Our Home Life Series is a weekly sneak peak into the homes and lives of Australia's most creative and inspiring people.
This week on the Home Life Series, we take you inside Ours, THE coolest apartment in Fitzroy, curated by the uber talented Zane Curwen-Walker. We chat to Zane about his incredible space (where everything you see you can also buy!), and get his hot tips on Melbourne's most popular postcode.
1. We have fallen in love with the curated look and feel of the space you've created. How would you describe the aesthetic?
Things I found lifted by things I like. I grew up picking through tip shops and salvage yards and I love bringing forgotten gems back from the dead. There are so many things at the bottom of scrap piles that could be enjoying a second life surrounded by new pieces of furniture and art. A shower base can be a kitchen sink and a church window can be a shower screen with some new lights and nice ceramics.
2. What are your top 3 styling tips for curating a space?
- Creation starts with destruction, which means there are no bad spaces – only poorly positioned walls. Start swinging a hammer or just fill a rubbish bin before you start making a plan. Give yourself open air and let the space tell you what to do next. It can be a stressful approach but it’s fun at the very least
- Whenever possible, spend money and avoid cheap, easy things. If you have the resources, invest in nice things because, whilst there’s a bigger outlay, those things will lift the space and work harder to pay you back in the future.
- This is the most important one. Don’t take too much advice. Value the ideas you have by keeping them to yourself until they’re finished. Advice can be the biggest killer of original ideas. If I had listened to advice I would never have used a shower base as a sink, a church window as a shower screen, painted a steel prison toilet or put a tree in the lounge room, and those pieces have ended up being the most successful and popular design elements in the house.
3. For those who don’t know about Ours can you tell us a little bit about how the concept for a shopfront, gallery and accomodation came about? If creating a gallery that showcases and celebrates local makers artists and collections wasn’t enough, you recently opened the accomodation above the shop. Tell us about the unique upstairs airbnb.
The accommodation actually came first but I think gallery spaces are just a natural progression of setting up any new home. It’s something we’re all doing on some level. Whether it's the first time we cover our bedroom wall in posters, or the first dinner party we host, we’re always arranging the things around us as gallery spaces.
It’s nice to fill a room with all the things we like in our own unique pattern. It’s even nicer to invite people in, show off the space, and see it come to life with use and movement.
That’s what Ours was always supposed to be. A place to fill with things we like, a place to show off local talent, and a curated space, like the ones we are so accustomed to seeing online, that can be used and lived in. So anyone can come to Ours, for an afternoon or a few days, and move the patterns around like they would in their own home.
Watch a movie from a Monde sofa with your feet on the coffee table and rearrange the flowers in Amiee Byrne’s ceramics. Pour a glass of wine in Kip&Co's new glassware collection and spill it over Billy’s dining table. Burn some incense on Kathleen Prentice's console and cover it up with a Chong Office vase. It’s a house made to be lived in where all the chips, scratches and scuffs are welcomed. So I don’t really make any distinction between the house and the gallery, and the shopfront just becomes another display area in that configuration, because everything in the house is for sale anyway. The rooms are constantly being rearranged with new pieces, and guests are welcome to enquire about anything from the art on the walls to the cutlery and the light fittings. It's a place to visit and take something home, even if that’s only inspiration to finish your next project.
4. As a fellow Fitzroy based business, we absolutely love the energy and vibe of the local community - what drew you to Fitzroy, and can you share your favourite local haunts?
I was raised in country Victoria by my mum; one of five sisters raised to love two things – the Labour party and the Collingwood Football Club. From the time I was born I was on mum's shoulders at union marches past the Eight-Hour Monument or finding a park in the streets around this area for matches at Victoria Park. Win, lose or draw we'd walk up Johnston Street towards Brunswick or Lygon for a meal and late night espresso.
When Collingwood stopped playing home matches in Abbotsford a lot of businesses down that end of Johnston lost huge weekend crowds and the area went down for many years. It’s been amazing to see it reinvigorated with places like Dr Morse, Bodriggy, Skydiver and Hindsight Gallery. It’s also nice to see that energy coming up the hill and crossing Smith Street with some exciting places popping up along this strip. I think I’ve always been connected to this area so I feel comfortable here, and it’s nice to have my own small part of it at Ours.
In terms of local haunts, you’ll find me weekly, sometimes daily, at Terror Twilight, Skydiver, Used Pty Ltd, Sound Merch, Smith Street Bazaar, New Guernica, Modern Times, The Marquis of Lorne, Sense of Self, All is Good Design Lab and The Real Greek Souvlaki Bar.
Read more Home Life Series on the Kip&Co blog.