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A Creative Family’s Inner-City Converted Warehouse

Homes

Turning a warehouse into a cosy and practical family home is easier said than done, but Cindy-Lee Davies, creative director and founder of Lightly, and her husband Willie, have absolutely nailed it in their Melbourne home!

This warehouse was originally converted into a residence in the ‘90s, and since taking ownership in 2011, Cindy-Lee and Willie have worked hard to transform the space into a creative, personalised sanctuary. Styled with local artwork, indoor plants and, of course, Lightly furniture and homewares, the home is now shared by the couple and their adorable son Teal!

22nd July, 2020

Willie, Cindy-Lee and Teal (who was dancing around for this entire shoot!). Muuto ‘Outline‘ couch from Lightly. Gubi mirror. CASTLE painting. Muuto tables. Lightly planters. Standing light by Philippe Starck. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Muuto ‘Outline‘ couch from Lightly. Gubi mirror. Muuto ‘Around‘ table from Lightly. Lightly planters. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Cindy-Lee and Teal play in the living room. Muuto ‘Outline‘ couch from Lightly. Standing light by Philippe Starck. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

An array of Lightly accessories! Lightly planters. Muuto by Lightly black ‘Compile‘ shelf. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lightly planters and black ‘Compile‘ shelf. ‘Rest‘ sofa by Muuto from Lightly. Photographic print by Isamu Sawa from his ‘Without Water’ series. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The communal living zone is totally open plan, joining the kitchen, dining room and lounge room in one go. Painting by Stephen Baker. ‘Rest‘ two-seater sofa by Muuto from Lightly. Muuto ‘Outline‘ couch from Lightly. Muuto ‘Around‘ table from Lightly. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Another array of Lightly pieces! ‘Ridge‘ vase by Muuto from Lightly. ‘Tone‘ planter from Lightly. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The second living room contains a Jardan couch. Cushions, ottoman and table by Lightly. ‘Palm Springs‘ planter by Lightly. Paintings from right to left by Bobby Clark, Kat McLeod and Miso. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ambit pendant light, velevet cushions and table by Lightly. Linen by weft. Vase by Tina Marie. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Assemblages‘ shelf by Lightly. Teal’s desk by Ikea. Painting Bobby Clarke. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Cot by Sebra. Painting by Stephen Baker. Dulux custom paint colour. Shape object from Artecnica. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Teal’s room contains the ‘Assemblages‘ leather shelf. Drawers by softer studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 22nd July 2020

‘I love supporting the local community anyway I can. It is imperative, especially now.’ – Cindy-Lee Davies

We’re always impressed at the challenge of transforming a warehouse into a warm, inviting living space. It’s no mean feat! Bonus points when it’s filled with furniture and wares by local makers. 

Cindy-Lee Davies of Lightly and her husband Willie have both always lived in converted warehouses, so when they came across this property (reportedly a former motorbike clubhouse!) for sale in 2011, it felt only natural to continue the tradition. They have lived here ever since, welcoming their now two-year-old son Teal in 2018.  

This property was previously subject to some poor ‘90s renovations, requiring significant reworking throughout. ‘The original renovation cut a few corners, so we had to redo quite a bit of foundation work, like rewiring all the electrics,’ says Cindy-Lee. Fortunately, she and Willie were up to task, and they’ve been slowly transforming the space over the past decade. ‘Creating spaces is my passion, so I do love a challenge!’ says Cindy-Lee.  

Updated areas of the home include the mezzanine, which has been extended to include a third bedroom, a large walk-in wardrobe, a home office and storage space. The mezzanine also needed to be re-roofed in this process, and the rooftop garden deck relayed.

Cosmetically, most of the jarrah floors have been bleached, and new Halcyon Lake carpet has been laid. ‘Slowly we are making our way through the bathrooms, and next on the list is the kitchen!’ says Cindy-Lee. 

Lightly is all about creating spaces that enhance wellbeing, and this same ethos extends to Cindy-Lee’s home. Renovations have introduced both energetic and calm spaces, facilitated by the use of timeless Dulux colours. ‘We strongly believe in the power of colour to transport, transform, breathe new life and create memories. Colour soothes the soul,’ says Cindy-Lee. 

The vast majority of furniture and homewares here are sourced from Lightly, alongside many local artist’s work. ‘I have collected from many artists’ first shows,’ says Cindy-Lee. ‘I love supporting the local community any way I can. It is imperative, especially now.’  

In a world of constant technology and increased stress, Cindy-Lee says it is vital to find time to slow down and create environments that enrich and nurture. She’s found it here in her family home – a harmonious and balanced space to unwind and recharge.

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.