Kate Brouwer and Jace Yendall rent a three-bedroom home with their own backyard studios in Melbourne’s Pascoe Vale.
This rental is the recently married couple and their dog Peppa’s first home together and is the ideal space to suit their various crafts and hobbies. Kate is a ceramic and floral artist who operates her label Asobimasu Clay from one of the two backyard studios alongside her second business, Feast & Flower Co. Jace is a whisky distiller by day who works from the garage as a home brewer and woodworker on weekends.
“I love that we both have creative spaces out the back. It's so important for us to create time and space for creativity. We feel very lucky to have that part of our home and daily lives,” Kate says.
Naturally, much of Kate and Jace’s home is styled with their own works, including numerous ceramics and art by Kate and timber furniture pieces made by Jace. There’s also many sentimental items, such as throw rugs on the beds purchased from eBay originally used to style the couple’s wedding, the timber foldable bed frame Kate’s parents bought years ago and the kitchen storage cabinet (sometimes art storage cabinet) that Kate purchased as a teenager and has taken from house to house.
Some of the bargains they’ve picked up along the way include the bedhead bought off eBay for just 99c, the extendable timber dining table for $50, dining chair set for $50 off Gumtree, and the green velvet jacobean style lounge for $40. The most expensive item in the whole home is the genuine Turkish knitted rug on the living room floor bought for $550, although Kate later found another similar style at the Camberwell Market for $60. Her thrifting style is to seek out particular furniture items and patiently wait until they come along at the right price.
“If you find something you love, you’ve got to pick it up that day or the next,” Kate says.
When searching for a suitable rental property, Kate and Jace had a number of items on their wish list. While they had to compromise on wooden floors and the distance to work, this home does have a backyard with the studios plus the rare Melbourne renting luxury of ducted heating. They love the character of the property’s period decorative features including different ornate ceilings in every room, picture rails and the mushroom painted walls.
“I hope that one day we can have a house just like this – this is our dream house,” Kate says.
“I love that this is our first home together; a place full of love, long lunches and an open door for friends…I love that we just signed on another year’s lease because I don't ever want to leave.”
Top rental styling tip?
Styling with secondhand vintage furniture. So many homes in Melbourne have such beautiful character, it feels right to add furniture of a similar era. Also, lots of plants. Plants are cheap and bring so much life to tired cracked walls and they hide dusty corners. Lastly, rugs. Rugs are my favourite way to hide drab carpet.
What are your most frequently searched home-related terms online?
I'm constantly coveting couches, be it velvet, mid-century, art deco. I think the one thing I'll always want is a new couch, but you can only have so many and I've already got three. I'm also constantly dreaming about other ceramicists’ work thinking where it will fit in my home when I add it to my collection.
What are favourite furniture and homewares stores?
There's so many wonderful places to shop in Melbourne and online, with so many new places popping up all the time. Some of my favourites CCSS for velvet couches and vintage designer overload, Dust Vintage for beautifully curated collections, Makers Mrkt for handmade, creative objects and home items, and Modern Times – I'm always checking in here to stay up to date with new artists and living room inspiration.
What is the best thing about renting?
The best thing about renting is the hunt. I find a thrill and excitement in imagining myself in a new space and thinking about how my furniture and objects will look. I'm always excited by new suburbs and exploring my surrounds, though the moving side of things will always suck. I'm currently so happy in our current location I hope we don't have to move for a few years yet.