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 Family Home Full Of Warmth, Fit For A Colour Queen!

Homes

If you’d asked a young Alex McCabe, co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co, where she’d raise her future children, she definitely wouldn’t have guessed her hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, and especially not the land her parents bought 30 years ago!

When her parents went to sell the block a few years ago, Alex realised her nostalgic attachment to the land, and decided to take it off their hands. Since then, she’s built a weekender on the property with her husband Bobby Babb, and children Quincy (2) and Pearl (2 months) which they will soon move into permanently!

4th March, 2020

Reclaimed beams from an old railway bridge in Gippsland near Buchan Caves. Jardan Sunny couch. Kip&Co cushions. Paloma coffee table from Sarah Ellison. Vintage Scandinavian chairs from Grandfather’s Axe. Vintage rug from Morocco. Vase handmade by Alex’s sister, who also runs fashion and jewellery label Aestas. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The family. Quincy wears a Kip&Co dress. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Jardan Sunny couch. Kip&Co cushions. Paloma coffee table from Sarah Ellison. Vintage Scandinavian chairs from Grandfather’s Axe. Vintage rug from Morocco. Vase handmade by Alex’s sister, who owns fashion and jewellery label Aestas. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Detail of artisan handmade table from India and Kip&Co pea cushions. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Outdoor lights from Family Love Tree. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Commissioned artwork by Esther Olsson, framed by United Measures. Artisan table handmade in India. Indonesian stools from Rustique in Chelsea with pea cushions from Kip&Co. Custom-made chairs from Bali, vintage vase. Lights above bench are from Weylandts (now closed). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Vases were collected from our travels around Australia and gifts from friends,’ says Alex. Pendant lights from Weylandts (now closed). Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Rug by Felt Indie in Byron Bay. Vintage papier mache vase from Jodhpur. Plant from Into the Wild. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork by Peter McConchie. Bedside table from Sarah Ellison. Vintage lamp. All bedding Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Curved tri-colour concrete bench from Rutso Concrete. The colours represent the local landscape, the beach, the earth and the sky. Oyster shell lights in the hallway from Storie in Melbourne. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vase found in Brooklyn. Jewellery by Aestas. Shells from local markets. Hand towel Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Jewellery by Aestas. Shells from local markets. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Picture window looking west so you can see the sunset from the bath at the end of a long day. Best bath ever!’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Bunks, ladder, rails and lights built into the structure of the house for the most solid kiddie beds you are ever likely to come across!’ Pendant light from Cove Island Essentials in Bali.  Rocking horse was a gift by Alex’s business partner, Hayley, from a local Mornington Peninsula vintage store. All bedding and cushions Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork by Heath Newman. Vintage papier mache vase from Jodhpur. All bedding and cushions Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom en-suite. Kip&Co hand towel. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

One of a kind light by Kaye Clancy! Master bedroom features super textural seagrass wallpaper. Chairs custom-made made in Bali. All bedding by Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Master bedroom features super textural seagrass wallpaper. Chairs custom-made in Bali. All bedding by Kip&Co. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The entrance features local and recycled and materials, including reclaimed pillars and beams, local Red Hill stone, hardy native plants for the gardens and excess concrete from the kitchen bench for the steppers.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A grass mat woven from Indigenous practices traditional to Elcho Island in Arnhem land (where Alex’s sister lived for five years!) hangs in the hallway. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Custom planter boxes created using offcuts from the timer cladding sit on the northern side of the house with succulents grown from cuttings sourced from Alex’s garden in St Kilda. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Already the favourite place to gather for a snack, spritz and yarn is around the oversize table on the patio.  Quincy enjoys drawing on the bricks in chalk with the adults natter away.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Custom planter boxes created using offcuts from the timer cladding sit on the northern side of the house with succulents grown from cuttings sourced from Alex’s garden in St Kilda. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Row upon row of Pinot Gris vines! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

And some more… Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The patio features recycled materials, including reclaimed posts and frame, salvaged cream bricks as paving, and excess concrete from the kitchen bench for the outdoor table.’ Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 4th March 2020

‘I love that my parents chose this block of land together 30-plus years ago… and now Bobby and I are living out our dream of raising our little rugrats on the same very spot’ – Alex McCabe.

Alex McCabe grew up just five minutes from where her newly built home in Merricks North is located. The vineyard the house is situated on was owned by her parents for more than 30 years until they recently decided to sell, and much to Alex’s surprise, she decided to buy it from them! ‘When I was younger I couldn’t wait to move away from the sleepy Mornington Peninsula (a lot sleepier back then!) and now I can’t wait to move back,’ she says ‘Times have changed!’

Apart from vines covering two thirds of the block, there was only half a shed on the site, so Alex and her husband Bobby set out to build a weekender from scratch. The couple worked with McManus Lew on the design (the same architect who designed their St Kilda house – check out our feature on that here!) and CVS Construction on the build.

As the co-founder and creative director of Kip&Co, Alex is known for her love of colour, but this house is all about texture. ‘That is the overall, unifying theme and the driving force behind the design,’ she says. Setting the tone for this look is the corten steel front door framed with century-old, recycled timber beams from Gippsland. The interior walls throughout feature various textures including stucco, render and seagrass wallpaper. ‘I think all that texture makes it feel really warm and welcoming and calm,’ says Alex.

Windows have been installed at strategic points in order to frame aspects of the land. Alex loves watching the sunrise from her bed, and the sunset from the living room picture window. ‘Oh and there’s a window for you to watch the sunset from the bath too,’ she says. ‘Did I mention I am into windows?! Ha!’

It wouldn’t be an Alex home without some colour, but the shades used here have been strategically selected to reflect the surrounding landscape. ‘The red bathroom is inspired by the red soil, and the amazing tricoloured island bench fits with the colours of the nearby beaches’ she says. Homewares from the new Kip&Co Heartland collection adds another layer of colour throughout!

Despite not originally intending to return to the Peninsula, after pouring so much love into this weekender, Alex and her family now plans to live here full time. ‘I love that we get to live among the beautiful vines, the red clay and undulating land of this unique part of the world, where wineries and beaches are equally accessible (and equally important!)’ Alex says. ‘I love that my parents chose this block of land together 30-plus years ago to start their dream of a vineyard, and now Bobby and I are living out our dream of raising our little rugrats on the same very spot.’

Kip&Co just released their latest homewares and apparel collections this week! Heartland is available from kipandco.com.au. now. So much good stuff. 

Also…our supremely talented art director Annie Portelli made this sweet little 1-minute video snapshot below of Alex and Bobby’s home – check it out below!

This Week

Architecture

A House Full of Texture For A Family of Makers

A red brick masterpiece for a painter, a builder and their mechnically-minded sons in Northcote!
Sasha Gattermayr

Shopping

Bonnie And Neil's Beautiful New Showroom Is A Patterned Paradise

The Melbourne-based textiles and homewares brand open the doors of their new incredible new showroom and studio!

Stays

This Remote Fisherman’s Shack Is A Little Slice of Heaven

This rustic getaway at Great Mackerel Beach harks back to a simpler time – and is accessible only by ferry!
Sasha Gattermayr
39:38

Podcast

TDF Talks With Interior Designer & Educator Jenna Densten

In our latest podcast, Lucy chats to Jenna Densten about life after reality TV, the highs and lows of renovating, juggling business ownershi...

View Comments

Similar Stories

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.

Homes

Blackhearts + Pink Bedrooms, A Home With An Unconventional Past

Paul Ghaie of Blackhearts and Sparrows wine purveyors, and his partner Lucy Wallace show us their new pad in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

Homes

A Home Of Joy and Light, With Alex McCabe Of Kip&Co

Explore the bright, effervescent home of Alex McCabe and family, in St Kilda.

This Week

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

Studio Visit

How Melbourne's Most Beautiful Ceramics Studio Pivoted To Online Classes

Guy Vadas from Céramiques in Elsternwick got real smart, real quick, to bring his beloved pottery workshops to a home audience.
Sasha Gattermayr
  Less than an hour ago

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

TDF Design Awards

Announcing... The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

It's time to enter The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards! Our broad-reaching and inclusive awards program that shines a spotlight on Aust...
Lucy Feagins
  24 hours ago

News

This Artist Is Live-Streaming His Isolation ‘Residency’ For The Next Two Weeks

Soul McKenzie is living, breathing, eating and painting in a one-room space atop At The Above gallery.
Sasha Gattermayr
  13 hours ago

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.

Similar Stories

Homes

An Enchanting, Rustic Rental In The Macedon Ranges

Lisa Hodge hit the rental property jackpot when a friend told her about this Macedon home!

Homes

Blackhearts + Pink Bedrooms, A Home With An Unconventional Past

Paul Ghaie of Blackhearts and Sparrows show us his new designer digs.

Homes

A Home Of Joy and Light, With Alex McCabe Of Kip&Co

Explore the bright, effervescent home of Alex McCabe and family, in St Kilda.