James Shaw and Lyndon Sendeckyj live in a Thornbury home with their border collie cross Jack Russell terrier, Beatrix.
The couple moved into the home a year ago after a change in jobs allowed them to live further away from the CBD.
“West Melbourne was a really good location, but we only had a tiny backyard,” Lyndon says.
“We were right on the fringe of the city and I don’t miss that at all – it’s too much.”
As an added rare bonus, this particular property was advertised as being ‘pet friendly.’
“People rocked up with their dogs to the inspection,” James says.
Behind the home is the couple’s studio where they produce pieces for their individual pottery labels – Lemons Ceramics (James) and Nomad Obj Co (Lyndon) – both of which are stocked at the North Melbourne store Guild of Objects.
Prior to this house, Lyndon was renting an external studio space for the label. James is newer to the pottery game, having only started his label when moving into this home.
“Pottery is definitely having a resurgence in Australia, which is good. It was huge in the 60s and 70s and died out in the 80s when IKEA, commercialising and machines that could make things came in,” Lyndon says.
“It’s not as cheap as some of the more commercial stuff, but you tend to look after it and care for it more and it lasts longer.”
Pieces from both Lyndon and James’ labels are on display in the home, serving as both an attractive and practical feature of the space.
“We high fire all our work so it becomes oven, dishwasher and microwave safe,” Lyndon says.
“My stuff is very uniform. It does have its differences but the shapes are the same sizes and the colours are a very similar palette, whereas James’ vases are all very different.”
Recently, the couple has launched a Pozible campaign to fund an upgrade of the studio equipment. They are also in the process of establishing an online store for their own labels and other emerging potters called Wandering Sour Fruit.
“The hardest thing [for artists] is to get your first few stockists. Every one wants your stuff after you’re already known, but getting there is a bit trickier,” Lyndon says.
Lyndon and James’ home is fitted out mainly with hand-me-downs and items purchased from the Facebook group My Stuff = Your Stuff, all of which suit the original retro style of the property.
They’re currently in the process of replacing some of their lesser quality pieces with investment items they will own and cherish forever.
“We’re moving towards buying pieces that might be more expensive but last for longer, so you’ve got to be a bit more considered with that sort of stuff,” Lyndon says.
There are also plenty of framed movie posters (thanks to a family member's former video store) and lush house plants throughout the house, which create contrast against the wood panelled walls.
“I’m very much a house plant person. I just wish they would survive as much as I would like them to,” James says.
“I’m trying to be as non-caring as I possible can be. I think it’s when you get attached, that’s when they die.”
Top rental styling tip? James: Change things up. The art and objects we have on display changes every couple of months or so, I think this makes me feel more in control of my space and it allows me to appreciate pretty corners of the house that may have been lacking interest before.
What are your most searched terms when looking for furniture and homewares online? James: Large indoor plants and deceased estates; a bit dour perhaps but so often you find very affordable quality things.
What’s the best thing about renting? James: The best thing about renting would be the opportunity to find new and interesting places to cultivate your own style. Not having ownership of a space allows for your taste, I suppose, to be refined and more considered. Knowing that one day you might have to pack up everything and move influences me to be particular about what objects and art I surround myself with.