Natalie, Nicholas and Arthur's Circus

Natalie, Nicholas and Arthur's Circus

Gregory Han
Feb 29, 2008

Name: Natalie, Nicholas and their son, Arthur.
Occupation: Natalie is a photographer and Nick is a former electrician.
Location: North Melbourne (innercity Melbourne), Australia 

Type: Old Victorian shop front and dwelling, built in 1890. Shop below and residence above on the above two floors.
Size: Approx 4.5 metres wide x 18 metres (872 sq. ft) on all three levels.
Years Lived In: Current renovated state 1.5 years.

Natalie, Nicholas and Arthur's colourful vintage toy-tinged home is our first Apartment Therapy House Tour from the land down under, and we think this might be among the most fun interiors we've ever showcased. Natalie and Nicholas are the proud owners of their own store, Arthur's Circus, "specialising in the sale of hard to find vintage toys, collectables and lighting". And as you'll soon note, their playful air that permeates throughout their professional and personal lives with a colourful enthusiasm as bright as a Melbourne afternoon.

Natalie and Nicholas' Survey:

Our Style: vintage, a little bit of industrial, the 1950's, found objects and most of all fun!

The Inspiration: Using re-cycled materials / furnishings. Our roof deck is made from tallow wood that used to be seating for a now demolished football stadium. (complete with chewing gum stains on the underside) Our son is also a huge inspiration. Also I like reading interior decorating magazines such as Living Etc, Elle Decoration (both UK), Vogue Living, Inside Out (both Aus) and have recently been exploring the world of blogs such as yours.

Favorite Element: Our growing collections of things (such as the clocks and cookie jars.) we use to style our home.

Biggest Challenge: Utilising the space effectively and having it over three levels.

What Friends Say: There's a lot of stairs, but they seem to really like it.

Biggest Embarrassment: You can't see, but at the moment it would be our 3rd bedroom/study. It's a dumping ground for shop items, paperwork, work in progress etc.

Proudest DIY: Our kitchen cabinetry was found in a dump bin. We borrowed a friends panel van in the middle of the night and rescued it (I was 5 months pregnant), had it sand-blasted and powder-coated then Nick reassembled it to fit.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the carpet, originally the house was going to be more industrial with checker plate metal stairs and Pirelli vinyl flooring, then we became pregnant and that all flew out the window. I love our carpet in the bedrooms and hallway (not so great- vacuuming the stairs).

Best Advice: Never underestimate built in storage. We have none and oh I wish we did.

Our Dream Source: We would love to travel to the USA and France and scour all the flea and second hand markets.

Thank you Natalie, Nicholas and Arthur for inviting us all into your home!



  • Ilve oven & rangehood

  • Miele dishwasher


  • Taps are by Enware, they usually supply hospitals and science labs, but we contacted them and voila!


  • Mostly second hand finds or given to us, except for our beds/mattresses. Although Arthur's bedframe was found by Nick on the side of the road.


  • Cushions made by Natalie from old flour sacks

  • Vintage toys and collectables.


  • Most if not all are second hand finds. Nick used to be an electrician and has been collecting interesting light fittings for years.


  • White through out


  • Kitchen flooring is Lino tiles. Inspiration was from the nineteen fifties and Big Al's toy barn in the movie Toy Story.

Window Treatments

  • I bought vintage repro fabric from Repro Depot and had them made into curtains in the bedrooms and blinds else where.


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