A Home With A Warm Hart
Homesby Lucy Feagins, Editor
The home was originally designed by Australian designer, builder and landscape architect Alistair Knox, who is renowned for many wonderful homes in the Eltham area. Pop and Scott Dreamweaver Pot. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.
Plenty of indoor greenery creates a wonderful link between interior and exterior. Ercol chairs. Tiled pizza shop table. Pop and Scott cylinder potsPhoto – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.
This sprawling Eltham property is home to doula Sunni Hart, partner Pete Baxter (founder of Hope St Radio) and their two adorable kids Fox and Dizzy. However, moving into this bright, expansive home wasn’t completely straight forward. After Sunni initially spied the property for sale on Modernist Australia, she had to admit it was beyond her price-range and move on, a little heartbroken. Months later, and still daydreaming about the Alistair Knox designed home, the opportunity to rent popped up – and Sunni and family jumped! She cheerfully explains ‘it was truly meant to be, and made me believe in manifestation just that little bit more.’
Sunni reflects on the day they moved in, with baby Dizzy just eight weeks old. ‘I sat on the lounge room floor amongst all the boxes to feed him and sobbed with happiness that all I could see were trees around me.’ The Eltham retreat is vast (friends live in the hexagon house in the garden), but Sunni explains that it still possesses enormous ‘hygge and warmth, with so much beautiful natural light.’
The interiors blend the history of the house (including a pool table built in 1890 from fiddleback wood, and bluestone stone floor) with Sunni and Pete’s own ‘happy hodge-podge’ of treasured possessions. Sunni describes a mutual love of natural materials and bright colours, that create an understated eclectic vibe here. The home is scattered with artworks from friends (including a painting by Gabriel Curtin and collection of Nell Pearson works), ‘lucky finds’ items of furniture, and a ‘gazillion’ plants.
Sunni and Pete’s life in Eltham is spent sharing the balcony with bold king parrots, and meandering through the bushy surrounds. We can understand why Sunni fell in love with this place!