LYN GARDENER | Who's Your
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WHO'S YOUR? is the curated black book of the best in their business.

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LYN GARDENER

Owner of Empire Vintage
Creator of Melbourne-based business Empire Vintage, Lyn Gardener is your go-to girl for vintage homewares and interior design. Empire Vintage services extend from location, furniture and car hire, to styling and interior decoration. She also runs the White House, an intimate guesthouse located in Daylesford. No detail is spared in the design of the immaculate and inviting home, complete with garden views and an overflowing library.

Home is…?
An ex-mattress factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne. I live here with my boyfriend, dog and two cats.

What do you do?
I own homewares store Empire Vintage in Albert Park, plus am an interior decorator and run a boutique hotel in Daylesford.

You’re an expert in…
Fossicking and sourcing unique and one-off finds … oh, and talking!

How would you describe your own design philosophy?
I am passionate about creating amazing vintage-inspired interiors. I love the beauty in all things old and new, but particularly pieces with a great history.

What’s your number one decorating tip?
Be consistent – carry your themes all the way from the front door to the back.

What are your best design tips on a budget?
Easy! Just head to any old market, op shop or thrift store! You don’t need to spend a lot to get great pieces. Another of my favourite tips is to stack or group a collection of items you love – for example, at the moment I am collecting old black-and-white sketches in all shapes and sizes to cluster together for a huge wall feature.

What are the three coolest vintage shops in Melbourne?
Empire Vintage – of course! We have an amazing mix of vintage offerings and I’m just finishing a huge renovation so the store is looking better than ever!
Tarlo & Graham – it’s always full to the brim of unusual items.
Industria – for quirky ex-hospital/industrial wares

What are your favourite design references?
I have collected Elle Decor for the past 15 years! They always have inspirational interiors that are quite achievable. I love the blogs What Katie Ate and The Food Department for their gorgeous photography and cooking! Stylist Jason Grant’s site is also fab – he’s a friend and has such great taste. And of course my own websites (empirevintage.com.au and gardenerandmarks.com.au), which I am very proud of!

You’re well known for your extensive library. Who’s your favourite author?
I love anything to do with interiors! At the moment i’m loving Sibella Court’s Nomad: A Global Approach To Interior Style. Martyn Thompson’s new book Interiors is also fab.

  • YOU'RE WELL KNOWN FOR YOUR LOVE OF READING AND HAVING AN EXTENSIVE LIBRARY. WHO'S YOUR BOOKSELLER?
  • I go local – to Chris and his very knowledgeable team at the Albert Park Bookshop, Avenue Bookstore as they are always so helpful and have a great choice of books. They’ll always order in anything in they don’t stock as well.