This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Thornbury Cafe Turned Delightful DIY Home

Homes

Buying a home in covetable Thornbury took plenty of research, patience, and persistence for artist Lucas Wearne of Neighbourhood Studio and social worker Lucy Hyslop.

The couple searched across commercial and residential listings for something suitable, which eventually led them to a historical shopfront most recently used as a cafe. 

Lucy and Lucas spent six weeks getting the property to a habitable state, creating the charming home you see today!

7th September, 2022

Blue vase by Lucy Tolan. Vase on coffee table from Morgan Peck. Blue dish by Clae Studio. Planter, sculpture and striped lamp by Neighbourhood Studio. Painting above planter by Patrick Japangardi Williams. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Side table and planter by Neighbourhood Studio. Vase on coffee table from Morgan Peck. Blue dish by Clae Studio. Cushion by Clumsy Clumsy. Print by Lilli Waters. Lamp by Lucas Wearne. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucas Wearne and Lucy Hyslop! Print by Stephen Baker. Planter by Neighbourhood Studio. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Painting on left by Zoe Irving. Painting on lower right by Clare Dubina. Painting on right by Minna Leunig. Planter and lamp by Neighbourhood Studio. Small ceramic sculpture by Natalie Rosin. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Vase by LRNCE. Sculpture by Neighbourhood Studio. Blue bench by Lucss Wearne. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Candelabra by At The Table. Vase and platter by Ella Reweti. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Painting by Chris Henderson. Shelving and table by Lucss Wearne. Terracotta sculpture (on shelf) by Jane McKenzie. Small vase (on shelf) by Clae Studio. Planter (on shelf) by Clay by Tina. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Vsase by Sophie Lou Jacobson. Kitchen cabinetry from Ikea. Walls painted in  Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Shelf by Neighbourhood Studio. Painting by Ton Gerrand. Small bowls by Penelope Duke Ceramics. Large bowls and planter by Benna co. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Painting (left) by Minna Leunig. Drawing (right) by Felix Leunig. Cupboard from Ikea. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Shelf by Neighbourhood Studio. Painting by Ton Gerrand. Kitchen cabinetry from Ikea. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Print by Kayleigh Heydon. Cushion by Clumsy Clumsy. Linen from Bed Threads. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Linen from Bed Threads. Walls painted in Dulux Natural White. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucas Wearne, Lucy Hyslop and Jimmy the cat! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucas’ workshop for his brand Neighbourhood Studio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Inside Neighbourhood Studio! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 7th September 2022

‘We feel extremely fortunate to be able to own a house (albeit unconventional) in Thornbury!’ – Lucas Wearne

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! 

This Week

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Similar Stories

Homes

Comedian Aurelia St Clair’s Eclectic Melbourne Apartment

The colourful, rented #regularapartment of Melbourne comedian Aurelia St Clair!

Homes

A Noughties Northcote Townhouse Turned Beautiful Family Home

A notice to vacate their previous rental prompted Patrick and Ally Smith to buy a drab 2009 pad, and transform it into an inviting home!

Homes

A Collingwood Warehouse Transformed With Paint + Plants

Artist Ellen Porteus and Ryan Klewer of Plant Charmer share their colourful Collingwood warehouse home!

This Week

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Homes

Comedian Aurelia St Clair’s Eclectic Melbourne Apartment

The colourful, rented #regularapartment of Melbourne comedian Aurelia St Clair!

Homes

A Noughties Northcote Townhouse Turned Beautiful Family Home

A notice to vacate their previous rental prompted Patrick and Ally Smith to buy a drab 2009 pad, and transform it into an inviting home!

Homes

A Collingwood Warehouse Transformed With Paint + Plants

Artist Ellen Porteus and Ryan Klewer of Plant Charmer share their colourful Collingwood warehouse home!

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