Our love of food is intriguing. It runs much deeper than the ingredients we use…
After a well-earned break, Ashley and Cass kick off a fresh series of Home Stories by paying a visit to local creative Jenny Wu.
After a little break from Home Stories, it was time for Cass and I to see the humans of Canberra again—in a responsibly distanced way, of course.
So, I shaved off my ZZ Top beard and made my way past the pyramid of empty wine bottles to find photographer Cass at my front door. We were on our way to visit photographer Jenny Wu at her home in Kaleen—and I couldn’t think of a better subject for Home Stories.
I’ve been a fan of Jenny’s smooth Instagram feed and photography ever since we got chatting about lifestyle and wedding photography at the Ms Fray store opening a year or so ago, and I was really looking forward to seeing how that aesthetic transfers to her home.
On arrival, we were greeted by a new and modern home with clean lines. It was so new, in fact, that the old letterbox was still leaning against the side of the garage like someone still up from a party the night before.
But a hungover letterbox was about as un-wholesome as things would get. From the moment Jenny and husband Phil welcomed us in, we entered a space of simplicity and tranquillity.
As Cass’s photos illustrate, Jenny and Phil’s home is anchored in a grounding palette of soothing taupe, grey and navy. This brings a clean, minimalist feel to the space, complemented by the spacing of a curated selection of furniture and subtle placements of simple décor items like vases, photographs and prints. Colour, space and detail was Jenny and Phil‘s formula.
Speaking of photographs, you may have noticed that none of them are hung.
That’s not just because leaning frames against walls is chic and minimalist, but because Phil still has the ‘new-home’ bug and can’t bring himself to put a nail in any of his fresh and flawless walls.
But we all know that will eventually change, since homes are to be lived in fully and their imperfections are not only a given but also what we end up liking once we settle in for the long run. In fact, Jenny and Phil’s cats are already helping them with that.
One of the biggest design changes came after the younger cat decided that the study nook was its fancy litter box—prompting the couple to exchange carpet for floorboards after a failed campaign of booby traps.
This, however, proved to be a blessing in disguise, as moving the location of Jenny’s home office means she now has a bigger space, more fitting for someone of her calibre of fashion and travel photography.
That being said, this was one of the only elements of the house that wasn’t planned to the nth degree.
Phil explained that when they bought the old house in Kaleen three years ago, it was going to cost about the same to extend as it would to do a complete knockdown rebuild—so why not have the freedom to design a home for a modern family?
What Phil and Jenny didn’t know at the time was that Jenny would soon be pregnant, so this choice to start from scratch was rather fortunate.
I didn’t get to meet little Liam because he was sleeping peacefully, which was not surprising in such a chic and wholesome home. But that’s okay, I could picture a little baby wrapped in taupe, grey and navy.
Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Home Stories is brought to you in partnership with ActewAGL.
Photography: Cass Atkinson