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 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!

This Week

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Similar Stories

Creative People

7 Australian Ceramicists You Should Know!

Irina Rybakov of Pépite shares some of her favourite local ceramicists!
Irina Rybakov

Homes

An Off-The-Plan Family Apartment Unlike Any Other

The incredible apartment of Pino Demaio and Alpha60's Georgie Cleary, in a community-minded development in Clifton Hill.

Homes

Lisa Marie Corso's Perfect Off-The-Plan Pad

Our former Managing Editor welcomes us into her Essendon apartment, and dishes the details on purchasing her first home!

This Week

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Creative People

7 Australian Ceramicists You Should Know!

Irina Rybakov of Pépite shares some of her favourite local ceramicists!
Irina Rybakov

Homes

An Off-The-Plan Family Apartment Unlike Any Other

The creative home of Pino Demaio and Georgie Cleary, in a unique development in Clifton Hill.

Homes

Lisa Marie Corso's Perfect Off-The-Plan Pad

Our former Managing Editor welcomes us into her Essendon apartment, and dishes the details on purchasing her first home!

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