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A Florist + Photographer’s Creative Converted Warehouse

Homes

Not many people look at a bare bones warehouse and imagine living there – let alone a warehouse where they used to work!

After a stint working in this exact warehouse for florist Katie Marx some years ago, Gina Lasker of Georgie Boy floral studio returned to the Northcote property when it came up for sale in 2018. Having already spent time in the space, she knew it would make the perfect home/studio. 

Together with her partner, photographer Dan Roberts, Gina has spent the last two years renovating the space with the help of Dan’s mum, a retired architect, via video calls from New Zealand!

The couple now each work in the studio downstairs, beneath their lofty, work-in-progress home. 

18th August, 2021

Everything in the space was either built by Dan including the kitchen island, the wooden bench in front of the couch and the sideboard on the right, or bought specifically for the space. There’s a careful balance between wood and colour into the space to add character and warmth. Coffee table is Coco Flip. Stools are by Arnold Circus. Light over kitchen island is from Grandfather’s Axe lamp on the right is from CCSS. The couch is from King Living. White cupboard and rug from Ikea. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dan and Gina! Sideboard made by Dan. Wooden candlesticks from Grandfather’s Axe. Mid-century lamp from CCSS. Small chequered candlestick holder by Capitalism is Disappearing. Photographic print by Jamie Hawkesworth. Speakers are Bang & Olufsen. Amp is Yamaha. Stool by Arnold Circus. Pot from Plant Society. Gina is wearing all Arnsdorf top and pants. The sideboard is filled with books and trinkets the pair have collected over the years. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Pots from Plant Society and Mr Kitly. Hanging lamp was a 30th gift from Dan’s parents. Speakers are Bang & Olufsen. Record player is Sanyo. Small plant stand from Kmart. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Coffee table is Coco Flip. Vase is from Shop Memento. Coasters by Capitalism is Disappearing. Handmade brass plate by Fog Linen Work with stones Dan collected on his travels and wooden spinners from Dan’s mum. Photography book is by Jamie Hawkesworth. Blue book is Polaroids by Helmut Newton. Dialogue Through Form by a collection of photographers. Ikea rug. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sideboard made by Dan. Wooden candlesticks from Grandfather’s Axe. Mid-century lamp from CCSS. Three ceramic vases by Ghost Wares. Small chequered candlestick holder by Capitalism is Disappearing. Photographic print by Jamie Hawkesworth. Stool by Arnold Circus. Pot from Plant Society. Wax objects by Tony Assness. Small incense holder a gift from Dan’s mum. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Pendant light from Grandfather’s Axe was the first thing that even entered the space when we moved in,’ says Gina. Kitchen island built by Dan. Lamp on the fridge is fro CCSS. Kettle by Noda Horo. Le Creuset utensil holder. Coffee maker from Alessi. Hanging planter by Izawa Seito Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kettle by Noda Horo. Le Creuset utensil holder. Coffee maker from Alessi. Hanging planter by Izawa Seito Ceramics. Salt holder and mortar and pestle from Kmart. Soda maker is Aarke. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The pendant light from Grandfather’s Axe. Kitchen island built by Dan. Blue ceramic bowl is Mud. Wooden bowl is Muji. Le Creuset utensil holder. Coffee maker from Alessi. Hanging planter by Izawa Seito Ceramics. Soda maker is Aarke. White pantry is Ikea. Black watering can was a gift from Dan’s brother. Vase is Nude. Couch is King Living. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

From left to right: Sake cups from Tigmi Trading, a photo of Gina’s Mum, Bridget Bodenham ceramic citrus juicer, ceramic candlesticks by John Ellefson, candle from Makers’ Mrkt, ceramic cups by Kirsten Perry, little glass vases gifted by Gina’s mum many years ago. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Dan’s photo hanging on the wall. Copper vases by Greybox Design. Wax candles by Tony Assness. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Stairs wrap around the main bedroom to reach the upper mezzanine level where another bed is located! Copper vases by Greybox Design. Wax candles by Tony Assness. Table and chairs were handed down to the couple by Dan’s mum. Candle holder and glass bowl from  Shop Memento. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Copper vases by Greybox Design. Wax candles by Tony Assness. Table and chairs were handed down to the couple by Dan’s mum. Candle holder and glass bowl from Shop Memento. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘This bathroom always gets a reaction when people see it for the first time,’ says Gina. ‘I love the continuation of tiles. It was like this when we moved in. Dan built us some small wooden storage under the sink. Middle of the day is the best time to shower when the sun it streaming in.’ Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘We wanted a darker wood for the floors in our bedroom to contrast with all of the white and concrete in the rest of the space,’ says Gina. The duo found the door at Renovator’s Paradise, which they cut down, painted and transformed into a sliding door. Bedside table and bed frame from Ikea. Sheets are Bed Threads and I Love Linen. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sheets are Bed Threads and I Love Linen. A photograph of Dan’s hanging on the wall. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The flower studio below their apartments. Monty the dog sits out the front! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Oodles of bouquets! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘Nothing better than when the workshop is filled with flowers, the music’s on and we can have the roller door open for the neighbourhood to enjoy,’ says Gina. Amen! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 18th August 2021

‘I knew it was perfect from having already spent time in it.’ – Gina Lasker

Gina Lasker owns the floral studio Georgie Boy, so there were some key features she was looking for in a home/workspace.

‘I was specifically looking for a space where I could live and work, and being a floral studio I needed loading access, ground floor access, water sources, an office and storage!’ Gina says.

In a twist of fate, it turned out the perfect space was actually somewhere she used to work – the former Northcote studio of fellow florist Katie Marx! 

‘When it came up [for sale] just as I was looking for something in 2018 I couldn’t believe it really!’ says Gina. ‘I knew it was perfect from having already spent time in it.’

The ground floor now serves as Gina’s floral studio, and the office of her partner, photographer Dan Roberts, while the upper storey has been transformed into their home. What was essentially one large, open space has been defined into liveable areas, including two bedrooms, achieved with the expertise of Dan’s retired architect mum, Glenys!

‘Our brief to Glenys was basically to give us a bedroom that fits into our space and can incorporate lots of clever storage,’ says Gina. ‘She did all of this from New Zealand with measurements from us and dodgy FaceTime calls.’

This main bedroom is insulated, contains plenty of storage space, and the floor is raised to take advantage of the windows opposite. The second bedroom is a mezzanine level located above the main bedroom (accessed via the wrapping timber staircase!) allowing space for overnight visitors. 

Aesthetically the home is bright, sunny and utilitarian, reflecting a combination of Gina’s love of colour, and timber elements made by Dan. ‘We love the balance of these two things on our neutral base of white walls and concrete floors,’ says Gina. ‘If we had to distill [our style] down, we’d go for contemporary meets mid century.’

The couple say their place is still very much a work in progress. Future plans include creating a small courtyard, extending the kitchen, and better separating the work and live areas. 

‘There is still plenty more to do, but for now, during a pandemic, we’re made it very liveable!’ Gina says. ‘The beauty of doing it slowly is you get to slowly figure out what is best for the space by being in it.’ 

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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