WORDS: Laura Jackel

This striking wooden cottage with its yellow front door in Waratah radiates kerb appeal. Once inside, prepare to have your woolly winter socks blown off by its unique and thoughtful design that’s a blend of vintage furniture, beautiful textures and the odd pop of greenery and colour. 

Home to one of the loveliest families you ever will meet, Becca, Jono, Dylan and Ellis, this House Perv is a celebration of stylish family living with a mid-century modern industrial twist. 


PHOTOS: Atelier Photography

What is the known history of your beautiful home? 
The house was built in around 1910 and is very much a traditional wooden cottage. When I purchased it in 2012, the property was split into two units and had been rented out for some time. It needed a lot of work done but it had a warm and welcoming feel, good room sizes and fantastic potential. 

Who lives in your home? 
I’m Becca Stern, an artist and jeweller previously of House of Bec and co-founder with my sister Jess of Mustard. I live with Jono Mansfield, my husband an environmental scientist and consultant for Environmental Resources Management Australia (ERM), my nine-year-old son Dylan and 17-month-old Ellis, who was born in the bathroom! 

You have done a lot of work on the house; can you tell us a little about that process? 
Over the last six years pretty much everything has had to be done, from painting and replacing windows and doors to the kitchen and bathroom. 

When I moved in, the floors were the first thing on the list as there were about seven different types and nothing matched. The whole floor was replaced with sustainable tallow wood timber which instantly helped return the flow to the house after it had been so strangely subdivided. More recently Jono and I managed a bathroom and laundry renovation as well as a full makeover on its exterior, including a whole new yard and covered veranda.

This last part of the makeover was a huge challenge as we decided to get married in the garden so we had a six-month deadline to make it all happen. That may sound like a long time but add in a baby on the way and running a business – not too much pressure! We did as much as we could ourselves and enlisted the help of professionals, including a landscaper, Jasper from Sustainable Surrounds and called in all the favours from our family and friends. 

Thankfully we got it done in time for our wedding day deadline on New Year’s Eve 2016, but we cut it fine – I remember there were painters still working on the exterior walls the day beforehand! 

How would you describe your personal style? 
I’m quite fickle and changeable with my style but I am definitely drawn to the mid-century era that reminds me of my grandparents’ home, they were architects and had amazing furniture! I love the thrill of finding unique pieces of furniture at vintage shops and op shops or on Gumtree. I often end up rearranging a whole room around a beautiful table or chair I’ve found! The second-hand aspect to my style is also important to Jono and I because we try to recycle and reuse where we can. We have used sustainable materials in the house where possible, such as with the floors and benchtops and our beautiful bathroom vanity is all recycled. 

I also love the industrial look and we own a number of charming rusty bits of metal, including lockers, around the house! These lockers are what helped inspire me to start Mustard with my sister Jess who lives in London and manages the UK side of the business. I’ve always had a thing for lockers but it’s hard to find ones that look beautiful and are really practical inside. It’s been amazing finally having my own designs in my home. 

What do you love most about your home? 
I love its warm and welcoming family vibe, the fact that we’ve worked hard to make it look lovely but yet it still feels lived in. I love our outdoor space, the verandah and the veggie beds and I love that we have great neighbours! 

What are some of the benefits of its location in Waratah? 
I wasn’t sold on the area at first but now I love it. Our neighbours are fantastic, parking is easy and we are very centrally located so nothing feels very far. We also have plenty of parks nearby, the Waratah Village shops on the doorstep and the Oily George café just down the road. 

Finally, can you tell us a little about how you and Jono met? 
Jono and I met on Tinder and we instantly clicked in real life. He came to meet me at this house for our first date and he instantly felt as if he had come home. It has been lovely to make this our home together and so special to celebrate both our wedding in the garden and Ellis’ birth here too. 

Find out more about Becca’s lifestyle brand and beautiful lockers here –