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The Rainbow Rental

Homes

Melbournians tend to be renowned for favouring neutral palettes… but prop and installation designer Kitiya Palaskas does NOT shy away from colour!

Kit shares this bright and beautiful Pascoe Vale rental with her partner, signwriter Matthew Rhynehart and their two cats Tina and Gustavo. Today we delve into this vibrant wonderland of ‘carefully curated clutter.’

16th October, 2019

Cash Only and ‘R’ sign Matt Rhynehart Signs, and photos from the Mercado Merced in Mexico City by Kitiya. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Colourful cat print by Joel Melrose, Cat painting by Robert Shannon, Felt cat pennant by Kitiya, Milk Bars book by Eamon Donnelly, giant planter pot by Matt Rhynehart, rhombus trivets by Champ. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kitiya Palaskas and Matthew Rhynehart in their Pascoe Vale rental. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pizza pennant from The People’s Pennant, painted vase from West Elm, and woven baskets from Mexico. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tiki mug from the LuWow, monstera drink stirrers from Sunny Life, handblown glass drink stirrers from Mexico. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Handpainted tin magnets from Mexico, vase from West Elm. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kit’s bright and wonderful studio! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

There is no lack of colour in this home! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Details from the couple’s creative sanctuary. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Painting by Billie Justice Thomson. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Assorted bags, Papua New Guinea, Mexico and vintage finds. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 16th October 2019

‘For me, its people and their stuff that truly make a home warm and liveable.’ – Kitiya Palaskas.

Prop maker and installation designer Kitiya Palaskas and partner, signwriter Matthew Rhynehart were looking for a new rental in Melbourne, and expanded their search beyond the conventional inner-north boundary to see what delights might be affordable a little further out. A scroll through online listings one morning landed on this townhouse in Pascoe Vale, and ten minutes later Matt was at the property inspection (while Kit stayed and finished her brekkie!). Matt may have sacrificed his toast that morning, but he landed upon a winner – a large townhouse, surrounded by older European neighbours who have deep community connections.

Kitiya explains that ‘being a rental, there wasn’t much we could do structurally to the house’ but this certainly hasn’t stopped the couple putting their own vibrant touch on every surface. ‘We have transformed the inside and our little outdoor courtyard by filling them with colour, plants and cozy textiles and rugs’ Kitiya highlights. Her secret weapon is 3M hooks – ‘we have artwork hanging everywhere, which really makes a difference’ Kitiya explains.

The home is brimming with what the designer describes as ‘carefully curated clutter.’ Tiki bar-ware, kaleidoscopes, woven baskets, fake fruit, vintage glassware, kids toys and 70s picnic blankets all jostle for space, and bring a real sense of joy to the house. Many of the objects also tell a story of the owners, as Kitiya grew up in the Middle East and Papua New Guinea, and textiles and rugs from these places adorn the walls and floors. Meanwhile, Matt’s hand-painted signs bring even more colour and personality to the residence.

The home is flooded with natural light, which Kitiya describes as a perk of living in the suburbs. She highlights that ‘the houses tends to be bigger’ and ‘everyone has a front yard.’ Perfect for morning walks, which Kitiya enthuses are especially delightful at this time of year due to the spring flowers blooming everywhere!

While modern townhouses can sometimes lack personality, Kityia sees the blank slate as an opportunity to introduce your own flair. She describes ‘for me, its people and their stuff that truly make a home warm and liveable.’ This home is packed with colour, Matt’s hand painted signs, artwork from talented creative friends, handmade props by Kitiya, textiles and cushions, clashing patterns and BOLD prints.

If this aesthetic has caught your eye, make sure you check out Kitiya’s upcoming exhibition Superbloom at LCI Melbourne, opening Thursday October 24th. Colour explosions guaranteed!

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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