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A Home Fit For A Ceramics Queen!

Homes

What does the home of a passionate ceramics store owner look like? Exactly as you imagine!

This Northcote apartment is the residence of Irina Rybakov, owner of pépite, (our favourite purveyor of interesting local ceramics!) and her partner, Carlo Demaio, a social impact strategist. Soon, it will also be home to their baby daughter… which, we dare say, might result in a little ceramics re-arranging!

13th November, 2019

The Northcote apartment of Irina Rybakov and Carlo Demaio. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

There is no shortage of art and ceramics in this home! On the wall from left to right are prints by Ana Popsecu from pépite, painting by Esther Stewart in collaboration with Merryn Lloyd, painting by Merryn Lloyd, embroidery by Emily Thiang, painting by Jess Merlo,  and drawing by Indigo O’Rourke. Below, from left to right is planter by Ella Reweti, vessel by Tessy King. vessel by Simone Karras, and mini block set by Pip Byrne. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Irina with her stellar ceramics collection. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A leafy dining area. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sculpture by Mathieu Frossard from pepite. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

3D printed vessel by Alterfact (edge shown) and sculpture by Mathieu Frossard from pepite.Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This small home is all about storage! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Detail of the ceramics line up. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Colourful vase by Iggy & Lou Lou, small vase by Yinging Lee, small sculpture by Min Pin and vessel by Yinging Lee. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The ceramics station! Top row: vintage glassware collected from op shops. Middle row from left to right: two vases by Ella Reweti, tea light holders by Kate Jones, three sculptural vases by Kirsten Perry, small sculpture by Xrysteena Ceramics, vase by Ella Bendrups, small vessel by Hanna Lawrence, wall ceramic by Mathieu Frossard. Bottom row: vintage vase, vase by Dawn Tang, glass sculptures by Bastien Thomas, vessel by Tessy King, vase by Bec Smith, small cups by Alterfact, painting by Merryn Lloyd. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

On the bottom shelf of the ceramics display, the tall vessel is by Pip Byrne, and the large bulb vessel is by Emily Ellis. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 13th November 2019

Irina Rybakov and partner Carlo Demaio moved into this apartment block in 2011, and briefly left in 2013 for a year long stint in Berlin. When they returned from Europe, they moved into a new apartment in the same beloved Northcote building! The building is also home to many members of Carlo’s family – his parents, Grandma (96 years old!), and brother all have apartments in the building. For some people this would be a nightmare, but for Irina and Carlo it is a dream. She highlights ‘whenever another apartment comes up for lease, we’re always trying to recruit some friends to join our little compound!’

The apartment has been constantly updated over the years, based on changes to the couple’s needs and lifestyles (with a baby due to arrive ANY DAY NOW, there will be some further changes soon!). Irina describes ‘Carlo has pretty much doubled the overall storage space, by creating custom shelving anywhere he could find.’

Storage space is important for Irena, whose expansive collection of beautiful ceramics is on display throughout the apartment. Irina highlights that because they moved into a newly built building, they were mindful of adding soul and character. She explains how they layered personal touches in the new spaces ‘to make it completely our own, and compensate for the lack of previous history and features an older home may have.’

The space is warm and casual, and the couple have balanced their contemporary items with authentic pieces. The pair are self described as ‘pretty minimalist when it comes to colour’ and their home reflects this with a timeless and neutral palette. Small splashes of colour pop out with Irina’s collection of artworks and objects and she explains ‘they get to shine even more against a neutral background.’

While the inside of this apartment is beautiful, for Irina and Carlo, the view is the real winner, with third floor views and a nightly sky spectacle of glowing sunsets. The proximity to Merri Creek and the Northcote village is also a big plus, and soon we imagine that having a swag of babysitters within the same apartment block will also be a huge help!

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