An Artfully Kitsch Melbourne Warehouse

The home of Neel Moorley, hairdresser and owner of Neel Loves Curls, could be anywhere in the world, with its industrial bones saturated with colourful art and decoration.

Neel purchased the converted rope factory residence in 2019, proceeding to fill the place with his remarkable collection of 250+ masks sourced across the globe, and murals painted by local artists.

The rainbow staircase on entry sets the tone of what’s to come—an eclectic and kitsch home that instantly inspires joy!

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

Neel Morley’s home is full of colour! Oven and fridge by Smeg. Cupboards recycled from old doors Neel found in hard rubbish. Tourist plates hanging on wall showcase destinations around Australia. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Neel calls his vintage carousel horse one of many joyful pieces in his space. He also sometimes projects movies on the sloping ceiling at night! Elephant table imported from India. Photo – Martina Gemmola

‘The front door was painted by David Lee Pereira,’ Neel says. ‘Sebastian painted the art up the stairs. As you can see my wardrobe matches my colourful house. I always think that 15-year-old me would be so happy with a rainbow staircase.’ Photo – Martina Gemmola

A close up of the playful kitchen. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Art by Maschang. Cupboard from Ishka. Day bed upholstered in fabric from Fabiano. Photo – Martina Gemmola

From left: Art by Maschang. Prints featuring art by Keith Haring. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Neel’s mask collection comes from cultures all over the world, including Mexico, Myanmar, Indonesia, India, Canada, Spain, Italy, Vietnam and Greece! Cushion on sofa from Fenton and Fenton. Blanket from Slowdown Studio in California. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Red mask on the left is from Mexico and is one of Neel’s favourites of 250+ masks! Photo – Martina Gemmola

Neel purchased the converted Brunswick warehouse in 2019. Photo – Martina Gemmola

His rainbow staircase! Fish flops from Thailand are alongside Neel’s collection of vintage religious statues. Photo – Martina Gemmola

An old kitchen cupboard that’s been painted baby powder pink. Limited edition rug from Chiaozza. Prints on wall by Kashink. Redhead matchstick girl art by Dennis Ropar. Photo – Martina Gemmola

White rug made from New Zealand wool. Metal Japanese signs on the wall are old agricultural signs from the 60s. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Linen from Bed Threads. Rug by Misaki Kawai. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Art by Maschang. The mezzanine space. Neel painted the metal beams a ‘Kermit green’. Chairs are from an op-shop and have been upholstered in Sri Lankan fabric from Spacecraft. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Photo – Martina Gemmola

Neel in the courtyard beside an outdoor shower. Mural by Pit Arteaga. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Mural by Pit Arteaga. ‘The fruit trees in potted plants are perfect for growing limes for cocktails in summer,’ Neel says. Photo – Martina Gemmola

Lucy Feagins
26th of October 2022

When looking to buy a property in 2019, Neel Moorley was initially seeking an old Victorian house to renovate, until this Brunswick, Melbourne warehouse changed everything. ‘When I walked inside and saw this light filled space I knew that I wanted it,’ says the hairdresser and owner of Neel Loves Curls

Originally a rope factory, the three-level building was converted into a residence around the 2000s, featuring sleek, monochrome interiors – except for the art collection of the vendors. Neel was inspired by their time in the home, and hoped to build on this legacy himself!

After securing the house and moving in, Neel sanded back the black floors, to create a more neutral backdrop. He then took the home’s art collection to the next level, hanging across the warehouse walls close to 250 masks collected from Mexico, Myanmar, Indonesia, Canada, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, and Greece to name a few! Most of the masks have been collected on travels, or sourced from Facebook Marketplace, op-shops, markets, and via friends. ‘People that know I collect them message me to ask, “Do you need this one?” 

Neel has also commissioned multiple murals and artworks specifically for his home. The courtyard features a mask-inspired mural by Pit Arteaga; the bedroom painting is by Soleveins (‘I’d seen his work on the walls in Fitzroy and wanted his art in my home,’ says Neel); the murals above the stairs and in the bathroom are by Sebastian Berto; and the front door artwork is by David Lee Pereira. ‘I’d seen his work on silos and asked him to paint my front door. His floral work feels amazingly lifelike,’ says Neel. 

The staircase on entry to the home has also been painted in rainbow colours, which makes Neel and his guests smile. ‘My home is a social hub and every time friends come over they see something new which they hadn’t seen before.’ 

Last but not least, Neel has spent time updating the courtyard to feel closer to nature, replacing tired pavers with salvaged railway sleepers, and adding an outdoor shower. 

The completed home is a breath of fresh air that’s eclectic,  cheerful and kitsch, yet cohesive and totally reflective of its very creative owner!

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