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A Cosy Retro Rental In Melbourne’s North West

Homes

Michelle Campbell and Katy Louise, co-owners of Dogfolk Pet Photography and Pretty Fluffy, spent 18 months searching for the perfect rental property to call home. 

They found it in this retro house in Maidstone—a northwestern Melbourne suburb they were previously unfamiliar with—that offered the space, light, and energy they (and their dogs!) were seeking.

The couple have styled the suburban, timber-panelled home with their collection of vintage pieces, indoor plants, and a growing art collection.

18th January, 2023

Michelle Campbell and Katy Louise’s Maidstone home. Artworks left to right: ‘Relief’ by Kayleigh Heydon. ‘Subtle Undertones’ by Ash Leslie. Artwork by Studio Paradissi. Various ceramics by Peta Armstrong, Leaf & Thread, Benna & Co, Saria Ceramics, Anemone Studios. All mid-century furniture sourced from Hey Jude or Facebook Marketplace. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Vintage Tessa Monaco armchair from Hey Jude. Cushion by Pop & Scott. Vintage mid-century timber unit. Monstera plant from Facebook Marketplace. Artwork: left by Leise Dich Abrahamsen. Right print by Bobby Clark. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Michelle (aka Shell) and Katy, with dogs Sunny and Ziggy! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Handmade Moroccan rug. Vintage Moran leather couch found in Salvos (for $40!). Mid-century coffee table from Hey Jude. Monte Pop Pom Cushion by PampaArtworks left to right: ‘Relief’ by Kayleigh Heydon. ‘Subtle Undertones’ by Ash Leslie. Artwork by Studio Paradissi. Various ceramics by Peta Armstrong, Leaf & Thread, Benna & Co, Saria Ceramics, Anemone Studios. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Subtle Undertones’ by Ash Leslie. Ceramics left to right: Leaf & Thread, Benna & Co and Saria Ceramics. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Mid-century coffee table from Hey Jude. Handmade Moroccan rug. Ceramics by Benna & Co and Anemone Studios. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Handmade Moroccan rug. Daybed and arched mirror sourced on Facebook Marketplace. Plate by Benna & Co. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Lamp by McMullina & Co. Sheet by I Love Linen. Planter by Peta Armstrong. Cushions from Pampa and Bed Threads. Wall hanging by Anemone Studios. Artworks by Ash Leslie. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Sunny hanging out on the daybed! Sheet by I Love Linen. Cushions from Pampa and Bed Threads. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Mid-century table and chairs sourced from Facebook Marketplace. Akari pendant lamp by Isamu Noguchi. Vase by Asobimasu Clay. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

The cosy dining space. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Bowl by Saria Ceramics. Mid-century table and chairs sourced from Facebook Marketplace. Akari pendant lamp by Isamu Noguchi. Painting by Clare Dubina. Wall hanging by Benna & Co. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Indoor plants and timber detailing fill the home with a warm and retro character! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

A cute range of mugs and bowls from a range of makers that the couple have collected over the years. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Mid-century headboard, draws and vintage lamps all sourced on Facebook Marketplace. Vase on right by Asobimasu Clay. Vase on left Anemone Studios. Paintings by Ash Leslie. Bedding by Dri Glo Australia. Rust 100% French Flax Linen Pillowcases by Bed Threads. Cushion by Pampa. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Mid-century desk from Facebook Marketplace. Vintage original Joe Rufenacht chair. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

The couple’s inspiration board with notes, quotes, photos they love and anything that keeps them ‘growing and inspired’. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Despite being in Melbourne’s north west, the outside of the home has a charm reminiscent of a country cottage! Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli and Sarah Hendriks

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 18th January 2023

‘As soon as we saw the first image, we knew immediately that it would be ours.’

Katy Louise and Michelle Campbell lived in Kensington, in Melbourne’s inner north west, for six years before outgrowing their much-loved home. 

With a dog (cocker spaniel Ziggy) and the couple both working from home on their respective businesses— Dogfolk Pet Photography; Pretty Fluffy; and Katy Louise Photography—it was time to find a bigger place, although nothing was ever quite right.

‘It was the first home we shared alone together and it meant so much to us, so we always knew it would take something really special for us to move on,’ explains Katy.

Michelle and Katy spent a massive 18 months searching for something suitable, and just as they were about to give up, this property in Maidstone came up for lease. 

The house was a weatherboard cottage just like their existing home, and while they were unfamiliar with the suburb, a quick Google showed it was only a nine-minute drive from their beloved Kensington neighbourhood.  ‘As soon as we saw the first image, we knew immediately that it would be ours,’ says Katy.

Michelle and Katy moved in mid-2021 and proceeded to fill the house with their ever evolving collection of vintage furniture. The home’s warm white walls, timber floorboards, and terracotta tiles proved the ideal base for what Michelle calls their ‘cosy vintage meets modern meets boho-inspired’ interior style. 

Much of the couple’s furniture shares the same warmth as the home’s timber bones, such as the daybed – a $100 Facebook Marketplace find. The Moran leather sofa ​​was another vintage gem found in a Salvos store for $40. ‘It even has the 10 year guarantee documents. Such a score!’ 

Above all, Michelle and Katy love the character and country feel of their home. And having extra space has allowed another dog, Sunny, to join their family.

‘I just love that when our friends and family visit, everyone comments on the warm and inviting atmosphere of our home,’ says Michelle. ‘That means a lot, because we always want the people we love to feel welcomed and relaxed in our space.’ 

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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