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Home Stories: Sasa Sestic

Ashley Feraude and Bel Combridge

It’s always inspiring to see how our heritage influences our home décor—not just for one generation, but also for those that follow.

Walking into Sasa Sestic’s home in Weston, I was immediately taken back to my childhood memories of visiting my parents’ friends, many of whom were from an eastern European background. There is a specific style that celebrates three key elements: order, comfort and family – and Sasa’s home is a prime example.

For many of you coffee aficionados, Sasa Sestic needs no introduction. You’ll know him as a caffeine god who elevated the coffee culture of Canberra forever through his Hansel & Gretel store, ONA Coffee roasters and cafes, and the Cupping Room. You might also remember him as the guy crowned as the world’s best barista.

Sasa and his wife Beti designed and custom built the home three years ago to suit their growing family of two children Ana and Alessandar, with plenty of space to entertain (including their BBQ spot that transfixed our photographer, Bel).

Minus some inevitable hiccups in the build process—including removing a major wall after it was in place—it all came together perfectly, making the most of the superb forest views from the upper levels. We all agreed that if you squint hard enough, the green outlook almost looks like the forests of Serbia or Macedonia.

As we ventured around the home and moved though the spacious kitchen and lounge areas, I thought at any moment a grandma with a thick accent was going to pop out from around the corner and offer Bel and I some honey vodka. That didn’t happen, but Sasa’s son did offer us a tray of freshly brewed coffee.

I should point out that when I say brewed, I don’t mean that he poured some hot water on some beans, but rather went through a meticulous-chemistry-lab-type process where the only thing was missing a lab coat and goggles. The coffee even came with a sticker informing us about some level of something that was in it. I just loved the citrus-y mild taste, so the technicalities of it all were lost on me.

I have to level with you; I don’t know much about coffee aside from what I like, so I didn’t want to pretend that I do. When Sasa explained the origins of the beans, Bel intently listened and took notes like a square, while I got distracted by the styling of his home and his super cute dog, Teddy.

The contrast of grey and beige slate with super soft leather couches and cosy pillows, white long walls with heavier curtains juxtaposed with glass elements like vases, chandeliers…that’s the recipe for this comfortable yet elegant family home. Sasa explained that despite the immense success of his coffee work, he has no intention to leave Canberra.

“This place has been very good to us and it deserves our respect and contribution. Plus, we love it here. The people, the way it is changing… all that offers great opportunity.”

You’ll probably notice how that is a sentiment reflected by many of the people I visit. Sasa might have not made it as a professional European handball player (fun fact: he was an Olympic athlete in a past life!), but he certainly has made it as a community-focused guy with a vision for a coffee revolution—one that can be credited with moving Canberra from caramel-syrup lattes in large glass tumblers during the 2000s to the world class of amazing coffee we now can sample at so many local cafés.











Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here and read about Canberra Centre’s home wares haven here.

Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with Canberra Centre

Photos by Bel Combridge


Ashley Feraude

Ashley Feraude is a creative consultant, music producer and man-about-town. Under his Sound Technique agency, he provides award-winning consultancy services ranging from branding design, creative content development and event music direction for events and hospitality venues. Under the alias Magnifik, he produces award-winning original music filled with electronic soul and performs melodic DJ sets at numerous night spots, events and festivals. And if that wasn’t enough, Ashley is also the author of this insightful interior design editorial series. So is he suffering from split personality disorder and has an obsession over pointy awards? Not really...he just loves design, music and getting an insight into people’s personalities. Plus he likes being really busy. More about the Author


Bel Combridge

Bel Combridge is a photographer, design whizz and adventure enthusiast based in Canberra, but always wondering where next. A self-confessed aesthetic addict, Bel lives for all things creative, design, and delicious. Keep up with her latest adventures on on Instagram @belcombridgephotography. More about the Author

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