Before moving to this house in Flemington, Leah Holt and Oliver Whiteley were living in a one-bedroom warehouse in Melbourne’s CBD.
‘It was a great place, but it didn’t have an outdoor space, and since we were both working from home due to Covid (and newly living together, eeek!), it felt a little claustrophobic,’ says Leah.
In search of a larger home and outdoor space, they ended up in Flemington in mid 2020, where Leah found her dream home complete with high ceilings, beautiful ornate details, and most importantly, a backyard. ‘I just kept walking around saying “I LOVE IT” repeatedly,’ recalls Leah of the inspection.
The home was newly renovated, so all that was needed was Leah’s styling to bring it to life. As the operations and projects manager at Curated Spaces, and owner of vintage furniture studio LH Design Hub, she luckily had access to some amazing pieces – the only challenge was choosing the right ones!
‘I think I am on my 12th set of dining chairs!,’ says Leah. ‘Oliver knows not to get attached to anything, as it will probably be gone in a few weeks.’
Interestingly, this career path is an entirely new direction for Leah, who was working in the higher education sector up to 18 months ago. ‘Creating LH Design Hub and having the opportunity to sell exclusively via Curated Spaces has been the best decision I have ever made,’ she says.
One element of Leah and Oliver’s decoration that isn’t going anywhere is their growing art collection, including works by Angie Pai and Alexandria Park. They’ve also switched out the rental’s lighting pendants for Shades Launay, and worked hard to transform the backyard.
‘Even though we are renting, I still thought it was important to buy and source pieces that tell a story, and I hope that is evident throughout the house.’
Our backyard has been a real passion project for Oliver… we have our own veggie patch now, and have planted a whole bunch of ferns, hanging baskets and flowers to make it feel romantic and relaxing,’ says Leah.
From the bedroom, to the living room, and the outdoor area, this home now feels like a true reflection of Leah and Oliver. Leah hopes it looks the way it makes them feel – warm, cosy and safe.
‘As soon as we walk through the door, we feel at home and completely comfortable and relaxed,’ she says. ‘We have signed on for another year’s lease and we couldn’t be happier.’