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This Amazing Inner-City Warehouse Is A Renter's Dream

Homes

Every so often we meet people who have hit the rental property jackpot, like Christina Economous and Barun Chatterjee, who have been living in this amazing warehouse in West Melbourne since mid last year.

The print specialist and filmmaker live and work in this generous space, which they’ve filled with an eclectic mix of industrial inspired furniture and artwork. Today we take you inside this creative couple’s inner city haven!

8th April, 2020

Large mirror bought from a closing down shoe store on Chapel Street. Framed photograph by Robyn Daly. Banksias from Sarah at Casa Verde in North Melbourne. Made by Morgen AOD-T dining table. Menu Afteroom dining chairs. On the table is a Blackcreek Mercantile butchers block, Nicolette Johnson ceramics and a Menu marble serving board. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Worn Store metal frame chair and stool. Framed commissioned drawing by Kitt Bennett. Photo rolls from Sun Studios. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Two smaller paintings Stefan Mau and framed photograph Glen Anderson, while the daybed was a Gumtree find! On the granite coffee table is a Kristina Dam black oak sphere, and Aesop brass oil burner by Studio Henry Wilson. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Modular sofa we found on Gumtree but originally bought in the UK in the ’70s. Patterned throw was a gift from Jordy Kay when he went to Ghana. Cardboard plants on bookshelf by Goodie. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Christina Economous and Barun Chatterjee. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Fireplace is by Cheminees Philippe. Ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kristina Dam fruit bowl. Blackcreek Mercantile black shopping board.  My favourite cookware by Crane on stove top. Ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Framed photograph by Robyn Daly. Banksias from Sarah at Casa Verde in North Melbourne. Made by Morgen AOD-T dining table. Menu Afteroom dining chairs. On the table is a Blackcreek Mercantile butchers block, Nicolette Johnson ceramics and Menu marble serving board. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ceramic bowl by Sarah Schembri. Kerryn Levy ceramic Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kristina Dam fruit bowl. Blackcreek Mercantile black shopping board. Christina’s favourite cookware by Crane on stove top. Ceiling fans by Big Ass Fans Haiki Luxe series. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kerryn Levy ceramics and a KitchenAid Christina is babysitting for a friend in London! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

A kitchen corner is flooded with light. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Christina and Barun found the metal cabinet at a vintage store somewhere in Victoria during a road trip. New Works Aura table mirror. Ceramic jewellery dish made by Christina.Blackcreek Mercantile black cheese board hanging in the reflection. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mix of Inbed and Bed Threads linen. Painting by Stefan Mau. MRD Aldo side tables. Menu portable Carrie lamp. Tracy Muirhead ceramic bowl. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Christina’s Honda CT110 motorbike bought from Champion Abbotsford used to get to client meetings and small print deliveries around the city! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Inbed linen. MRD Aldo side table. Menu portable Carrie lamp. Tracy Muirhead ceramic bowl.Painting by Stefan Mau. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Inbed linen. MRD Aldo side table. Menu portable Carrie lamp. Tracy Muirhead ceramic bowl. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 8th April 2020

‘We knew we wanted somewhere to live and work from, and a place where we could spread out when we want to be creative or social.’ – Christina Economous

When Christina Economous and Barun Chatterjee initially attended this West Melbourne warehouse’s open for inspection, they weren’t seriously considering moving… but the opportunity to rent such a large and versatile space proved too tempting to pass up!

‘We originally checked it out as part of one of our favourite hobbies: open house viewings,’ says Christina. ‘The size was pretty overwhelming, but we knew we wanted somewhere to live and work from, and a place where we could spread out when we want to be creative or social.’

The couple were particularly attracted to the natural light and airiness in the space, but also its hidden location in a quiet pocket of West Melbourne. Located off a private laneway and with an unassuming exterior, the home is a pleasant surprise for anyone entering the first time. 

Before their landlord bought the property in 2013, this warehouse had already lived a few lives as a workshop, then as an office and cafe. Today, Christina runs her small print empire business Pinky Print from the property, while Barun works as a filmmaker and photographer.

The couple have sought to create a relaxed, neutral home here, using simple, utilitarian furnishings and a monochromatic palette. ‘It’s pretty pared back, with a focus on textures rather than lots of colours to separate things, and draw interest,’ says Christina.

One challenge has been furnishing the space with proportionate pieces, and making the cavernous space feel homely. ‘Having an open space and such high ceilings can make your things feel small pretty quickly. But it does mean more wall space for art!’ says Christina.

There’s always music playing in this home, and when Christina and Barun are off the clock, you’ll usually find them drinking wine, making pasta, and feeding friends. In summer, the couple regularly turn their private laneway into an outdoor dining area – a city renter’s dream! 

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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