Neighbourhood Studio owner and artist Lucas Wearne and social worker Lucy Hyslop first came across this Thornbury, Melbourne property when it was listed as a commercial building for sale. ‘At the time it was way out of our price range, however, we were just trying to get a gauge on the market so we were looking at everything,’ says Lucas.
Initially, Lucas and Lucy missed out on the place, but, a few months later they noticed it was back on the market – the original sale had fallen through due to complications caused by the pandemic. This time, it had been gutted, and was listed at a reduced price. ‘It was really just the right time, right place sort of moment,’ says Lucas. ‘The other options in our range for the area would have been limited to units or apartments. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to own a house (albeit unconventional) in Thornbury!’
Covid lockdowns meant Lucy and Lucas could only briefly inspect the property prior to purchasing. They initially planned to move in within two weeks’ of taking possession, before realising a much bigger job was required!
‘Every wall was crumbling, large sections of the floor were missing, the old commercial kitchen had been ripped out, there were no doors, and there were exposed wires,’ says Lucas. ‘We ended up spending just over six weeks (working nonstop) before it was at a point that we could move in.’
The main feature of the DIY renovation is the kitchen – with all new floors, walls, ceilings, and Ikea cabinetry. The remainder of the home has been patched up and painted, with Dulux Natural White walls highlighting the original exposed brick walls and pressed metal ceilings.
Lucy and Lucas also updated the garden, including a tiny backyard studio where Lucas creates his functional limestone objects and sculptures for Neighbourhood Studio. ‘It was just meant to be a temporary solution as we moved, however I’m still here after almost two years!’ he says. ‘It is great to be able to have a dedicated creative space at home. It’s always there if I have an urge to hash something out.’
The personality of Lucas and Lucy’s home interiors lies in the combination of contrasting styles and display of artworks by clever friends. ‘I suppose we’re trying to make things inviting, cosy, and comfortable’ Lucas says. ‘We’re conscious to only buy second hand or locally made pieces where possible. We try to only bring things in that we really love, and are sure we want to hang on to for a long time. There’s definitely no grand vision or plan, it’s just what feels good, what makes us feel happy and comfortable in the space.’
The charming outcome is just version 1 of Lucy and Lucas’ home, as the pair are already in talks with an architect to develop version 2. Stay tuned!