The Most Creative Homes in Australia

by Amy Azzarito

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Back in 2010, the first volume of SPACES by Frankie hit newsstands, and as huge fans of Australian design, we were singing its praises back then so, of course, we are excited to hear that it’s back. Although is billed as a magazine, this 260-page chronicle of some of the coolest spaces in Australia feels more like a book with a focus is on the resourcefulness and individual style of Australian designers, photographers, foodies, musicians and artists. From the wilds of Tasmania to the southernmost tip of Western Australia, the editors left no stone unturned in their search for creative homes in Australia. These are not fancy, picture-perfect houses, these are places that take time and energy to put together because they are just as individual as their owners. It’s a great reminder to take your time and make your own home feel like it’s an extension of you. We chatted with Leta Keens, the editorial manager for SPACES about what the team was doing in the four-year gap between volumes, how long it took to put the magazine together and how they found those amazing homes. See our interview with Leta after the jump!-Amy

(You can purchase SPACES by Frankie Volume 2 right )

(If you need other ideas for weekend reading, check out our list of our 15 favorite magazines.)

from on .

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Image above: The Brisbane home of Patience Hodgson and John Patterson from the band, The Grates – they have an entire room devoted to crafting!

See more images from Spaces by Frankie after the jump!

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Design*Droits-Humains: Why is there a four year gap between Spaces Volume 1 and Volume 2? What were you guys up to?
Leta: Since SPACES volume one came out in 2010, the small team at frankie press has been super busy doing all sorts of things. We’ve produced cookbooks ( and ), with app versions of both. We’ve put out , diaries and calendars each year, and then in 2011 launched a quarterly men’s magazine, . During that time, frankie has steadily increased in circulation and it’s been awarded Australian Magazine of the Year for 2012 and 2013. SPACES volume one was so successful that it was reprinted in 2011. Since then, we’ve had constant inquiries from people trying to buy a copy, so last year decided to produce Volume two.

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Design*Droits-Humains: How long did it take to create the magazine?
Leta: It took less than three months from start to finish – from putting out the first call for places to sending the book off to the printer, which is an incredibly short stretch of time. There’s something about frankie that when the word goes out, things happen very quickly. We pretty well had no knockbacks from people whose places we wanted to feature, our lovely band of photographers and writers worked incredibly hard over the holiday season, when the rest of Australia was at the beach, to get it all together.

We put out the call for places to everyone we knew or wanted to know, our readers. From that, we literally had hundreds of possible places to choose from, and it was a really tough job narrowing them down. In practical terms, we tried to get a mix of city and country, and we wanted representation from all around Australia, if possible. We were also keen to get some good work spaces in there. But the whole thing was an emotional exercise more than anything else – if one or two of us said “I want to be there right now”, that was enough for the place to make the cut. “I want to be friends with those people” was a bonus.

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Design*Droits-Humains: Did you learn anything surprising about design in Australia?
Leta: I never cease to be amazed how inventive and resourceful people are – how, in many cases, they can make something absolutely wonderful from almost nothing. After a while, we realised that even though each place looked quite different, the words were becoming a little repetitive as people talked about picking things up from the side of the road or finding things in op shops, so, for the sake of our readers, we toned that aspect down slightly. I knew it before, but it was reinforced when doing SPACES, that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. There were a couple of places I visited that, when I arrived, I wondered if I’d come to the right house – but was reassured as soon as the front door was opened. It made those particular places even more special, and their occupants even more ingenious.

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Design*Droits-Humains: Do you have any favorite spaces from the Magazine?
Leta: If you forced me to pick one place from SPACES volume two (and I’d rather not!), it would be the Paterson Building. It was an old furniture store in Melbourne that, from the Sixties, had been studio space and accommodation for artists and other creatives. We managed to photograph it just before it was redeveloped into apartments – it feels quite poignant to look at the beautiful photographs and know that it doesn’t exist anymore, but I’m really pleased we had the chance to document it.

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Design*Droits-Humains: Any plans for a Volume 3?
Leta: Yes. We had so much fun putting this one together that we’re definitely not going to leave it so long until the next one.

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