According to her housemates Albee Barton (creative movement and yoga instructor, and the owner of Green Monday Studios) and Justyn Burrows (psychology student), Tilly Barber has a ‘borderline obsession’ with scanning the property market. Luckily, this obsession sometimes comes in handy, such as when she spotted this North Warrandyte home for rent in late 2020!
Tilly did a drive-by of the property, and within 15 minutes she was encouraging Albee and Justyn to apply alongside six-year-old son Mars and her. ‘We felt the open-plan kitchen and living area was waiting for our “modern family,”‘ says Tilly.
Melbourne was still very much in the throes of the pandemic at the time (still is), which meant work was uncertain for the group, but they felt strongly this house was theirs.
‘The property spoke to our SOULS,’ says Tilly. ‘We knew the house was worth the energy and we would stop at nothing on the off chance that we might be approved. We put our best foot forward and with a stroke of luck and a lot of pressing, it was ours. We felt like we had struck gold the day the agent called to say we were approved.’
The ‘70s property with its original red brick flooring and timber ceilings is the perfect backdrop for the group’s furniture, most of which has been collected by Tilly, who owns the furniture restoration and sourcing business Home body.
‘We have coined the term ‘semi-harmonious hodgepodge!’ says Tilly of their home’s decorating aesthetic. ‘It’s a real mix of vintage, handmade and salvaged furniture – quite a lot of it is revived or hard waste – complemented by art and objects by makers we admire. Simultaneously, it’s quite minimal.’
Mixing up the earthy tones throughout are deliberately inserted injections of colour and greenery, including tree-like indoor plants, artworks by Mars, and side tables by Zachary Frankel.
One of the reasons Tilly was so keen to live in this house is its suitability to entertaining. While that’s currently off-limits, outside of lockdown the property is often host to ‘feasts and friends, music and memories.’
‘We definitely don’t shy away from a themed dinner party or opportunities to connect with our friends and fam. We felt this was the perfect space that brings people together,’ Tilly says.
A surprising joy that supports these get-togethers is the walk-in kitchen pantry, which Tilly and Justyn say is possibly their favourite feature in the whole home! ‘I love organising and storage – satisfying is an understatement!’ Tilly says.
The surrounding area comes in a close second with its abundant trees, river proximity, and clear night skies.