Tour the Self-Designed Millennial Pink Sanctuary Ella Edwards Calls Home
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, creative Ella Edwards welcomes us into her home.
Forget taking a trip to Palm Springs—if you need a Mid-Century fix, just pop over to Ella Edwards’ Melbourne home.
As the head designer of Australian-based and Cali-inspired fashion label Dream Monstar, it goes without saying that this creative has an enviable eye for style. But her dreamy aesthetic isn’t confined to the realm of fashion—Ella also creates interiors, designing most of the custom-made furniture you see in her highly Pin-able family home.
Drawing inspiration from the iconic Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, Ella’s abode is a breathtaking ode to the modernist design movement. In the cocktail room, a Wall&Decò palm print mural sets a retro vibe to the space, complete with a showstopping Eichholtz 'Equalizer' chandelier and unique gold and Lucite shelving.
In the living area, stunning solid brass poles divide the cocktail room and front entry, whilst in the paradisiacal peach ensuite, the same design separates his & her vanities. Here, beauty isn’t just in the eye of the beholder, it’s quite literally everywhere you look.
Hi Ella! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
Initially I worked in fashion, now I also create interiors and design furniture.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I love to create. I am a very visual person and get extreme fulfilment from creating things that I love, whether it be designing furniture, selecting materials for our interiors or mixing a cocktail. The options are endless when it comes to creating.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer? And what inspired you to start your own label, Dream Monstar?
I’ve always been drawn to fashion and interiors, drawing up dream floor plans when I was a child and pouring over issues of Vogue Paris in my early teens. I worked as a commercial Property Valuer for 10 years before I took the leap and followed my design passion. It definitely set a strong business foundation for the future. My husband works in Men’s Fashion so that helped launch me into the world of design.
Talk us through your design process. How do you keep things fresh in the ever-evolving world of fashion and now interiors?
Personally, I believe the key to a career in design is to remain true to your aesthetic, drawing inspiration from travels, books and images—anything that truly speaks to you. In today’s fast paced world, it can be refreshing to take a step back and focus on the things that make your visual self feel inspired.
What’s been the single most crucial strategy you’ve used to grow your creative businesses?
Focus and work hard.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started your businesses?
Whilst it’s crucial to be 100% devoted to your own business, make sure you have support. When you can, surround yourself with a team who have an equal level of passion for your project. It’s important to have someone to lean on in times of need.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
A highlight was seeing my product sold in stores in the US, including Dash and Nasty Gal.
Over recent years, I can appreciate the way I have evolved through many areas of design.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to start their own creative business?
You only have one life so make it count. Don’t waste your days working in a career that doesn’t bring you happiness. For me, transitioning from working in a corporate environment to running my own business in fashion was the best decision I ever made, though I was lucky to have financial support in the beginning as we set up my label. Also, remember that failure isn’t the end of success—it’s the single thing that drives us to work harder for what we want.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We bought our block about seven years ago with a clear vision of the U-shaped Mid-Century-Modern-meets-contemporary home we wanted to create. We then lived in the old house for just under five years, which gave us wonderful insight into how the light and sun worked across the block, which was a key element in designing each space to be sundrenched. We finished our build just over a year ago with landscaping complete in time for Spring.
Shop Ella's look with the Objet Aimee Forme Vase.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
The block really stood out for me, being north-facing and elevated with views to the mountains. It was the perfect shape—wider to the rear of the site, which was precisely what we needed for our specific U-shaped layout. It was also full of citrus and fruit trees, reminding me of past trips to Capri.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Yes, we designed and built our dream home! The design of our home kept me creatively satisfied after I had put my fashion label on hold. I had always been interested in interior design, and this gave me the chance to really explore the power that can come from creating your own space. I definitely feel an interior that really speaks to you can uplift you every time you’re in it.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Stay true to yourself and your style. Interiors can be so personal, and I think they really allow you to express your personality in your surroundings. I wanted to ensure each space had a purpose and function for our growing family. I’m big on a neutral palette with personality—I love calming layers of ivory, ecru and beige, a real Pierre Paulin 70s vibe.
Many of the spaces in our home have colour themes, which really define how they’re used. The Den is dark and moody for cosy nights on the sofa, the Cocktail or Gold room layers neutrals with gold and Lucite providing the perfect space for drinks and music. Our ensuite is an inviting space, all pink and smoke glass with brass trims, where the Kelly Wearstler wall lights create the perfect moonlike glow for unwinding before bed.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I am obsessed with lighting as it really softens a space and sets the mood so I would have to say my Panthella floor lamp and Artemide Nesso lamp. It’s hard to ignore the comfort of the Ligne Roset armchairs in the cocktail room, the textured boucle of the pumpkin chairs and buttery Kvadrat velvet on the Plumy sofas is a dream after a long week.
I designed most of the other key pieces in our home, from the curved dining room table to the sofa in the den, and our elongated puffy bedhead and lacquered bedsides.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
Yes, absolutely! Our outdoor setting is missing one piece, a white Knoll Petal coffee table. We might just have to bring one home on our next trip from LA. I also strangely enjoy searching for vintage Guzzini lamps, like the Baobab and Toledo, and one day hope to source a Pierre Paulin Elysee floor lamp.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
It’s so hard to pick one. After spending so much time creating each space, I feel drawn to them all. I do love to cook for my family, so the kitchen is where I spend a lot of my time, looking out to the gardens and pool. The cocktail room is also the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a drink of two with some soft tunes.
Tell us about your bedroom.
It’s such a calming space, I could sit for a long time looking out to the pool and trees in the distance, though I don’t get to spend too much time just ‘being’ in the room with two little ones. I wanted to create a bedroom with a 1970s glam vibe with a neutral palette layering beige, creams and nude tones. I find this palette incredibly calming and the perfect environment for sleep. I designed our bed with all of my favourite hotel beds we have slept in from NY to Paris in mind. The bedsides are one of my most recent creations, inspired by vintage chaise stands I came across in the US.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
More important than anything is to splurge on your dream mattress, something that really welcomes you after a long day. Naturally, your bed will feel even more cloud like if your goose down duvet is encased in linen bedding. Our bedroom is definitely the one space where I prefer minimal clutter. I like to make sure everything is packed away in my wardrobe before I sleep for a more restful space.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
Yes, I am always asked where my furniture is from and most of the time it’s something I’ve designed and had custom made. So, I am re-launching Dream Monstar where people can purchase truly unique pieces made-to-order, such as my curved dining table, cocktail chair, and my puffy bedhead.
For more from Ella, follow her @dreammonstar.
Loved this home tour? Step Inside Illustrator Kelly Thompson's Vintage-Filled Home