Spaces (volume two) by Frankie Magazine – a review & giveaway…

You may remember a couple of months ago I featured Spaces Magazine here on the blog.  If not, then let me tell you a little about it….
Spaces is a beautiful collection of homes around Australia, from the East Coast capitals to the wilds of Tasmania and the southernmost tip of Western Australia.  The team by the wonderful Frankie magazine have bought together interesting creative photographic talent and homeowners all wrapped up in Spaces.

Volume 2 sold out immediately, and I can see why. It is full to the brim with interesting Aussie style interiors.  For a photography geek & uber nosy parker like me, I love it! Intimate house tours featuring natural homes (no overly styled images here) of Australian designers, photographers, foodies, musicians and artists. They are the kind of places that take time and energy to put together, with some of the most precious things in them passed down through families, collected on travels or picked up from the side of the road. Exactly how I like to decorate in my own home. Homes with soul and history.

Frankie has just restocked Spaces Volume 2 (just in time for Christmas) and to celebrate Frankie has very kindly let me share my personal favourite space in the book. I adore Michelle and Leo Crawford’s farm home. They upped sticks from Sydney to the Huon Valley, Tasmania with their children. Michelle is also a fantastic blogger, food stylist and cook (she also is an instagram friend of mine too, so I had to share her home really!) Images are by the wonderful Lusia Brimble – who has an incredible photographic talent. Words by Nadia Saccardo.
 A 100-year-old farmhouse in a valley at the bottom of the world sounds like the setting for a magical, slightly mysterious story, but the reality, says Michelle, was beige. “The house was beige inside and out, with cheap pine panelling and plenty of vinyl on the walls and floors. It was OK, but I certainly didn’t love it.” 

The weatherboard house was one of the few bumps in a road that carried Michelle, her husband Leo and daughter Elsa from inner-western Sydney to a rural landscape in Tassie. They’d flown down to visit friends in October 2004 and, taken with the countryside around Hobart – the orchards, barns and water, all under the shadow of snow-topped Mount Wellington – moved permanently two months later. It was an easy transition. They made friends quickly, and happily swapped sandals for boots and swimmers for heavy jackets. 

Leo, a former band booker at Sydney’s Metro Theatre, found a telecommunications job in the city, and they soon had another child, Hugo. 

On paper, the farmhouse was idyllic, too. After renting for a couple of years, they bought the three-bedroom property on just under an acre of land in the Huon Valley. Typified by a mighty river, rustic buildings, timber mills and orchards, the area was the centre of the apple industry from the early 1900s till the late 1960s, exporting millions of crates per year to England and around the world. 

IMG_0651Amidst this charming setting was Michelle and Leo’s house. Surrounded by pasture and bush, it had views over the valley and across the river to Mount Misery, a grim-sounding but majestic mountain range. “But we bought it in a hurry,” Michelle says, “and the house needed quite a bit of work to truly feel like home.” 

And so the work began. While the sandstone foundations were solid, and the corrugated iron roof charming when it rained, the more modern interior surfaces were stripped back to reveal original features. Carpets were ripped up and heavy drapes torn down. The patchwork paint was removed and the walls coated in crisp white. Front of mind, for Michelle, was a sense of responsibility to the building, a sensitivity to its original spirit. “With old houses, I feel you’re more of a caretaker than anowner,” she explains. “You’ve bought something that already has this amazing history and you don’t want to spoil it; you want to preserve that sense of history while creating a liveable home for your family.” So the slightly uneven floors stayed and, slowly, the house’s eccentricities turned into a subtle charm. 

Michelle and Leo didn’t have a lot of spare cash to renovate, so things took time. They hired professionals to do much of the work and chipped in themselves whenever possible. This process, slow as it might have been, eased them into a self-sufficient way of living that characterised their new life and community. There’s an independent spirit there, Michelle says, recalling a neighbour who recoiled at the thought of paying someone to clean a chimney flue. “She said, ‘Why would you pay someone to do a job you can do perfectly well?’  
And she was right. People here have that real work/life balance. There aren’t the high paying jobs, so you sort of sacrifice a big income for a better lifestyle, and part of that means you have to grow your own vegetables, make jam, split your own firewood and clean your own flue. And there’s a lot of pleasure in doing those things. At the end of the day you fall into bed and it feels so good to know you’ve done something simple, honest and true.” 
Instead of rushing out to buy lots of new things to furnish the house, Michelle and Leo had time to think about what they really liked and gather pieces slowly. As seasoned vintage collectors, this wasn’t a huge problem. They had previously lived down the road from an auction house, where Michelle picked up objects and furniture over the years, including two beloved brown leather armchairs. She also scored Hugo’s bed, an old wrought iron hospital frame, from a local auction house for $10. 
You want to read on, don’t you?!  Well, Frankie Magazine is kindly giving away two copies of Spaces Volume 2, to two Littlegreenshed readers.  All you have to do is comment below, and tell me what makes your home the perfect space for you.  The winners will be picked at random on Wednesday 12th November.  Good luck!

All images curtesy of Frankie Press.  Excerpt images by Luisa Brimble.  Words by Nadia Saccardo.

Winners:  Dear Olive & Mister Sullivan
Please email me with your addresses on:


  • What a great start to the weekend! Can’t wait to see this, thank you very much! Will email you my address now:)

  • Open plan from front to back so the littlun has the run of the downstairs, though he has to avoid the bigguns cartwheeling and penny boarding about… A banister to scale and slide down, shelves spilling over with books and records, decks very much a part of the family. Though I could use a little extra warmth, I can’t really complain. We have room to breathe and grow x x x

  • There is a blue sitting chair handed down from my great-grandmother. When my daughter sits reading her book, with a trio of stringed instruments on the wall above her, the love and laughter of our inheritances is felt in the room. The perfusion of sound like children’s laughter.

  • Such a good giveaway! My house isn’t exactly perfect, it doesn’t have the beamed ceilings and wood burning stove that I dream of. What makes my home perfect for me is how lived in it is. It’s not a show room, every corner isnt Pinterest worthy, but it’s mine and my boyfriend’s, and you can tell our personalities as soon as you walk through the door. The huge collection of vinyl stacked in the living room, our little cat curled up in-between the records asleep, the collection of clothes draped drying over the old-fashioned rack in the kitchen, the piles of books stacked on every available surface, the vases of almost-dead flowers cluttering work surfaces: all of this makes our house perfect

  • I could really do with something like that…and a huge amount of inspiration. I feel like the walls are closing in on me at the moment. X

  • My home is my family; my family is my home. Whether it’s our home on wheels or our home without wheels, as long as they are there, that is all I need.

  • I have spent a great deal of time looking over magazines for ideas for my home. This one appears to be full of great ideas and inspiration. I would love to win it.

  • My space is teeny, tiny, cosy Victorian one bedroom flat which is also my office.
    Every piece of furniture in my flat is a combination of family hand-me-downs, second hand junk shop finds, bespoke using British materials and art collected on my travels. Having come from a family of obsessive collectors I love the fact that the size of my flat demands that I consider how an item will fit, function and look in my little space and forces me to really question if I NEED something in my life and not be such a consumer (which keeps the potential hoarder inside of me in check!) It also forces me to be super tidy (which doesn’t come naturally!) and never takes long to do a good spring clean.

  • Oh what a lovely bookish treat – fingers crossed!

    My perfect home is filled with family – and lots of cushions! Moving house (and country!) helped me appreciate the little things that are full of memories…. x x

  • After having spent the last few years living in student houses, what I love about my new home now is that I’m alone: it’s quiet, it’s clean, I can put things wherever I want them to go. Also I can burn as many candles as I want to! which was never allowed in student houses!

  • This is my first year of owning a house with my wife… so it’s perfect just being able to finally do what we want (which so far means painting pretty much everything bright, including the floors), and adjusting the space we have into our preferred style(s). It’s great looking through our collection of interiors books and magazines, and thinking “we can try and do that” instead of “I wish wish we could do that!”.

  • Ohhh, I have to enter this – I spent ages trying to track down a copy of Volume One a while back! I love Michelle’s house too – I think you introduced me to her on The Gram and I was hooked!

    What makes our home the perfect space for us? The big living room which has room for all of us to be drawing, painting, working, playing, cat-hugging, Lego-ing and laughing (usually all at once).

  • It’s small but full of joyful chatter, love and toys. We are in the countryside which I love, hearing clip clopping horses outside is something I couldn’t do without !

  • Australian homes always inspire me! Our home is perfect today because of the smell of roast potatoes & the prospect of all sitting round the table to stir up our Christmas cake later this afternoon…

  • Hmm apart from the people in it I think what makes home perfect for me is the colour – we have some fairly colourful art around the place and then there are the quilts and the blankets and the balls of wool escaping all over the place. It’s warm and snug and bright and I love it!

  • I flicked through this recently at my hairdressers and I’d love my own copy! Kellie xx

  • fab, my house is cluttered and messy but at least you know its lived in lol. i wouldnt have it any other way

  • This looks like a lovely magazine! We’re lucky to live in a 200 year old farmhouse surrounded by drumlins. Our home is totally ‘us’, restored by my husband, peopled by our children and dogs, it reflects our lives. It has its, um, *charms*…no need for bringing the outdoors into our house, it finds its way in all by itself…but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Luisa makes everything look so beautiful! Thank you for your lovely words! xx

  • Our flat is tiny, but we have spent time make it our prefect space. I think the slow collection of objects from our travels makes it so the most homely of all. and lots of candles and blankets.

  • my home is perfect for me because we renovated it when we moved in and chose everything how we wanted it. And our blood, sweat and tears, literally, went into it all

  • What makes my home perfect for me? Apart from my family it would have to be the wonderful views!

  • Our home is made perfect due to it being filled with long held objects of significance: the mid-century desk I bought for a steal during my uni days, the bookcases filled with books belonging to my late father-in-law, the dining chairs given as an engagement present, the cot that has been used for both our kids. Mostly our home is perfect as it changes with the seasons, in winter it wraps us up and in summer it flings it’s doors open and ushers us outside into our garden.

  • I’m always interested in learning about new magazines and this one looks fabulous. I hope I’m lucky!

  • Oh I’d love to win! But ah what makes my home the perfect space for me? I suppose it’s the art I’ve collected over the past few years and the way the evening light filters into the kitchen :)

  • Thanks for a lovely review Lou. I especially like Michelle and Leo’s idea of a ‘slow home’. I’ve had lots of people come to my house and say ‘wow, if this was mine, I’d renovate it immediately’. But the perfect space for me is somewhere that evolves slowly to reflect my changing needs and whims. This month, renovating my home office! Back to work now…

  • Please, please pop my name in the bag! What makes my home perfect for me…..being surrounded by things I love, things that mean something to me, a place I can recharge and refresh. A place where I can express who I am, and love those who mean the most to me :) xxx

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