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SCHOOL OF ROCK: FAMILY LIFE IN MUSIC LEGEND’S ALMA MATER

SCHOOL OF ROCK: FAMILY LIFE IN MUSIC LEGEND’S ALMA MATER

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FLEUR SCHELL HAS travelled and worked around the world as an artist and art teacher but when she and her husband Richard Noonan looked to settle down, it’s unlikely that turning a rock legend’s old school into a home and studio was on the agenda.

Built in 1903 as the local infant school, the historic limestone building was used by the U.S. Army during WWII as an aircraft hangar, then a school once more (Bon Scott of AC/DC fame was apparently one of its students during these years) and then later as a sheltered workshop before being redeveloped as commercial space.

Structural reinforcement was added to the old and very thick limestone walls and the lounge room floor was lowered so that the room wouldn’t feel closed in with the positioning of the mezzanine level overhead.

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Built in 1903 as the local infant school, the historic limestone building was used by the U.S. Army during WWII as an aircraft hangar.

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An open plan kitchen and dining area is adjacent to the ‘lowered’ lounge room and the laundry and kid’s playroom runs off of the kitchen so that Fleur and Richard can have the kids close by while they are preparing meals and doing household chores.

French doors were added to open the inside up to the outdoor areas replacing high aircraft hangar windows. The living area opens on to a covered deck and garden that the young family literally ‘live in’. An old bathtub that sits on the end of the deck with a privacy screen behind, it has been decorated by the artist with old broken op shop plates.

The Fremantle home is decorated with the most beautiful collection of art — the artist’s own work and artworks  from some of the country’s most distinguished ceramicists and artists.

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Decorating simply with a lovely mix of old and new pieces of furniture (many mid 20th century pieces have come from Richard’s family) the couple have kept in mind the building’s heritage and worked accordingly. An old bomb-shelter has been fitted with a four wheel drive’s winch to open the incredibly heavy trapdoor and it now makes the most perfect cellar-despite the fact that it is a noisy exercise to open the door during a dinner party.

Adjoining the family’s home is studio space that Fleur shares with another four ceramicists, and a separate building accommodates the electric kiln.

“This set-up works really well, I love having my studio at home, having other artists to work with and being able to use home as a great exhibition space when we show our work,” she says. “We even have a spare room for visiting artists to come and stay.”

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KAREN COTTON

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Karen has produced features for many of the world's leading lifestyle publications -- including UK Instyle, UK Homes & Garden, US Interiors, Belle, Inside Out, Madison, Home Beautiful, Country Style, the Australian Womens Weekly and Harper Collins. Karen's styling expertise extends to both editorial features and advertising campaigns. Karen Cotton Stylist

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