GOOD BONES

She may favour the dark side, but Heart of Bone jew­eller Emma Abra­hams ren­o­vated her Mel­bourne home to be a study in light and colour.

Harper’s Bazaar (Australia) - - Contents - By RACHELLE UNREICH

Emma Abra­hams’s flaw­lessly ren­o­vated home.

Emma Abra­hams on her vin­tage B&B Italia sofa in her sit­ting room, be­low a paint­ing she did in 2001 and a light­box art­work by P.S Light. She wears Comme des Garçons jacket, from Har­rolds; rag & bone T-shirt; Kenzo skirt; Vete­ments boots; Heart of Bone jew­ellery (worn through­out). Flow­ers through­out by Flow­ers Vasette.

Emma Abra­hams, the de­signer be­hind cult jew­ellery la­bel Heart of Bone, makes you do a dou­ble-take when you spot her; a quick Who is that? over your shoul­der as you pass in the street. I saw it my­self dur­ing the Mel­bourne Spring Racing Car­ni­val when her out­fit served as an homage to Cruella de Vil. It was easy to over­look her Alaïa and Dolce & Gab­bana en­sem­ble and get caught up with the kooky dal­ma­tian print echoed in her shoes and gloves — a slice of mad­ness against the crowd’s slightly aloof elitism. Dur­ing a sub­ur­ban Hal­loween trickor-treat trek, I tried to snap a photo with­out re­al­is­ing it was her, so com­mit­ted to her vam­pire cos­tume was she. She’d even dressed her new­born daugh­ter as vam­pire spawn, telling me later that her baby’s re­flux and vom­it­ing only added to the gruesome mas­quer­ade. Hu­mour, it turns out, is very much a part of her style.

Abra­hams’s Mel­bourne home, which is rem­i­nis­cent of a Palm Springs abode in all its retro, sunny de­tail, seems a lit­tle in­con­gru­ous when you first visit. She favours a lot of black in her wardrobe (although she’s not colour-averse if the out­fit is fab­u­lous enough), so it’s star­tling to be greeted by so much white and bright and light. But the fur­ther you travel through the rooms, the more you un­der­stand the cre­ative heart that beats be­neath.abra­hams lives here with her prop­erty devel­oper hus­band, Justin, son, Ajax, 11, and daugh­ter, Azze­dine, five, and it was their dream house from the be­gin­ning. “When Justin and I met in 2001, we fell so deeply in love. He asked me where in Mel­bourne I’d like to live and I said Stud­ley Park, which is renowned for its ’50s and ’60s ar­chi­tec­ture,” she re­calls. “We started driv­ing around there on the week­ends and passed a mas­sive red-brick house with a ten­nis court that hadn’t been touched since 1970. It had three-and-a-half-me­tre ceil­ings, pur­ple shag­pile car­pet and all the wall­pa­pers were be­spoke.we ren­o­vated it in 2014 with Coyyion­tis Ar­chi­tects, and even though Justin is quite a min­i­mal­ist and I like a lot of black and us­ing an­tique fur­ni­ture, we

met some­where in the mid­dle. We’ve been able to cre­ate this ex­tra­or­di­nary mix of new and old. It’s never been much of a fight with style.and it’s aged very well — it still feels in­cred­i­bly fresh.”

Ev­ery­where you look, there’s some­thing un­usual to marvel over. Fur­nish­ings you would never ex­pect to see to­gether — the sit­ting room’s tan­ger­ine 1970s B&B Italia ‘Ca­ma­le­onda’ sofa by Mario Bellini ac­com­pa­nied by an an­tique Samoan rice pot turned cof­fee ta­ble, for ex­am­ple — make per­fect sense in this con­text. Also on dis­play is a pair of brightly coloured, hand-beaded African chief­tain chairs (a 30th birth­day present from Justin), one of Abra­hams’s own art­works and two gi­ant corn-on-the-cob stools, sit­ting there like a sly punch­line. It’s a care­fully con­sid­ered ap­proach Abra­hams also brings to her wardrobe and to her jew­ellery line, with pieces in­clud­ing a snake ring that winds around your fin­gers, a David Bowie skull ring and a charm bracelet col­lec­tion that fea­tures spi­der and tat­too-rose trin­kets.

“I’ve got this term I use for my style: Lady Rock,” Abra­hams ex­plains.“it’s so­phis­ti­cated with a rock edge, but I don’t think of it as gothic. I’ve al­ways had a dark side and my art re­flects that, but I also see the hu­mour in things. My skull jew­ellery and art is a com­men­tary on dark­ness and death, but I see it even more as a com­men­tary on pop cul­ture.the skull is about liv­ing life ev­ery mo­ment. Ev­ery­one will die, but it’s about the way you choose to make your way in the world. I cre­ate brave pieces that are hu­mor­ous as well. Mix­ing cou­ture pieces with rock jew­ellery — it’s say­ing, Don’t take your­self so se­ri­ously. Jew­ellery shouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be a sta­tus sym­bol. It should be some­thing you love.”

There’s some se­ri­ous love out there. Abra­hams’s jew­ellery has found its way to more than a few celebri­ties: Karl Lager­feld, Bob Dy­lan, Marc Ja­cobs, Mi­ley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Nicki Mi­naj … the list goes on. One of th­ese A-lis­ters has a ded­i­cated space in the fam­ily’s home: on the wall of the mu­sic room is a col­lec­tion of rare black-and-white Bob Dy­lan pho­to­graphs that Abra­hams found

“Justin had the idea that any­thing I col­lected had to be white. It was a joke we had be­cause I’m such a hoarder and he’s such a min­i­mal­ist.”

scour­ing record stores.that same room also houses about 200 pieces from her milk glass col­lec­tion, some­thing that came about when “very early on, Justin had the idea that any­thing I col­lected had to be white. It was a joke we had be­cause I’m such a hoarder and he’s such a min­i­mal­ist. But he has def­i­nitely soft­ened up on that!”

Be­fore he worked as a prop­erty devel­oper, Justin co-founded Husk bou­tiques and Emma came on as a buyer and cre­ative direc­tor. they’ve since sold the busi­ness, but the ex­pe­ri­ence of col­lab­o­rat­ing with each other has given the cou­ple a unique ap­proach to de­sign­ing their home, from oc­ca­sion­ally “re­mer­chan­dis­ing” what they put on dis­play to com­ing up with in­ven­tive so­lu­tions such as cop­per-clad slid­ing door­frames (which they had used in a com­mer­cial set­ting) and cus­tom-built acrylic boxes to house Abra­hams’s vast col­lec­tion of shoes. But the real pri­or­ity in their home is open­ing its doors to their friends and loved ones, a task made eas­ier due to Abra­hams’s brief stint as a chef dur­ing univer­sity.“we en­ter­tain a lot,” she says.“one of the best things I did was put in a com­mer­cial cool room so that I can cook for 20 peo­ple at the drop of a hat. The stove isviking, and we had that sent over from Amer­ica.and our dining ta­ble seats 18.I made it with [be­spoke fur­ni­ture de­signer] Kim Moir out of huge planks of oak. It’s a copy of a 5th-cen­tury English monastery ta­ble.”that’s an­other notch from her CV that’s come in handy:abra­hams once worked as an an­tiques re­storer.

And even though her ré­sumé is ripe for cherry-pick­ing var­i­ous skills, th­ese days Abra­hams is less about flut­ter­ing, more about nest­ing. She’s come home in more than one sense. “As you get older, you take stuff from the in­side, rather than the out­side,” she muses. “Life’s ex­pe­ri­ence has shaped me more than any par­tic­u­lar in­flu­ence.as an artist, you have to keep look­ing in­side to find your own per­sonal style, and there’s so much that can be deriva­tive. I re­ally try not to look at other peo­ple’s styles. I don’t seem to look as much out­side as I used to. I look from a pretty deep place, in­ter­nally.”

See Emma Abra­hams’s jew­ellery at heartof­bone.com; Heart of Bone is stocked at Christine Ac­ces­sories, Har­rolds and The Res­i­dency Ex­pe­ri­ence, LA.

Pho­tographed by MARNIE HAD­DAD & PETER CLARKE

Jew­ellery de­signer Emma Abra­hams in her Coy Yion­tis Ar­chi­tects-de­signed house in Mel­bourne, wear­ing Bal­main cardi­gan, from Har­rolds; rag & bone T-shirt; Stella Mccart­ney pants; Alexan­der Mcqueen shoes; Heart of Bone Charm Stu­dio bracelet; Heart of Bone rings. Flow­ers by Flow­ers Vasette. by EL­IZA O’HARE

An airy hall­way fea­tures a framed vin­tage Her­mès scarf and a colour­ful ab­stract work Abra­hams painted in 2003. Above: a sit­ting area with a 1970s Dan­ish chair and a 2016 paint­ing by Abra­hams in trib­ute to Os­car de la Renta, ti­tled Os­car Does the Best Green.

Some of Abra­hams’s milk glass col­lec­tion dis­played atop a re­stored 1970s cabi­net, a B&B Italia cof­fee ta­ble on a rug from Space and an an­tique Ital­ian side ta­ble from Justin’s grand­par­ents in the en­ter­tain­ing room. Be­low: the sit­ting room, with its an­tique Samoan rice pot, Third Drawer Down corn-on-the-cob stool and acrylic light from her grand­par­ents’ col­lec­tion. The paint­ing above the fire­place is by Abra­hams, from 2006.

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