The designers share how they layered their Melbourne home with unique thrift finds, bright colours, and their fabulous personalities.

| By Rachael Thompson | Home tours

Josh & Matt’s Maximalist Rental Is a Design-Lover’s Dream

The designers share how they layered their Melbourne home with unique thrift finds, bright colours, and their fabulous personalities.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour design duo Josh & Matt's maximalist rental home in Camberwell, Melbourne.

Maximalism is a tricky design style to nail. The "more is more" aesthetic can quickly turn chaotic and cluttered rather than eclectic and extravagant. Design duo Josh & Matt have mastered the art, inspiring a community of over 750k loyal followers on TikTok and 580k on Instagram who find inspiration from the unique spaces they create. It's impressive! We spoke to the pair about their top tips for achieving the look, the art of thrifting, and take a tour of their colourful new rental home.

This isn't the first time Bed Threads Journal has taken a peek into the home of this creative couple. In 2021, we stepped inside Josh & Matt's vibrant inner-city flat which they moved out of after it was hit by a huge windstorm. Since then, the pair have moved three times, having now settled into their spacious home in Melbourne's Camberwell. They were drawn to this particular space because of its indoor-outdoor flow and overall size, which they knew would let them play with their creativity.

What's surprisingly exciting about this home is that it's a rental. For those living in a rental home, you're likely familiar with the limitations this imposes as far as making it feel like your own. The creative duo, however, have been able to completely transform the interior and make it feel like a home by layering it with their design flair. "We’re planning to live here for years so we're putting in as much effort as possible to turn it into a home that truly represents us without any permanent changes," they share with Bed Threads Journal.

The appeal of maximalism is its uniqueness and how it allows for authentic creation. Contrary to what some might think, it's an intentional style – it's not about having things for the sake of having them. "Our interior design style has always been about trying to materialise who we are and what’s in our brains out into all aspects of our home." This is evident in each room you walk into and helps to make the home look and feel like a design success.

Each space features an eclectic selection of vintage and pre-loved furniture from different eras, begging one to continually ask "Where did you get that from?". Thankfully for all of us, their TikTok videos spill most of the secrets! From the vintage star marble dining table from Mood Objects to the vintage Cleopatra chaise they reupholstered, this home is a playground of special finds.

The main living space is open-plan but zoned into three different spots to unwind; a formal lounge, a casual dining zone, and a relaxed conversation-pit-inspired room which opens onto the verdant patio – it's an entertainer's dream. Double-height windows give the area a gallery-like feel and flood it with natural light.

In the more formal lounge, iconic Togo and Ploum chairs from Ligne Roset, quirky art d'objet, and every colour imaginable collide into a kaleidoscopic dream. But it's the more casual living space that steals their hearts. "We took elements of the conversation pit and created a super relaxing low-seating room that overlooks the pond and garden and gets flooded with afternoon light, it’s such a relaxing room to be in."

And while some might go for a more pared-back approach in their bedroom, it just wouldn't be the Josh-&-Matt way. Both rooms feature an array of art including a giant paintbrush and indoor plants such as hanging Spanish moss. They opted for two-toned quilts in Mineral & Lilac and Pink Clay & Turmeric to add cosiness and a dose of colour.

Whether you're a lover of maximalism or a renter who wants to elevate your space, Josh and Matt's home offers some wonderful lessons on how to achieve both.

Hi Josh & Matt! We’re so excited to have you back on our The Makers series. What have you been up to since we last spoke?

Hello! We’re so happy to be back! We’ve been up to a lot since we last spoke, we’ve moved places three times and have had a lot of fun projects and collaborations over the last couple of years. It’s been an absolute whirlwind of a journey and we’re now enjoying our biggest project yet, decorating our dream house together!

There’s a lot more to maximalism than having “lots of things”. What are your top tips for achieving the look?

Think about the colour palette you’re wanting to express in a room or your home and keep that in the back of your mind when sourcing and curating. This will help create a cohesive home story that represents you without it becoming too chaotic and disjointed!

Try and avoid colour clumping unless you’re going for a more monochrome look. We try and spread shades of the same colour evenly throughout the room so that it’s easier to introduce other colours into the room over time.

Don’t take it too seriously! Maximalism to us is all about more opportunity to inject personality into your home so if it feels right for you then you’ve done a good job.

How important is lighting in the success of the spaces you create?

Lighting is a fundamental and often overlooked aspect of the home and as our followers know we love using lighting to create an interesting and dynamic space. Not only can lighting bring a little more edge to the home it’s also an important way to improve mood and reduce stress when used correctly. Our go-to lighting choice is ambient such as diffused floor lamps and table lamps at a low Kelvin bulb temperature of around 2700k. Overhead lighting, the big light and high Kelvin lighting temperatures are great for moments of productivity but not so much for unwinding and enjoying your home. That’s why we love using smart bulbs because we can create different home scenes depending on the mood.

How do you decide whether a furniture item or piece of decor is worth taking home with you?

Most of the time we source vintage and pre-loved furniture so we may not ever come across an exact find again and that’s an important aspect we consider when curating for our home. We love pieces with personality and history and there’s quite a diverse range of styles and designs we have taken home with us! It’s all about the feeling an object gives us, we try and curate with an open mind and let our feelings and first impressions guide us.

What advice would you give to those who want to get more into thrifting?

Take a friend! It’s a great experience doing it with other people. We always thrift together and because we’re drawn to different things sometimes or notice different objects it makes it a lot more dynamic and interesting.

Take it one stall at a time, it can definitely feel overwhelming if you’re not used to thrifting and sometimes it can be hard knowing where to start. We like going to thrift and vintage stores that house multiple different stalls so you can focus on a smaller footprint and work your way through the entire store without it being too overwhelming. It’s also a great way to help you figure out what styles and design periods you’re drawn to because stalls are often curated around specific types of furniture or a specific design period.

Try to see the potential in items because you often won't come across things that are already perfect for you but with a little care and creativity there's so much possibility with the things you can find and adding your personal touch in an upcycle or diy makes it more special!

How long have you lived in your home and what inspired the move?

We are about to hit six months in our home now and we love it here! We’ve always wanted to one day live in a house together to give us more space to explore our art and the opportunity to design new spaces like our outdoor patio garden area. There was a huge windstorm while we were in our Eureka apartment which was pretty wild and then the next day this new place became available so we took it as a sign!

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

We wanted a home that would have the space for us to go wild with our decorating and creating and we also wanted a home heavily connected with nature. So when we came across this house and saw the beautiful pond and garden with its giant windows and ample space we inspected it the day after and sealed the deal!

Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?

We are renting this home so all the changes we’re making are rental-friendly and can be reversed when we move out! We’re planning to live here for years so putting in as much effort as possible to turn it into a home that truly represents us without any permanent changes. However one day we want to restore and renovate a home to make it truly ours – but that will be the next chapter!

We’ve used every opportunity such as colour, art, and furniture to represent who we are and create a visual story.

Josh & Matt

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

  • Our vintage star marble dining table from Mood Objects
  • Our Togo and Ploum chairs from Ligne Roset – they are the most comfortable chairs ever!
  • Our vintage Cleopatra chaise we had reupholstered by Upholstery Direct in yellow Sprinkles fabric from Kvadrat.
  • Our Gumtree floor lamp that we upcycled with clay beads and hanging Spanish moss.

Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?

Memphis Milano and Gufram are two design brands we love and feel very aligned with their design and art ethos so we can see us having some of their pieces one day.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

It would have to be our ‘conversation pit’. We took elements of the conversation pit and created a super relaxing low-seating room that overlooks the pond and garden and gets flooded with afternoon light, it’s such a relaxing room to be in.

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

Thrifting and vintage sourcing are great ways to add more individuality whilst helping the interior design industry become more circular.

Adding texture to the bedroom is a great way to introduce more visual interest and also helps a room feel a little more cosy and inviting.

Be open to evolving, try not to put so much pressure on yourself to get your home ‘right’ the first time around. Decorating is a journey and you’re bound to change and evolve and your home and the spaces you reside in should evolve alongside you.

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

We’ve been working hard on our own furnishings and decor brand and have some really exciting products in the works. A lot of you may know us for our decor brand we launched a couple of years ago and it was a huge success, but hand-making everything quickly became impossible once our socials blew up! We can’t wait to relaunch and have our creations in some funky homes in the future. There’s still a lot to do before we are ready to reveal but it has been a really fun process so far and we are so excited, so stay tuned!

For more from Josh and Matt, follow them on Instagram and TikTok.

Photography by Amelia Stanwix. Styling by Beck Simon.

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