Beloved cook and author Julia Busuttil Nishimura (often referred to by her Instagram handle ‘Julia Ostro’) and tennis coach Nori Nishimura spent six months searching the Melbourne rental property market for a unique home that would suit their two children Haruki (7) and Yukito (3), and Julia’s mum, Rachel.
When they came across this house in Clifton Hill, Julia and Nori knew they’d hit the jackpot. The Victorian house had recently undergone a stunning renovation designed by Eliza Blair Architecture, Studio Mkn, and Peachy Green, containing light-filled modern interiors, multiple living and outdoor spaces, green courtyards, and a separate studio at the rear of the block.
‘The amount of space that the house had just felt incredible for our family,’ says Julia. ‘The separate living area for my Mum just exceeded our expectations, and I was just so drawn to the natural light, textures of the stone and marble.’
Naturally, given Julia’s line of work, the cherry on top was the home’s amazing kitchen — complete with plenty of bench space, a butler’s pantry, and outdoor views in two directions.
‘I am in LOVE with our new kitchen,’ says Julia. ‘It’s so spacious and the layout is so well thought out, which makes cooking a real breeze. There is a lot of storage space so everything has its place and I love how clutter-free it is.’
The renovated interiors feature white terrazzo, light timbers, and blonde brick that coincidentally worked perfectly with most of Julia and Nori’s existing furniture. Pops of colour have been introduced through the books, art prints, and Julia’s extensive ceramics collection.
‘I recently returned from a trip in Puglia and brought back many pieces from flea markets and antique shops that now are on display. Our dining table was also a present from my mum, which I cherish very much,’ says Julia.
The home’s rear studio/bedroom affords Rachel her own space, while allowing her to live in close proximity to her daughter and two grandsons.
This recent move to multigenerational living felt only natural to Julia and Nori, who have Maltese and Japanese heritage respectively.
‘Nori grew up living with his grandparents in Japan. To him it’s a very normal thing to all live together in the family home, and something he actually suggested upon my mum retiring,’ says Julia.
‘Our kids love having Mum here and overall it’s been a very positive transition.’
This truly is the most beautiful house, for a beautiful family. We can’t wait to watch it unfold further, in Julia’s very stylish hands!