Inside this Plant Stylist's Charming 1901 Adelaide Cottage
Fact: This historic Adelaide home is every plant-lovers dream. Greenery in all its glory is the star of the show in every single nook and cranny in this 1901 worker’s cottage—so much so that you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a nursery. It’s unsurprising knowing that the home belongs to plant stylist and founder of EST, Emma Sadie Thomson, who has lived in the semi-detached, red brick and stone home for over five years now.
Located in the industrial suburb of Mile End, which hugs the fringe of the South Australian capital’s CBD, the two-bedroom abode is just as charming on the inside as it is on the out. The exterior which exudes old-school charm is complimented with a minimalist, light-filled interior that is home to crisp white walls, retro-inspired furniture, tribal-inspired textiles, and Thomson’s favourite feature—her endless collection of plants. “To be living in a house that has remained unchanged for the past 115 years is a testament to the craftsmen who built it—something I truly appreciate and enjoy,” says Thomson. Scroll down and take a tour through the delightful property that should be the definition of home.
What is the street like?
The house is located in Rose St which is unique in that it is the only street in Adelaide boasting 24 identical worker’s cottage, built in 1901. Philanthropist Thomas Elder bequeathed £25,000 to provide workers with quality housing.
What do you love about the area?
The inner west has predominately been home to the Greek and Italian community. It is now a bit of a melting pot with the Greek Orthodox Church down the road, an Asian supermarket, an African Community Centre, industrial warehouses, students, and young professionals. I have a huge walnut tree in the backyard and each year when they are ripe I deliver to local Nona’s. Even though I ask for nothing in return I always end up with and copious amounts of baklava and other sweet treats on my doorstep.
What attracted you to the house and ultimately made you fall in love with it and rent it?
My dad grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne and always thought that the western suburbs of Adelaide was destined to be a desirable area. When this property came on the market, the historic nature of the house and the street appealed to him so much that he bought it. I’m so thankful for dad’s foresight which means I can rent such a beautiful home in such a wonderful suburb so close to the city.
How would you describe the style of the home?
Semi-detached red brick cottage with sand-stone facades and crenellated parapets above the entrance porches. The house has wooden floorboards with high ceilings.
When you walk into your house what feelings does it evoke?
Natural light streams into the front north facing rooms which provides a warm calming feeling to the spaces. There is lots of artwork on the walls, but the overall style within the house is very clean and minimal. I have also filled the house with plants which evoke feelings of happiness and breathes life into the spaces.
What sort of home is yours – for example is it an entertaining type of house, where you have friends over for dinner parties or is it more of your sanctuary where you get away?
A sanctuary—being a Taurus, home is the center of my being and it is the place that I feel most comfortable. I do enjoying having guests over for dinner parties, especially in the summer months to enjoy the backyard.
Do you have a favourite room in the house? And why?
My lounge Room—it’s where I spend the most time—it has the most natural light as well, and most of my favourite plants.
What is the inspiration behind the space?
Plants and clean and minimal style—I like to have everything in order. If my space is not in order my mind is not in order. The beauty and order in my house helps me to create beauty and order in my work.
What do you love most about this house?
It sounds strange, but it’s kind of like living in a castle. It has a timeless nature, these cottages were built with beautiful stone and brick, but they were also crafted with prestige. To be living in a house that has remained unchanged for the past 115 years is a testament to the craftsmen who built it. Something I truly appreciate and enjoy.
What is your favourite piece in the home?