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An Interior Designer’s Playful Family ‘Art House’

Homes

Interior designer and stylist Zoe Murphy purchased a Victorian home in Toorak with her family five years ago. The bones of the property were ripe for renovation, just waiting for Zoe’s creative touch!

Subsequent renovations have reconfigured the original rooms alongside a contrasting new extension designed with architects Cera Stribley.

Zoe’s playful decoration sits against a backdrop of blonde timbers, exposed cream brick, richly veined stone, and green kitchen joinery — facilitating one gorgeous contemporary space.  

8th June, 2022

Andy Sofa from Jardan. Grazia & Co Ivy coffee table designed by Clare Cousins. Rotazioni Rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis. Vitra Wiggle Stool from Living Edge. Dridade Roly Poly Chair designed by Faye Toogood from Hub Furniture. Various accessories by Hay, Kartell and Vitra. Bricks from PGH Bricks. Curtains by Esenar. Dulux Dieskau paint on walls and ceiling. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

‘Me and the Landscape’ artwork by Clare Brodie. Andy Sofa from Jardan. Grazia & Co Ivy coffee table designed by Clare Cousins. Rotazioni Rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis. Various accessories by Hay, Kartell and Vitra. Bricks from PGH Bricks. Curtains by Esenar. Dulux Dieskau paint on ceiling.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The owner and interior designer, Zoe Murphy. Magis Sam Son yellow chair from De De Ce. Vitra Wiggle Chair – Living Edge. e15 Backenzahn Stool – Living Edge. Gufram Cactus – Living Edge. BD Barcelona Design Gardenias Vase – Living Edge. He & She chairs by Mater from Cult. Arch chairs by Sarah Ellison. Artwork ‘CAFÉ’ by McLean Edwards from Olsen Gallery. Rigmorale Counter Stools by Zoe’s brother Rodney Eggleston of March Studio. B&B Italia Tufty-Time sofa, bought secondhand. 2pac kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift. Dulux Dieskau paint on walls and ceiling. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Grazia & Co Ivy coffee table designed by Clare Cousins. Rotazioni Rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis. Vitra Wiggle Stool from Living Edge. Dridade Roly Poly Chair designed by Faye Toogood from Hub Furniture. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Rotazioni Rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis. Vitra Wiggle Stool from Living Edge. Dridade Roly Poly Chair designed by Faye Toogood from Hub Furniture. Bricks from PGH Bricks. B&B Italia Tufty-Time sofa, bought secondhand. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The living, dining and kitchen domain. Vitra Wiggle Chair – Living Edge. e15 Backenzahn Stool – Living Edge. Gufram Cactus – Living Edge. BD Barcelona Design Gardenias Vase – Living Edge. He & She chairs by Mater from Cult. Arch chairs by Sarah Ellison. Artwork ‘CAFÉ’ by McLean Edwards from Olsen Gallery. Rigmorale Counter Stools by Zoe’s brother Rodney Eggleston of March Studio. B&B Italia Tufty-Time sofa, bought secondhand. 2pac kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift. Dulux Dieskau paint on walls and ceiling. Circular timber coffee table made by Zoe’s father out of a cypress pine tree that fell down in Sorrento; ‘The top surround is covered in weathered brass from the Melbourne Press Club,’ she says. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Rigmorale Counter Stools by Zoe’s brother, Rodney Eggleston of March Studio. 2pac kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift. Dulux Dieskau paint on walls and ceiling. BD Barcelona Design Gardenias Vase from Living Edge. Tap by Brodware. Marble from Signorino. Timber veneer from Elton Group. Timber floorboards from Plank Floors. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Green mirror made by Zoe’s father from Oregon pine salvaged from the railway building in Spencer Street; ‘He found the architraves in the skip. He painted it in a green gloss boat paint. We had to reinforce the wall during construction to hold the weight of the mirror,’ says Zoe. ‘Happiness II’ artwork by David Band from Olsen Gallery. Ilve kitchen rangehood. B&B Italia Tufty-Time sofa, bought secondhand. 2pac kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift. Rotazioni Rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

The dining area. Vitra Wiggle Chair from Living Edge. Gufram Cactus from Living Edge. Arch chairs by Sarah Ellison. Artwork ‘CAFÉ’ by McLean Edwards from Olsen Gallery. Bricks from PGH Bricks. Another Country dining table. Magis Sam Son yellow chair from De De Ce. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Vitra Wiggle Chair from Living Edge.  Gufram Cactus from Living Edge. Arch chairs by Sarah Ellison. He & She chairs by Mater from Cult. Artwork ‘CAFÉ’ by McLean Edwards from Olsen Gallery. Bricks from PGH Bricks. Another Country dining table. e15 Backenzahn Stool from Living Edge. Magis Sam Son yellow chair from De De Ce. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

‘House with Native Tree’ (1996) by Howard Arkley from Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art. Wall lights by Snelling (formerly Douglas and Bec). Stairs by S&A Stairs. Floorboards by Plank Floors. Dulux Dieskau paint on walls and ceiling. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Vitra Wiggle Side Chair from Living Edge. Curtains by Esenar. Dulux Dieskau paint on ceiling. B&B Italia Tufty-Time sofa, bought secondhand. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Sculpture: ‘Double Headed Terracotta Figure’ by Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran from Sullivan+Strumpf. Still life painting: Paul Ryan from James Makin Gallery. Paint colour: Grey Goose by Porter’s Paints on walls and sideboard. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Gubi Multi-lite Pendant from Surrounding. Artwork: ‘Ruins’ by Stefan Dunlop from Edwina Corlette. Togo sofas from Domo. Story Bookcase from Living Edge. Tom Dixon Fat Lounge Chair from Living Edge. Gan rug from Hub Furniture. Curtains by Esenar. Dulux Timeless Grey paint on walls and ceiling. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Togo sofas from Domo. BD Barcelona Monkey Side Table from Living Edge. &Tradition Setago Lamp by Jamie Hayon from Cult. Coffee tables by HK Living from House of Orange. Muuto Compile Shelving System. Gan rug from Hub Furniture. Curtains by Esenar. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Books and decor in Zoe Murphy’s home. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork: ‘Princess Parrot IV’ by Troy Emery from Martin Browne Contemporary. Uovo Upholstered Bed by HC28 Cosmo from Domo. Bed linen and cushion from Jardan. Flos lamp from Euroluce. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Kartell Colonna Stool from Space Furniture. Wall light from Snelling (formerly Douglas and Bec). Taps by Brodware. Wall and floor tiles from Signorino. Dulux Lyttelton paint colour. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 8th June 2022

‘I will always paint my bedroom, formal living, and study in moodier, darker colours. These rooms are for resting… somewhere peaceful to think or relax.’ 

Zoe and Ben Murphy with their children Myra (10), and Roy (8) bought a Victorian house in 2017 with the potential to renovate and extend. ‘We felt it when we saw it. It had the bones for a great transformation,’ says Zoe, a designer and stylist for Living Edge as well as her own business, My Creative Office

Zoe renovated the original front four rooms of the home around their period features: brick walls with high ceilings, architraves, cornices, ceiling roses, and dado lines. Dulux Timeless Grey walls are formal and moody, as the original design intended, but have been reconfigured for modern living. 

‘We restored the Victorian side, turning one of the rooms into a bedroom [with] a walk-in robe and adjoining en suite,’ Zoe says. ‘I will always paint my bedroom, formal living, and study in moodier, darker colours. These rooms are for resting… somewhere peaceful to think or relax.’ 

Cera Stribley architects were engaged to design a new extension for the remainder of the home. ‘We decided to add floor to ceiling windows allowing natural light to flood in, and we added a second storey for the kids,’ says Zoe.  The architectural style of this addition is deliberately in contrast to the original rooms, instead featuring a modern and bright material palette of blonde timbers, exposed cream brick, and travertine.

Zoe designed the interiors herself, including the custom-made green kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift, the timber veneer entertainment unit, and bathrooms featuring vertically arranged kitkat tiles.

The home’s colourful furniture, art, and sculptural decor is where Zoe’s aesthetic really shines. The Rotazioni rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis was the starting point of the entire living scheme. From here, Zoe has layered art from local galleries, and sentimental items – including pieces made by her Dad, such as the one-of-a-kind handmade green mirror and timber coffee table, made by hand in the property’s old tool shed.

‘The style is definitely “playful” and a bit “art house,” consisting of bright and cheerful spaces with big blocks of colour,’ Zoe says. ‘I love collecting furniture that is sculptural and functional — most of our pieces tick this checklist!’

The completed home brings the entire family joy. ‘It’s our happy place,’ says Zoe. 

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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