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

An Early ‘80s Home With Good Vibes

Homes

There’s no shortage of beautiful homes in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, but getting your hands on one isn’t easy! Photographer and sculptor Jessica Tremp knows this firsthand, having resorted to placing letters in the mailboxes of local properties, resulting in one owner selling directly to her! 

Since moving in one year ago, Jessica, alongside her husband Michael Madden, and children Syd, 7, and Gray, 4, have set about making small tweaks to the interiors and garden to enhance the wonderful bones of this 1980’s gem.

18th March, 2020

The Macedon Ranges’ home of Jessica Tremp and family. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This home was architecturally designed in 1979 and built circa 1982. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Jessica Tremp, Michael Madden, and their children Syd, 7, and Gray, 4.Large painting by Bugai Whyoulter. Small painting vintage find via Gallery Midlandia. Vintage statue. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Late modernist bones filled with art and cosy vibes’ is how Jessica describes her home. Blue Dreamer sofa from Pop + Scott. Rust coloured vintage sofa from CCSS. Sculpture by Jessica Tremp. Bust carving by Jessica’s father Oskar Tremp. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Original high ceilings are among the standout features. Paintings: Jeannie Mills Pwerle, Elizabeth Barnett, Catherine Anholt, vintage nude studio print, vintage abstract painting. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Colourful items contrast against freshly painted white walls. Ceramic landscape/installation pieces by Alichia van Rhijn. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Limestone sculpture on table by Jessica Tremp. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Syd at the piano. Small desert painting by Fiona Kostidis. Vintage large dark landscape painting from Spain. Sculpture by Jessica Tremp. Blue vase by Nicolette Johnson. Small sofa from Smith Street Bazaar. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Warm timbers and other modernist materials make up the interiors. Sideboard from Grandfather’s Axe. Vintage yellow stone table from Curated Spaces. Artwork by Helena Kazepis, 1983. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bench tops by Yard Furniture feature in the DIY kitchen renovation. Vintage light from Germany. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘We love the late modernist elements, the mixture of old tiles, brick and timber throughout and the big windows letting in light and nature – yet it still feels like a cocoon,’ says Jessica. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Art features in every room. Artwork on top left by Jessica Tremp. Artwork on bottom left by John Neeson. Artwork in middle by Paul Ruiz. Artwork on right by Wendy Stokes. Sculpture by Jessica Tremp. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A look to the cosy living room. Painting on left by Oskar Tremp. Painting straight ahead vintage Schüldt ’59 via Gallery Midlandia. Old travertine side table via Gumtree. Sofa from Smith St Bazaar. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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

Original bathroom features. Vase and toothbrush holder by Amy Leeworthy. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The bedrooms are quite small too, which is typical of the style. We built in a few furniture pieces here and there to make the best use of the size, and I now love the compact feel of them,’ says Jessica. One Milano and In Bed linen. Painting by Elizabeth Barnett. Sculpture by Jessica Tremp. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Adorable children’s details! Vintage/op shop finds. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kids’ bedroom details. Vintage/op shop finds. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 18th March 2020

‘It was a really wonderful buying experience and outcome that simply felt right.’ – Jessica Tremp

Photographer and sculptor Jessica Tremp, and her electrician husband Michael Madden, knew they wanted to buy in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, but getting into the area proved tricky. With not much on the market (paired with Jessica’s admittedly picky taste!), the couple resorted to directly contacting the owners of two houses with architectural appeal. In an amazing stroke of luck, one of them decided to sell to them directly. ‘It felt like home the minute we walked in the door. The lovely lady who owned it was in no rush and very patient with us, which gave us enough time to work out our finances and make it all work,’ Jessica says. ‘It was a really wonderful buying experience and outcome that simply felt right.’

This home was architecturally designed in 1979 and built circa 1982. ‘We love the late modernist elements, the mixture of old tiles, brick and timber throughout and the big windows letting in light and nature – yet it still feels like a cocoon,’ says Jessica. 

Since moving in, Jessica and Michael have made some minor updates including a fresh paint job, new light fittings, and a DIY kitchen renovation. ‘We used materials from the old kitchen for cabinetry, but took out the black vinyl splash back and bench tops, and opted for more natural tones and materials that seemed fitting to the style of the house,’ says Jessica. A freshly painted, clean white backdrop highlights an ever changing arrangement of colourful furniture and art – including Jessica’s own stunning limestone sculptures

The garden is a work in progress, but already the family have created an easier to maintain, lush bush setting with around 50 native trees and shrubs. ‘It’s a fairly big block and it needed a lot of work,’ explains Jessica. ‘It’s become a real pleasure now though – tending to it and watching things grow and change throughout the seasons is one of my favourite parts of living here.’ 

Jessica’s favourite elements of this home are its sunken lounge, high ceilings and the ‘overwhelming good vibe’ when stepping inside! In addition, the family have loved becoming part of the creative and open minded local community, which is just around an hour’s  drive from Melbourne. Jessica says, ‘We can dip in for a nice dinner, show or visit with ease and whenever we fancy, however, we get to retreat to peace and quiet at the end of it.’

This Week

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!

Architecture

A Classic Victorian Terrace, Reimagined As Three Light-Filled Pavilions

A series of mews-like buildings designed by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design have expanded this Fitzroy home for added light, air and space...
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

Homes

An Incredible 1896 Waterfront House, Accessible Only By Boat

Garden designer Richard Unsworth shares ‘Trincomalee’ – his magical 1896 waterfront home in northern Sydney, accessible only by boat.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Former Pub Turned Handmade Country Home

Designers Rosie Morley and Rob McNaught have turned a former 1870s pub in Victoria's Hepburn Shire into a sophisticated, contemporary Victor...

Stays

A Magical Converted Church In The Hepburn Shire

A humble timber church in Lyonville adds a new chapter to its rich history.
Lucy Feagins

Homes

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Lisa Hodge lives in this Macedon rental property, after making the tree change from Melbourne six years ago.

This Week

Architecture

A Classic Victorian Terrace, Reimagined As Three Light-Filled Pavilions

A series of mews-like buildings designed by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design have expanded this Fitzroy home for added light, air and space...
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors

Homes

An Incredible 1896 Waterfront House, Accessible Only By Boat

Garden designer Richard Unsworth shares ‘Trincomalee’ – his magical 1896 waterfront home in northern Sydney, accessible only by boat.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Similar Stories

Homes

A Former Pub Turned Handmade Country Home

A former 1870s pub in Victoria's Hepburn Shire is now a sophisticated, contemporary Victorian home.

Stays

A Magical Converted Church In The Hepburn Shire

A humble timber church in Lyonville adds a new chapter to its rich history.
Lucy Feagins

Homes

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Lisa Hodge lives in this Macedon rental property, after making the tree change from Melbourne six years ago.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.