At home with Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Images by Anikka Kafcaloudis

This week the charming Julia Busuttil Nishimura welcomes us into her Melbourne abode. The cook & author lives in Clifton Hill with her family; husband Nori, their two boys, Haruki and Yukito, and her mum, Rachel. With ample natural light, and enough space to happily house three generations, the renovated weatherboard home is a much-loved refuge. It’s from here Julia shares with us the joys of living multigenerational, and her serendipitous cooking career.

"Our home is a renovated weatherboard house which we moved into only this July. When we found it for rent, we just knew it would be perfect for our current needs. It is the most beautiful space we have ever lived in and has lots of room for the kids, my work, and also my mum. I love how light and bright our home is and the inner courtyard, which has a Japanese maple in the centre. The kitchen is also so great for all of my recipe testing and really is the centre of the home."

Julia & Nori's bed is dressed with IN BED 100% Linen Duvet Cover in Khaki & Sheet Set in Grey & White Stripe.

"We felt really lucky to find this home as it fits in with our aesthetic really well. It’s the perfect backdrop for my more rustic and weathered objects too. The couch was a big purchase after we moved in, and the sage green is really nice with the pale wood.

"I have a real love for antique Italian ceramics. On my most recent trip I spent a month in Puglia for work and had three large wooden crates shipped back with ceramics I found at flea markets and antique shops across the region. I particularly love the large terracotta basins which are so weathered and beautiful."

I think I never try to overcomplicate things too much with interiors and like to keep it pretty simple.

“Living with my mum has so many positives and I’m really close to my mum. It was actually Nori’s idea. He grew up in a multigenerational house in Japan and he benefited from that. It of course has its challenges, but overall it’s great. We have separate living spaces so it works well.

"Our bedroom is so cosy, minimal and relaxing. It is very much a calming space. It doesn’t get as much natural light as the rest of the house, but I really like that it’s a little moody and warm. The Akari lamp is something I just love, and it emits a nice glow. I also really the little rug beside the bed which adds some interest.

Haruki & Yukito's room is dressed with IN BED Kids Duvet Cover in Marigold Gingham & Pine Gingham.

"The whole lounge, dining and kitchen space is where we spend so much time and is probably my favourite space in the house. I love the huge windows which look out onto the garden and deck and that it all just flows so nicely into each other. It is very light and airy and just has a really good feeling to it.


We were really open to a lot of suburbs when we were looking for a new home. The biggest one was space as my mum was moving in. When we found this place, which had a studio out the back, we knew it was perfect. Our old home was just one suburb over so it didn’t really feel like a huge transition."

"I love the location – walking distance to Collingwood and Fitzroy but also really quiet and lots of parks. It’s a great balance and perfect with the kids."

Julia & Nori's room is dressed with IN BED 100% Linen Duvet Cover & Pillowslips in Grey & White Stripe.

“I have always loved cooking. Even before I was in school, I had a really keen interest. It is something that has stayed with me my whole life and the love for it just gets stronger. The more I learn and do, the more I want to learn and do. I did have some desire to become a chef after school, but I felt intimidated by the industry.

"I decided to study Italian and Politics at university and ended up becoming an Italian teacher. For me, it wasn’t really on my radar that it was something I could turn into a career.

“I was teaching and in my spare time sharing recipes on my blog, which was Ostro. It was mainly a place to share with friends but when instagram launched, I began to share a bit there too and it soon gained some following. I began contributing to a few columns online, here and there, and one day at the farmers market, my now publisher, approached me. It was this serendipitous moment that has resulted in soon-to-be four books together. It was a dream come true, publishing Ostro, and writing books is the biggest and best thing I get to do.

"I have just submitted my manuscript for my next book and so I am really looking forward to a little break over summer. Hopefully lots of time at the beach, eating stone fruit and relaxing with the family. I’m excited for 2024 –  I have plans to send out more recipe newsletters and create some fun video content too. Plus the release of the new book and the book tour!"

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