenna ran to Bunnings (literally ran) and purchased Dulux colours Persian Pastel, Highland Green and Government Green paints. Not surprisingly, this bold palette acts as a dramatic backdrop for the many plant vignettes set up around the house. She also renovated the back courtyard, her favourite part of the home, to create a peaceful sanctuary. Because of the layout of the home, Jenna is able to close the residential space off and rent out the incredible downstairs (plant-filled, of course!) living spaces for photoshoots and events, which helps her offset the costs of living in such a coveted spot.
Jenna delightfully describes her home aesthetic as ‘chaotic 70s European/Italian.’ The space is filled with beautiful second-hand pieces, as well as artwork by her brother Cam Holmes, and she emphasises that the thrill of the hunt is half the joy. With its high ceilings, the space is bright and light, and provides a perfect setting for ceramics, paintings and other creations by talented friends. And plenty of plants, of course!
Plant Mama’s amazing Collingwood space is available for event and photoshoot hire! Click here for more info.