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A Vintage Seller’s Beautifully Curated Melbourne Home

Homes

Leah Holt spent years moving house every six to 12 months, until finding this Flemington rental property with her partner Oliver Whiteley, where she finally feels settled.

As the operations and projects manager at Curated Spaces, and owner of vintage furniture studio LH Design Hub, Leah has access to some pretty incredible furniture. This gorgeous array of pieces, alongside modifications to the lighting and backyard, have turned this rented home into one seriously stylish and cohesive abode!

23rd June, 2021

Vintage burl sideboard from Aesthetic Vintage Shop. Vintage brass wavy candlestands from Smith Street Bazaar. Artwork by Pip Newell (white artwork on sideboard). Elements rug in beige wool/viscose from MCM House. Vintage wavy mirror (above fireplace). Fourth Street Home candlestands (on fireplace). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage IKEA daybed sourced from Facebook marketplace. Vico Magistretti Caramite dining chairs sourced from Secondi. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Leah and Oliver! Vintage Italian 1970s round dining table sourced from Facebook marketplace. Custom-made raffia pendant from Shades Launay. Large ‘Tula’ vase from Papaya (on dining table). Floral arrangement by Grown Florists, Moonee Ponds. Artwork by Angie Pai. Burl Plinth from Leonard Joel. Statue of David from CCSS TM. Antique wooden bar cart from Gumtree. Vico Magistretti Caramite dining chairs sourced from Secondi. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ostrea rock glass vase by Hein Studio from Mette Collections Australia. Vintage glass candle sticks (on coffee table) from Facebook marketplace. ‘In Print’ from Fourth Street Home. Vintage burl coffee table from Two Design Lovers. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage burl sideboard from Aesthetic Vintage Shop. Vintage brass wavy candlestands from Smith Street Bazaar. Artwork by Pip Newell (white artwork on sideboard). ‘Elements’ rug in beige wool/viscose from MCM House. Vintage wavy mirror (above fireplace). Fourth Street Home candlestands (on fireplace). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork by Alexandria Park. Danish bamboo floor lamp from CCSS TM paired with Caprani-style pleated shade from Curated Spaces. Vintage burl coffee table from Two Design Lovers. Ostrea rock glass vase by Hein Studio from Mette Collections Australia. Vintage glass candle sticks (on coffee table) from Facebook marketplace. Custom-made record stands. Vintage oval mirror (above record stands). White ‘Bronte’ linen sofa from Lounge Lovers. White linen cushions with natural fringe from Lucy Montgomery. White marle boucle ball cushions from The Creative Muster. Vintage wooden stool from Gumtree. Burl plinth from Leonard Joel. Statue of David from CCSS TM. Vintage vase painted white from Facebook marketplace (on top of fireplace). ‘Elements’ rug in beige wool/viscose from MCM House. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Burl plinth from Leonard Joel. Statue of David from CCSS TM. Vintage Italian 1970s round dining table sourced from Facebook Marketplace. Custom-made raffia pendant from Shades Launay. Vico Magistretti Caramite dining chairs sourced from Secondi. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vintage Italian 1970s round dining table sourced from Facebook marketplace. Custom-made raffia pendant from Shades Launay. Vico Magistretti Caramite dining chairs sourced from Secondi. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Golden hour in the kitchen! Antique marble fruit bowl. Vintage wooden sculptural mirror from Facebook marketplace. White ‘Heirloom’ vessel from Clae Studio. Custom-made raffia pendant from Shades Launay. Vintage shield mirror. Ceramic fruit bowl from The Mantel Store in Ripponlea. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Levante rattan set from Mercer and Lewis. Small mirror by Sarah Shinners. Artwork by Gabrielle Penfold. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Easy’ chair by Illum Wikkelsø, Danish 1960s from CCSS TM. Small mirror by Sarah Shinners. Vintage cane handbag circa 1950s. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Heather travertine console from Trit House. Vintage oval mirror. Vintage vase and wooden plate. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Henning Kjaernulf aak desk from Nord Modern. ‘Dancing Duo’ iron candlesticks from Fourth Street Home. Vintage vase. Custom made plaster 1940s-style table lamp with scalloped shade from The Vault Sydney.  ‘XL Trapeze Mirror’ from Tigmi Trading (left side of wall).  Small white artwork with wooden frame is by Seite Studio. Remaining pieces on wall are Leah’s own vintage finds. Vintage striped antique side chair from Gumtree. Iron and leather vintage desk chair sourced from eBay. Mongolian Sheepskin Ottoman, Fawn from CCSS TM. Lotus rug in pearl from Temple and Webster. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Custom made floor lamp base with bamboo lamp shade by Liz Cybulski. Exaggerated Curved Arm Icelandic Sheepskin Lounge Chair from CCSS TM. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Monocot Bedhead in Tasmanian Oak & Rattan by CCSS. Vintage vase. The Kemp Cushion in washed linen and cherry red from Kitaboodle. Sheridan Waffle Bedspread. Danish pleated shade from By Curated. Wooden mirror from Country Road. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Monocot Bedhead in Tasmanian Oak & Rattan by CCSS. Vintage vase. The Kemp Cushion in washed linen and cherry red from Kitaboodle. Sheridan Waffle Bedspread. Danish pleated shade from By Curated. Wooden mirror from Country Road. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 23rd June 2021

‘I think I am on my 12th set of dining chairs! Oliver knows not to get attached to anything as it will probably be gone in a few weeks’ – Leah Holt

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.’

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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