Home Life Series

Inside the mid-century inspired, fully accessible family home of Tobi Dikstein

This week on the Home Life Series, we’re excited to bring you through the mid-century inspired, fully accessible family home of Tobi Dikstein

Tobi, a hospitality professional turned interior decorator and stylist, has expertly blended style, accessibility, and warmth in their newly built Elsterwick home. Her love for mid-century modern design is evident, incorporating concrete blocks, timber ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling glass to create a warm, timeless feel. Not to mention, the home is fully accessible for her husband Nick, who uses a wheelchair, with wide passageways, doorways, and a single-story layout. 

Join us as we explore Tobi's beautifully designed, accessible, and art-filled home, discover the inspiration behind her impeccable style and get her top picks for local artists!

Hi Tobi! We’re thrilled to share your amazing Elsternwick home today. First up, please tell us a little bit about yourself and who lives here with you? 

I live with my husband Nick Morris and our 2 children Lucy 16 and Tom 13. I have been in hospitality all my life and have owned many restaurants and cafes. I decided to take a leap into styling and design as I have always built and renovated cafes etc and have been fortunate enough to build and renovate a number of houses and apartments. I love the process and I love helping clients as I’m a pretty clear thinker and great problem solver!

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In 2017, you began building a fully accessible family home to ensure your husband Nick, who uses a wheelchair, could live comfortably and independently. Could you explain some of these design elements and how they shaped your project brief?

Regardless of the accessibility aspect Nick and I wanted to build a single story house lengthways on the block to ensure privacy at each end of the house and sunlight all day and in every room. Wide passageways and doorways allow Nick great access and active children a great runway!

You are an incredible interior decorator and stylist (as the home suggests!) What drew you to the mid-century modern aesthetic and how have applied this to elements in your home? 

I grew up in a mid-century home and have always loved the feel and aesthetic. I feel that the concrete blocks and timber ceiling we chose give a warm and timeless feel and require no maintenance. Low ceilings, great indoor outdoor flow and floor to ceiling glass all add to the mid century feel.

We love how you have incorporated colour, art and texture into the soft furnishings of your home. What tips do you have for those wanting to experiment with colour within the home but are reluctant to make big changes? 

Start small. Cushions, throws, small artworks and lamps are always easy to move and change if you’re not feeling confident. Otherwise, go for it, the more eclectic the better I say! Friends come over and challenge themselves to spot what’s new in the mix. I believe layering creates a real lived in feel and lamps and lighting are my personal favorite for creating atmosphere.

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You’ve certainly got the eye for sourcing some epic art! Who are some of your favourite artists and local spots to shop?

The largest and most colourful artwork we have was painted by Gavin Brown a local St Kilda artist. I have sourced a lot of artworks from op shops, works from trips overseas and some of my own works. I also like to mix painted artworks with unusual pairings such as mirrors, masks and sculpture.