An Interior Designer’s Family ‘Art House’


Zoe and Ben Murphy with their children Myra (10), and Roy (8) bought a Victorian house in 2017 with the potential to renovate and extend. ‘We felt it when we saw it. It had the bones for a great transformation,’ says Zoe, a designer and stylist for Living Edge as well as her own business, My Creative Office

Zoe renovated the original front four rooms of the home around their period features: brick walls with high ceilings, architraves, cornices, ceiling roses, and dado lines. Dulux Timeless Grey walls are formal and moody, as the original design intended, but have been reconfigured for modern living. 

‘We restored the Victorian side, turning one of the rooms into a bedroom [with] a walk-in robe and adjoining en suite,’ Zoe says. ‘I will always paint my bedroom, formal living, and study in moodier, darker colours. These rooms are for resting… somewhere peaceful to think or relax.’ 

Cera Stribley architects were engaged to design a new extension for the remainder of the home. ‘We decided to add floor to ceiling windows allowing natural light to flood in, and we added a second storey for the kids,’ says Zoe.  The architectural style of this addition is deliberately in contrast to the original rooms, instead featuring a modern and bright material palette of blonde timbers, exposed cream brick, and travertine.

Zoe designed the interiors herself, including the custom-made green kitchen joinery in Dulux Deep Rift, the timber veneer entertainment unit, and bathrooms featuring vertically arranged kitkat tiles.

The home’s colourful furniture, art, and sculptural decor is where Zoe’s aesthetic really shines. The Rotazioni rug designed by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis was the starting point of the entire living scheme. From here, Zoe has layered art from local galleries, and sentimental items – including pieces made by her Dad, such as the one-of-a-kind handmade green mirror and timber coffee table, made by hand in the property’s old tool shed.

‘The style is definitely “playful” and a bit “art house,” consisting of bright and cheerful spaces with big blocks of colour,’ Zoe says. ‘I love collecting furniture that is sculptural and functional — most of our pieces tick this checklist!’

The completed home brings the entire family joy. ‘It’s our happy place,’ says Zoe. 


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