Artist Octavia Tomyn and Luke Tomyn were searching for their forever home at the peak of Melbourne’s real estate boom in 2017. When Octavia was 37 weeks pregnant, they discovered this classic Edwardian home in Hawthorn, which surprisingly passed in at auction.
‘We quickly made contact with the agent and wrote the owners a letter with our offer,’ says Octavia. ‘When we inspected the property for the second and final time before our decision, there was a big rainbow stretching over the roof and it all felt right. We feel so lucky to be its current custodians!’
Octavia and Luke originally thought the home would need some work, but it turned out to be in great condition. Hiding behind the heavy drapes, wallpaper and old carpet were beautiful original features just waiting to be embraced.
‘The design of the original home is so gorgeous, it doesn’t need much direction,’ says Octavia. ‘We take our lead from the existing features and add elements that make it our own.’
The old carpet was ripped up to reveal pristine, original, wide timber boards, and the heavy drapery was removed. After a fresh coat of Dulux Whisper White throughout, with Dulux Forever Romance Quarter on the children’s bedroom, it looks like a different home!
When it came to styling the main living spaces, Octavia was inspired by the colours of the home’s leadlight windows, and historic tiles around the fireplace.
The art collection, however, is entirely sentimental, including many of Octavia’s own works. She explains, ‘Art is not chosen to work with the space; it has to mean something and be a reminder of an important part of life, resulting in a slightly eclectic collection of works and many more still waiting to be hung!’
This house will forever remain a work in progress as the Tomyn family grows and evolves. They would like to undertake some further renovations the future, but they’re conscious of taking a measured approach.
‘Preserving the original beauty is a high priority for us, while also making the space liveable and personal to a modern family. We want it to feel like a home, but also honour the beauty and craftsmanship involved in building it’ says Octavia.
‘I want my home to echo the gratitude and beauty of life—the important things that shape us and remind us who we are.’