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A Designer’s Richly Layered Rental!

Homes

The power of decoration is on full display in the gorgeous rented Melbourne home of Sarah Shinners, design manager at Simone Haag (you might recognise her from our Dream Job column!), and prosthetist Patrick Shinners. 

When the couple moved into the Clifton Hill property in 2013, the interiors were covered in the one shade of beige. Fortunately, thanks to their flexible landlord, Sarah and Patrick were able to cosmetically transform the property, introducing new paint colours and curtains along the way.

Their home today is a warm, welcoming and layered space, dotted with art and objects created and collected over many years. Just goes to show – you don’t need to own your home, to make it your own!

11th November, 2020

Artwork and mirror made by Sarah. Large white planter found on Facebook Marketplace. Plants from The Plant Society. Vintage coffee table via Curated Spaces. Cassina ‘Wink’ armchair from Smith Street Bazaar. The vintage sofa is a hand-me-down from Sarah’s parents, which is older than her! Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

The design extraordinaire herself, Sarah Shinners! Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Planter and plant underneath from The Plant Society. Cushions from Kip&Co. Vintage coffee table via Curated Spaces. Cassina ‘Wink’ chair via Smith Street Bazaar. Side table from Weylandts. Magazine rack via Design Stuff. Lamp from Ikea. Vintage sofa.  Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Planter and plant underneath from The Plant Society. Cushions from Kip&Co. Vintage coffee table via Curated Spaces. Cassina ‘Wink’ chair via Smith Street Bazaar. Side table from Weylandts. Magazine rack via Design Stuff. Lamp from Ikea. Vintage sofa. Painting by Van Tho purchased in Vietnam. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Mirror and art by Sarah. Stool custom made by Harbro Furniture upholstered in fabric from Kelly Wearstler available at Elliott Clarke. Vintage sideboard, found on the roadside in Brisbane, restored by Sarah with handles from Made Measure. Hallway wall colour is Dulux ‘Lama’. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Plant and ceramic planter from The Plant Society. Large plate from Benna Co. Brass incense holder via Modern Times. Ceramic on legs via The Plant Society. Hand incense holder found  while staying in Williamsburg, New York. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Artworks by Jessalyn Brooks. Large black ceramic and purple cup by James Lemon from Pepite, small squiggly vessel from Coburg Pottery Collective. Plant from The Plant Society. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Ceramics from Pepite,. Bear artwork found on Etsy. Abstract artwork by Tim Jones. Plant and planter via The Plant Society. Artwork on magazine stack by Gabrielle Jones. Plaster plinth made by Sarah for NGV Art of Dining. Zig Zag vase from Mociun Home. Footed vase via The Plant Society. Prosthetic leg painted by Sarah. Arancini Lamp via Moda Piera. White sculpture via Natalie Rosin. Vintage record player found on Facebook Marketplace. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Thonet Hoffman armchairs as dining chairs. Dining table from Harper’s Project. Stool custom made by Harbro Furniture upholstered in fabric from Kelly Wearstler available at Elliott Clarke. Painting by Van Tho purchased in Vietnam. Plant and planter from The Plant Society. Vintage coffee table via Curated Spaces. Lamp Ikea. Vintage orange swivel chair found on Facebook marketplace. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Less wall shelving from Trit. Bench by HK Living via House of Orange. Dog artwork is actually a large piece of Ikea fabric stretched on a canvas. Other art by Sarah. Plants from The Plant Society. Ceramic sculptures by Anchor Ceramics from Hub Furniture. Tantri Mustika ceramic vase on middle shelf. Top shelf vase from Freedom. Thonet Hoffman armchairs as dining chairs. Dining table from Harper’s Project. Vintage orange swivel chair found on Facebook marketplace. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Vintage pendant found on Facebook marketplace with coloured sections added by Sarah. Yellow vase from West Elm. Timber platters by Zanat Studio from Hub Furniture. Sarah’s favourite blue vase found on a trip to Tokyo. Thonet Hoffman armchairs as dining chairs. Dining table from Harper’s Project. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Less wall shelving from Trit. Bench by HK Living via House of Orange. Dog artwork is actually a large piece of Ikea fabric stretched on a canvas. Other art by Sarah. Plants from The Plant Society. Ceramic sculptures by Anchor ceramics from Hub Furniture. Tantri Mustika ceramic vase on middle shelf. Top shelf vase from Freedom. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Vintage pendant found on Facebook marketplace with coloured sections added by Sarah. Yellow vase from West Elm. Timber platters by Zanat Studio from Hub Furniture. Sarah’s favourite blue vase found on a trip to Tokyo. Thonet Hoffman armchairs as dining chairs. Dining table from Harper’s Project. Vintage orange swivel chair found on Facebook Marketplace. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Artwork and pink ceramic piece by Sarah. Plant via The Plant Society. Crockery from Hasami porcelain. Dish brush from Pan After. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Hall runner from West Elm. Dulux ‘Lama’ paint shade. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Robe from Kip&Co. Towel from Baina. Art print by Ghost Patrol. Bathmat from Cold Picnic. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Vintage cabinet found and repainted by Sarah. Vintage trunk at the Woolloongabba Antiques Centre in Brisbane. Dulux ‘Gold Dust’ wall colour. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Dulux ‘Gold Dust’ wall paint. Lamp and side table are both vintage finds from Jolie Laide. Rug from West Elm. Bedhead made by Sarah using fabric from Unique Fabrics and The Fabric Store. Curtains by Esenar. Art by Sarah. Ceramics on bedside table from The Coburg Pottery Collective, storage dishes from HAY. Purple sheets from Kip&Co, and olive from In Bed. Incense holder by Tantri Mustika. Wall sculpture by Natalie Rosin gifted to Sarah for her 30th birthday. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Artwork in hall from Gallery Midlandia. Artwork in bedroom by Jessalyn Brooks. Side table from Weylandts. Curtains by Esenar with fabric from Unique Fabrics. Hallway paint colour is Dulux ‘Lama’. Bedroom paint colour is Dulux ‘Gold Dust’. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Dulux ‘Gold Dust’ wall paint. Lamp and side table are both vintage finds from Jolie Laide. Rug from West Elm. Bedhead made by Sarah using fabric from Unique Fabrics and The Fabric Store. Curtains by Esenar. Art by Sarah. Ceramics on bedside table from The Coburg Pottery Collective, storage dishes from HAY. Purple sheets from Kip&Co, and olive from In Bed. Incense holder by Tantri Mustika. Wall sculpture by Natalie Rosin gifted to Sarah for her 30th birthday. Photo – Dylan James. Styling – Sarah Shinners

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 11th November 2020

‘I love pushing the boundaries with colour. I mean what’s the worst that can happen?’ – Sarah Shinners

After a three year stint in Brisbane, designer manager Sarah Shinners and her husband Patrick Shinners returned home to Melbourne in 2013, with their hearts set on living in the city’s inner north. The couple eventually found the perfect rental home in Clifton Hill, and have remained here ever since. 

The house is a Victorian single-fronted terrace, renovated around the 1980s. Many of its original quirks remained when Sarah and Patrick moved in, but the interiors had been subject to an all-beige makeover that they quickly hoped to rectify!

Renovations are not typically allowed in Australian residential rental properties, but Sarah and Patrick’s landlord was fortunately open to cosmetic changes, even agreeing to financially cover some of the value-adding updates. ‘We are lucky to have a very flexible landlord who we have openly discussed our aspirations with, and successfully negotiated things like extended lease periods,’ Sarah says. ‘We also offered to split the cost (as we did for our curtains) or cover the cost (as we did for painting) of works to make them more viable for the landlord and ourselves.’

Changes have been made slowly over the past six years – the most significant being the repainting of the bedrooms, hallway and bathroom. Never one to shy away from colour, the impact has been exactly had Sarah hoped. She explains, ‘So many people when they first saw the brushouts I shared on Instagram commented with a nervous sentiment, “Wow, bold choice” or, “Could be really wrong or really right,” [but] I love pushing the boundaries with colour. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? You paint over it? My only regret is not being able to paint the cornices and ceilings in the same colour as the walls!’

The previously cold bedrooms now feature Dulux’s Gold Dust, which adds incredible impact and warmth to these rooms. ‘We’ve found this colour to be quite the transformer, changing from a sunny yellow when the morning light hits, to a deep caramel on cosy winter evenings,’ she says. 

The hallway meanwhile is painted in Dulux’s Lama – a fleshy, peach tone that perfectly offsets the caramel gold. ‘I love it when I’m looking out from one of the bedrooms into the hallway and catch a vignette of both colours side by side,’ Sarah says.  

Complementing these colours is a melting pot of art and objects Sarah has created or collected over many years. ‘I see my home as an experimental space where prototypes are trialled, personal creative endeavours are displayed, and items researched during daily work are distilled to create a place that is bold, homely and layered,’ she says.

Every piece in the home is special, but not precious. ‘I want visitors to my home to feel immediately at ease and relaxed – to grab a cup from the kitchen shelf and make themselves a cup of tea, and melt into the couch. There are beautiful, curated things surrounding you, but no pretence or stuffiness to make you feel like you can’t touch anything.’

Next on the Sarah and Patrick’s renovations list… carpet!

See more of Sarah Shinner’s design work on the Simone Haag website

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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.