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A Reservoir Home Created By Family, For Family

Homes

The Reservoir, Melbourne home of flautist Elissa Robustelli is located on what was previously her Nonna and Nonno’s house, which her parents purchased in the 1990s.

After her Nonno passed away, Elissa’s dad subdivided the block, and recently built two almost entirely new townhouses using recycled materials – one for Elissa and her partner Matt Sheers; and one for her brother.

Recognising her fortunate position, Elissa has relished the chance to make this property her forever home, featuring terrazzo floors, custom joinery, and proudly displayed family heirlooms.

16th November, 2022

Benchtop in Airy Concrete from Caesarstone. Bar stools from an antique dealer. Fruit bowl from Ishka. Dining suite by Gallonetto from Belluno, Italy, which was bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978. Vase from Douglas and Hope. Artwork on right by Minna Leunig. Artwork in centre by Melissa Murphy. Artwork on left Annika Keefer. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Cabinetry by Verna. Benchtop in Airy Concrete from Caesarstone.  Tap from Bunnings. Splashback tiles by San Marco Ceramics. Bar stools from an antique dealer. Fruit bowl from Ishka. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Elissa Robustelli, flute teacher and flautist in Trio Musae; and Matt Sheers, manager of Natural Habitat Studios and violinist in Orcha and The Scrims. Dining suite by Gallonetto from Belluno, Italy, which was bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978. Artwork on right by Minna Leunig. Artwork in centre by Melissa Murphy. Artwork on left Annika Keefer. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Timber vases by Glen Patrick. Lemon art by Stelli Studios. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo laundry splashback by San Marco Ceramics. Cabinetry by Verna. Benchtop in Airy Concrete from Caesarstone.  Tap from Bunnings. Backsplash tiles by San Marco Ceramics. Bar stools from an antique dealer. Fruit bowl from Ishka. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork on left by Tyler Arnold. Wavy vases bought from Facebook Marketplace. Splashback tiles by San Marco Ceramics. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Cabinetry by Verna. Benchtop in Airy Concrete from Caesarstone. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Backsplash tiles by San Marco Ceramics. Citrus bowl from Target. Pot plant Stelli Studios. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Kitchen splashback tiles by San Marco Ceramics. Terrazzo flooring and laundry splashback by San Marco Ceramics.  Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Dining suite by Gallonetto from Belluno, Italy, which was bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978. Artwork by Minna Leunig. Artwork on left by Melissa Murphy.  Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Vase from Douglas and Hope. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Couch by Lama Furniture. Marble plinth bought at an antique auction. Haida Killer Whale artwork by Haida artist Bill Reid. Wall hanging made by Elissa Robustelli aka Stelli Studios using pot stands from Target. Armchairs saved from hard rubbish, refurbished by Elissa and reupholstered by Matt’s Grannie, Margot. Coffee table saved from hard rubbish refurbished by Matt and Elissa. Curtains by Europa Blinds. Cushions by Hommey. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Cabinetry by Elissa’s dad and Verna.  Items top left to right: Bowl by Stelli Studios. Bookend vase by Urban Outfitters. Bells from an op-shop. Ceramic bowl from an op-shop. Woven basket from an op-shop. Doll handbag from an op-shop. Pear artwork by Stelli Studios. Timber sculpture from an op-shop. Arch ceramic vase by Tantri Mustika Ceramics. Bird head from Douglas and Hope. Small portrait by Jai Vasicek. Tiny violin from Facebook Marketplace. Bookend vase by Urban Outfitters. Orange ceramic bowl with legs from an op-shop. Limestone sculpture by Neighbourhood Studio. Oval art from an op-shop. Abstract artwork by Stelli Studios. Speaker by JukeCase. Vinyl by Orcha. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Couch by Lama Furniture. Cushions by Hommey. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Cabinetry by Elissa’s dad and Verna. Items top left to right: Bowl by Stelli Studios. Bookend vase by Urban Outfitters. Bells from an op-shop. Ceramic bowl from an op-shop. Woven basket from an op-shop. Doll handbag from an op-shop. Pear artwork by Stelli Studios. Timber sculpture from an op-shop. Arch ceramic vase by Tantri Mustika Ceramics. Bird head from Douglas and Hope. Small portrait by Jai Vasicek. Tiny violin from Facebook Marketplace. Bookend vase by Urban Outfitters. Orange ceramic bowl with legs from an op-shop. Limestone sculpture by Neighbourhood Studio. Oval art from an op-shop. Abstract artwork by Stelli Studios. Speaker by JukeCase. Vinyl by Orcha. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Arch ceramic vase by Tantri Mustika Ceramics. Limestone sculpture by Neighbourhood Studio. Oval art from an op-shop.Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Coasters bought from a market in Shanghai. Couch by Lama Furniture. Marble plinth bought at an antique auction. Wall hanging made by Elissa Robustelli aka Stelli Studios using pot stands from Target. Armchairs saved from hard rubbish, refurbished by Elissa and reupholstered by Matt’s Grannie, Margot. Coffee table saved from hard rubbish refurbished by Matt and Elissa. Curtains by Europa Blinds. Cushions by Hommey. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Terrazzo flooring by San Marco Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Houses of Melbourne tea towel by Eugenia Tsimiklis. Mirror from Lincraft. Chest of draws from Ikea turned into desk by Matt and Elissa. Chair by Gallonetto from Belluno, Italy, which was bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978.  Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Red couch by Gallonetto from Belluno, Italy, which was bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978. Desk made by Elissa’s Dad and Verna. Artwork by Zoe Irving. Carafe by Maison Balzac. Couch by Lama Furniture. Cushions by Hommey. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lamp and side table by Stelli Studios. Bed by Gallonetto from Belluno Italy, bought and imported from Elissa’s parents in 1978. Linen by Adairs. Artwork by Annika Keefer. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork by Annika Keefer. Chair bought secondhand and reupholstered by Stelli Studios. Side table from an antique shop. Paint colour by Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork by Minna Leunig. Half moon table By Stelli Studios. Vase bought by Elissa’s mum in Italy in 1981. Side table bought from Facebook Marketplace. Wall sconce from About Space. Bed linen by Adairs. Rug from Miss Amara. Wavy wall ‘bedhead’ paint colour Dulux Puddle. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Wavy wall ‘bedhead’ paint colour Dulux Puddle. Artwork by Kate Florence. Wall sconce from About Space. Bed linen by Adairs. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 16th November 2022

‘I will cherish every tiny little corner of this house forever.’ – Elissa Robustelli

Almost everyone in flute teacher Elissa Robustelli’s family has played a part in creating her Reservoir, Melbourne home, which she shares with her partner Matt Sheers, manager of Natural Habitat Studios and violinist.

Elissa’s parents purchased the original home on the site in the 1990s for Elissa’s Nonna and Nonno, where they lived down the street from their extended family.

When Nonno passed away, the family decided to subdivide and build two townhouses on the block for Elissa and her brother respectively. The original house was demolished, except for the stumps and a few walls, but many materials were salvaged for the build of two almost-new residences by Elissa’s dad. 

‘I am so fortunate that my parents were in a position to financially help us with the build,’ says Elissa.

‘In the early stages of planning, I was unsure which route to go down; whether or not to set it up as an investment and rental property with simple and cheaper design choices, or to make it a forever home. I realised I may not get another opportunity to build from scratch especially with my dad being the builder, so after I made the decision of it being a forever home, I spent countless nights on Pinterest and Instagram to find what style of home I liked the most.’

Elissa’s zio (uncle) Paul, who is a carpenter, also helped with the build, and sourcing timber from the factory he worked at that was coincidentally closing down.

‘They were getting rid of all of their floor stock, so naturally we took as much as we needed,’ says Elissa. Every door in our house is a solid timber ‘front’ door that has slightly different timber panelling… Even our window sizes were determined by what floor stock was left, so there are some cute tiny windows juxtaposed with huge timber sliding doors.’

Elissa had full creative control over the home’s interiors, putting her heart and soul into their design to ensure their  longevity. Terrazzo floors were at the top of her wishlist, as well as a music room with the perfect display shelves.

‘I was very stubborn with how I wanted the shelves and doors to turn out, and didn’t take no for an answer!’ says Elissa. ‘Between my dad and the cabinet makers at Verna, it took them a few months to get it supported in the right way and tick all of my design boxes.’ 

All that amazing terrazzo is complemented by Dulux Antique White U.S.A on most of the interior walls – a warm and inviting white, balanced out by colourful sofas, unique kitchen tiles, and a wavy bedhead in the bedroom, painted in Dulux Puddle

Tying in with the ‘family’ theme is much of the furniture, including key heirlooms bought by Elissa’s parents on their Italian honeymoon in 1978. ‘They went to many furniture factories in Italy to deck out their new house, and came across the company Gallonetto. They fell in love with the Frassino (ash) timber pieces and bought a whole house worth of furniture, from the dining suite, chairs, couches, beds, bedside tables, wardrobes, shelves, and even the matching umbrella holders,’ Elissa says.

Elissa’s parents shipped the furniture back to their Melbourne home, where it’s lived ever since, until Elissa ‘begged’ them for the dining suite, bed, and red lounge. ‘Although Mum was very reluctant to part with them, Dad freely gave them knowing these pieces will live and be loved by another generation,’ she says. 

Elissa has always lived in Reservoir, and says living in a local home crafted with such care by those she loves fills her with pride. ‘I will cherish every tiny little corner of this house forever.’

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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