It’s a landscape designer’s dream to be offered a large site and the freedom to create any garden of their choosing.

This very scenario resulted in this Black Rock garden by Andrew Panton Design, which combines overflowing foliage, formal hedging, and tropical beach elements relevant to its bayside Melbourne location. 

Designed with year-round interest firmly in mind, the garden is divided into sections highlighting perennials that bloom throughout the seasons.

If there’s an architecturally significant home available to rent in Melbourne’s north-east, you best believe Tilly Barber knows about it.  

The owner of furniture businesses Homebody and Monde has lived in multiple nearby ’60s and ’70s homes, but couldn’t resist moving into the former office of prolific architect Alistair Knox when it recently hit the rental market. 

Embracing the site’s history and leafy Eltham environment, Tilly has turned the space into a somewhat unorthodox yet heartwarming home for herself, and six-year-old-son Marley.

Considering Melburnians historically love everything the CBD has to offer (restaurants, theatre, art galleries, nightlife…), who wouldn’t want to live in the centre of town?

The truth is, for many city dwellers, the heart of Melbourne is an undiscovered gem, hidden in plain sight. Take architect Jessie Fowler (director of Fowler and Ward) and Damian Thompson (COO of The Conversation’s international division); who are the latest avid city living advocates of our new series The Urbanists – presented in partnership with City of Melbourne with support from Victorian Government.

The pair moved to the CBD in 2018, and have become passionate about city living ever since! The creative couple relish all that the city has to offer, including the unexpectedly tight-knit community, unusual architectural moments and indisputable convenience that permeates their day-to-day.

Ben Mooney has always wanted to live above a shop. After years of scouring real estate listings, he signed a three-year commercial lease to finally make his dream a reality. 

He now lives in the upper level of an 1880s Collingwood shop, which he also rents out as a photoshoot and small events space known as Ma House. The large and flexible property is the perfect canvas for Ben’s many, many furniture pieces and design objects, collected locally and abroad – including enough chairs to seat 40 people!

Whale Song is a beach shack turned accommodation designed purely for escapism and relaxation in the small town of Falmouth (population 102) on Tasmania’s east coast. 

Originally built by a local fisherman in the 1980s, current owners Ingrid and Clifton Daniell recently restored the property to highlight its charm and undisrupted ocean views. 

Book your stay to take in gorgeous sunrises through newly-installed windows, make use of the outdoor bath, cosy up around the outdoor fire pit, and spot whales on their annual migration path from your doorstep!

When the couple behind this Glen Iris pad set out to build their dream family home, they knew they wanted it to be a calming sanctuary.

Nala Ryan, of Nala Design, and husband Joel, a builder with Orbis Constructions, started the project during the peak of the pandemic (shortly after welcoming their second daughter!) and the build was completed in 2021. Despite the challenges of building a property amid lockdowns, the end result is a triumph – a tranquil, yet sleek and contemporary space, with garden views from every room.

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