'Everything in my home I love': Inside the home of Lynn Clay


Who: Lynn Clay of Scarlet Jones and Geoff Clay

Where: Albert Park, Vic.

What: Victorian terrace

Creative shopkeepers inevitably have the most wonderfully eclectic homes. It's as if their inspired merchandising skills cannot be contained only to the retail environment.

A case in point is the Melbourne home of Lynn and Geoff Clay, owners of Scarlet Jones concept stores in Albert Park and Hawthorn.

Furnished with a pared-back edit of antique furniture and vintage artwork, Lynn and Geoff's Victorian home in Albert Park has an old-fashioned sort of charm.

This sweet, two-bedroom Victorian house has been their home for just under three years. It's one of four small, single-fronted terraces, built together with the same bricks, charming old doors and leadlight entrances, standing side by side on one of Albert Park's wide streets.

Lynn and Geoff have made a few simple updates to their home since moving in. The house originally had only an outdoor bathroom and toilet, so it was a top priority to create a new bathroom inside, in what was previously a study.

In the kitchen, the pair also reluctantly replaced the original kookaburra stove with a new cooker, installed an industrial sink, and tiled the kitchen walls in square white tiles.

Floorboards were sanded, and walls painted white throughout, with the exception of one standout peeling brick wall in the dining room - the perfect backdrop for Lynn's artwork collection.

Lynn's beautifully curated retail stores showcase her distinctive vintage-inspired aesthetic, and this unique sense of style inevitably spills over into her home life, too.

Her home is furnished with antiques and vintage finds - she particularly treasures her art deco French bed, and the fabulous depression drawers in her loungeroom, made from rare 1930s tins.

"As I have got older I prefer a comfortable, simple life with less stuff," Lynn says. "Everything I have in my home I love, be it the pieces I've had for 30 years or the simple water glasses and plain linen teatowels from six months ago. Not having much space makes you choose to keep only what you use and love."

The Design Files guide to collecting old art

Vintage art is a great way to start an eclectic art collection on a budget.

  • The best op-shop bargains are invariably at vintage stores in outer suburbs and country towns. Make a day of it and plan to fossick far and wide.
  • Original paintings on canvas or board age better than prints or works on paper.
  • Vintage artworks look great when hung "salon hang" style, in an eclectic grouping. Plan your desired placement on the floor before you start.
  • To avoid a cluttered or ad-hoc look, stick to a theme. Adhere to a specific palette or style of work to keep your collection consistent (abstract, portraits, watercolours, landscapes).

This story 'Everything in my home I love': Inside the home of Lynn Clay first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.