At home with Joel Bartfeld

Joel Bartfeld and Ross Sabatini understand the power of aesthetics. Joel is a brand consultant and founder of experiential travel company Joel Found and Ross is a creative director; together they see the world through a very sophisticated and well-travelled lens. Their North Melbourne home – a Victorian-era terrace house that they meticulously renovated over the course of 18 months – is a testament to this.

“We did a gut renovation and ended up with a contemporary home with a nod to its heritage,” Joel explains. “We’ve loosely termed our style ‘mascu-luxe’, with a focus on refined and beautiful finishes in a relatively narrow palette.” While Joel is quick to name his partner as “the design director of our home”, his own love of travel can be seen in collections of mementos dotted around the place.

We visited the pair to find out how their home has become even more central to their daily lives.

What’s your favourite thing in your home and why?

Oddly enough, my favourite thing in the house is our kitchen bench. We added it two years after we moved in and Ross designed it as an ‘installation’. It’s invariably the spot that all of our friends gravitate to and circulate around.

As a frequent traveller, how do you like to bring mementos or souvenirs of your travel into your home?

We tend to bring back one or two special things from our travels – a ceramic jug from Marrakech or an espresso cup from Milan.

What changes have you made to your interiors since the isolation rules came into effect?

I’ve worked from home for a few years, so this hasn’t been a huge adjustment to my working situation. I was travelling a lot, so to be ‘grounded’ is an unusual feeling. A key focus for me has been ensuring the entire house stays really tidy. I hate mess at the best of times, but being in the house almost 24/7 at the moment means trying to keep it as orderly as possible.

How do you like to use scent in your home?

As I truly love all of the LUMIRA scents, I tend to mix things up. Generally I use a different fragrance in the reception rooms to the bathrooms. By now all of our friends know they’re going to smell beautiful LUMIRA fragrances when they visit.

Are you gravitating towards any particular scents to help create the right environment during isolation?

The beauty of the entire LUMIRA range is that the scents are all inspired by travel, so I’m using the scents as a form of escapism. They remind me of places I’ve been or inspire destinations I want to visit when we can travel again. I’m particularly loving my Desert Nights Parfum, which I spray daily, even if I’m staying home. We’re planning a LUMIRA trip to Morocco so wearing Desert Nights transports me there.

Do you have any fragrance rituals?

Working with Almira and LUMIRA has provided me with a greater understanding of candle care, so now I ensure I trim my wicks and monitor my burn time. Also, my LUMIRA snuffer has changed my life! No more accidentally blowing wax all over the place when I blow out a candle.

Written by Michelle Bateman