A curated Fitzroy family home

Images by Yaseera Moosa

This week we visit the Melbourne family home of Zoe CuthbertsonThe Undressed founder (& new Editor of the IN BED Journal) lives with her artist husband Richard Healy & baby Rafaela in a converted cottage wedged between two warehouses in Fitzroy’s heart. It's here we spoke to Zoe about the wild ride of motherhood & food as a love language.

We moved in just before our first baby, Rafi was born. It was such a special time, ‘nesting’ they call it, and you really do. I became incredibly protective of my surroundings in the months before her arrival and settling into a new space invited a cleansing of sorts. I have a ‘one in, one out’ policy when it comes to my home. If I purchase something, I’ll say goodbye to something else. I’ve moved house 20 times in my 34 years, so I only hold onto what I really love. 

"This home will always carry a special importance, being Rafi’s first, but it’s also the best place I’ve ever lived. It's a renovated brick cottage, covered in vines with a cute picket fence nestled unassumingly in between two large warehouses, it reminds me of the house in the movie Up! We also have the most delightful neighbours, and there’s a great sense of community – surprising for urban living. 

"Inside it's bathed in so much natural light thanks to a gorgeous atrium where we sip our coffee and enjoy breakfast al-fresco. There’s also a huge tub where Rafi and I spend our evenings, enjoying a scrub and a sing-a-long.

Zoe & Richard's bed is dressed with IN BED 100% Linen Duvet Cover in Cocoa & Pillowslip set in Chestnut.

The ceiling in our bedroom echoes that of the kitchen, so it’s sky high with three large windows that let in the morning sun. We don’t have a lot of furniture, just our bed, a bassinet, and two bedside tables. I’ve always loved spending time in bed, and with a new baby it’s truly the best place to be. Raf is at her finest in the mornings, so we bring her into the ‘big bed’, sip coffee and coo and pull funny faces for hours. Living in a rental property you’re often faced with white walls in every room, so bedding is such a simple way to introduce colour and personality. I love changing our linen combinations with the seasons, it feels like a completely different space each time.

I’ve always loved spending time in bed, and with a new baby it’s truly the best place to be.

“Before having a baby I received mixed advice on investing in a nursing chair, but I’m so glad I did. It’s an MCM House loveseat with room for two, and instead of tucking it away in her nursery, I positioned it in the kitchen so I could spend the many, many feeding hours in the heart of our home. I also love to spend time on our Monde couch, more art than furniture. Our walls are layered with old black & white photographs of my parents and sketches by my husband & artist, Richard, as well as a McTavish surfboard modelled on a design from the 70’s. I proposed to Rich with the board in lieu of a ring, lucky for me it was a ‘yes’.

I had spent a lot of time in Melbourne before living here, and I’ve always gravitated towards the North. We moved here from Bangalow in the Northern Rivers where we lived in a gorgeous weatherboard home in an idyllic country town, but I was ready for some grit... and Fitzroy has grit in abundance, full of character and characters! Moving to a new city, this suburb became my companion, and it’s been a delight getting to know each other.

Rafi's cot is dressed with IN BED Kids Two Tone Quilted Bed Cover in Chestnut & Mist. 

“Fitzroy is always alive, and while the nightlife is a bit wasted on us, we’re always the first to pitch up for breakfast, whether that’s coffee & croissants at Napier Quarter or folded eggs at Florian. Come lunchtime we’ll go for a torta & margarita at Frankie’s and Mali Bakes is my favourite for picture-perfect cakes & matcha. We’re also close to Carlton and Edinburgh Gardens, great picnic spots. Our latest ritual is sipping wine from our keep-cups and going for an early evening stroll. Dinner I’ll usually cook at home, or these days we can get a reservation almost anywhere as we’re delighted with a 5:30pm sitting! " 

Fitzroy is always alive, and while the nightlife is a bit wasted on us, we’re always the first to pitch up for breakfast.

“I honestly feel like my interior aesthetic changes every week. I’ll be inspired by a colour combination, or a piece of furniture and reshuffle everything around it. Because of the nature of my work as a caterer/event stylist I have amassed quite a collection of napery & crockery so I often fulfil my need to experiment just by setting the table. My home will never be ‘finished’, but that’s what I like about it, I spend so much time here lately that I’d be bored if I wasn’t constantly changing it.” 

I honestly feel like my interior aesthetic changes every week. I’ll be inspired by a colour combination, or a piece of furniture and reshuffle everything around it.

IN BED 100% Linen Napkin Set in Natural in Zoe's kitchen.

“Undressed is a culmination of my two great loves – the way food looks and the way it tastes. This has led me down lots of different paths, whether that’s catering a wedding or creating recipes or a tablescape for a brand I love. To me, food should be about rejoicing, not restricting, and the Undressed table is designed so that everyone is nourished. This is why I cook a lot of vegetarian and plant based food, I never want anyone to miss out. Eventually, I would love to produce a range of sauces & salad dressings, which is what originally inspired the name, Undressed: sauces ‘stripped’ of extraneous ingredients or additives.

"The way I see it, following, reading, sharing, and creating recipes is a love language; a way of nourishing yourself and others. During the first wave of lockdowns I decided to create hampers for my closest friends, filled with fresh produce and my homemade sauces so they could cook something beautiful at home, offering a little light in those dark times. From there, the business has blossomed into many different iterations, but the intention remains the same; that everyone deserves a delicious meal and a seat at the table."

100% Cotton Bath Mat in Lake & Stripe sits in Zoe & Richard's bathroom.


"Motherhood is one wild ride, it has pushed me to my limits; both emotionally and physically. Rafi and I had a rough start to her life, with both of us being hospitalised. Once we were eventually discharged, I left a changed person; forever altered by the fragility, devastation and beauty of life. There is so much emphasis on birthing, that the mother/parenthood part gets a bit overlooked. As soon as Rafi entered this world we became a family, and while the birth and week that followed went nothing like we had hoped, the resilience that emerged in all three of us because of it was remarkable. Especially Raf, she’s my hero."

"Being a parent is so much fun, everyone always talks about the losses; sleep, freedom, independence – but I choose to focus on what we have gained. Truly every experience is better with her being a part of it. I wake up every morning a little tired, sure, but so excited to spend our day together and watch her make a multitude of discoveries. It helps you see the world anew. The other day a friend asked me to make a wish, and without thinking I blurted out ‘there’s nothing left to wish for now that she’s here’. That sums it up pretty perfectly I think."

Rafi has turned my world upside down. I’ve had to learn to be utterly selfless and far less controlling. That being said, Rich and I were committed to retaining as much of ourselves as we entered parenthood so we take her with us everywhere. She’s been to every wine bar and cafe within walking distance of home. We’ve also flown to Byron and she even endured a 16 hour round car trip to Adelaide like a champ! This year we’re also planning Bali, New Zealand & the US. 

"A lot of people told me you become wildly productive as a parent, and it's true. I now take the moments when she naps to clean, create and conquer! As I write this she’s sleeping soundly beside me. Occasionally I’ll sleep as well, and that’s bliss. There’s a sense of calm in achieving nothing too, just giving into rest and recuperation."

"I’m honoured to be taking over as editor of the IN BED Journal this year. It is such a special project to be entrusted with and I’m looking forward to uncovering the homes and stories of creatives the world over. One of my greatest interests in life is connecting people, and that’s essentially what the Journal is; one great big connector of artists, designers, photographers, stylists, chefs...when I mention my work to people and it elicits the response ‘oh I LOVE the IN BED Journal’ my heart just sings. Rich is continuing his work as a concept artist in video games, but I’d love to see him pick up his paints again and host an exhibition. He is wildly talented and a huge inspiration (and help) for my work too. 

I’m also looking forward to watching Rafi grow. Every day she’s doing something new, and I’m unashamed to say these are the happiest, proudest moments of my life."


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