houses, small spaces

Suburban Bolthole

Graeme Wyllie; Styling Heather Boting


When it comes to home, Jesslynn Schlamm, the fresh-faced founder behind local organic skincare brand Lulu & Marula, surrounds herself with a melange of meaningful pieces. But make no mistake, there's no room for clutter.

Asked how she'd describe her neat two-bedroom apartment in Hyde Park, Jesslynn labels it fresh, functional and minimal. And it's not for no reason that the last two words rely heavily on a keen sense of organisation. Space is at a premium as Jesslynn's thriving brand calls the apartment its headquarters and she also shares the small bolthole with her boyfriend Dan and two beloved hedgehogs Eric and Falafel.

Shortly after buying the apartment Jesslynn and Dan gave the walls a fresh coat of paint in her favourite shade of grey and retiled the kitchen and bathroom, opting for utilitarian white wall tiles with a graphic black grout. Small changes like these have brought the space up to date without breaking the bank.

Jesslyn2 A curation of beautiful objects, including a Cinderwood terrarium, Mieke Wertschnig illustration and ceramic pineapple from Typo, shows Jesslynn's eye for detail.

When she’s not busy with her full-time job as a digital strategist at an advertising agency, Jesslynn uses the small second bedroom as a workshop to design and package Lulu & Marula products, while the kitchen stove doubles up as her laboratory where the popular range of balms and oils is manufactured. Yet somehow, the apartment manages to remain a calm, ordered space with a tangible sense of her individual style.

‘When it comes to interiors, I favour classic over trendy pieces, which reflects my personal style,’ she notes, sticking to the adage that simple is better. So shopping usually means browsing the second-hand stores along Long Street in Albertskroon and the hospice outlets in Parkmore and Orange Grove, with much of her anthology bolstered by family hand-me-downs. The most prized of those is a mid-century dining room table and chair set. ‘It belonged to Dan’s grandparents – it’s the same set his mum used to eat at as a child,’ she says with pride.

The midcentury dining set in her lounge belonged to Dan's grandparents and the rug came from her parents' farm in Stanford The rug under the mid-century dining set that belonged to Dan's grandparents came from Jesslynn's parents' farm in Stanford

She has a weakness for art prints with an expanding collection that’s already outgrown her walls, many of them ordered online from Society6.com. Her other vice? Plants. ‘They totally transform the space, as well as my mood. However, I’m terrible at caring for them, so Dan has since taken them on as his responsibility,’ she admits. Dan’s skills have proved useful elsewhere in the apartment too. He made a number of their hanging plywood wall shelves, as well as a set of space-saving wall-hung planters for their balcony.

‘I love my apartment because it’s a space just for us. We’ve put in a lot of time to make the space ours, and I love that I feel so calm and comfortable in it,’ Jesslynn reflects.

Jesslyn3 A Country Road mirror and cherished trolley inherited from Dan's grandparents are an unexpected, yet useful pair for makeup and hair

Jesslynn’s Home Truths

What was your last home purchase?

A blender. I got a super industrial one, which is amazing. I make smoothies for breakfast every day now...well, when I wake up early enough to not be late for work.

What items do you hold dear?

I used to be precious about ‘things’, but I’m starting to feel less is better and things are just things. Experiences, people, puppies and food are way more important. So, does cheese count then?

Home is...

Where I can breathe and let myself go. It’s a space that represents me, where I can be myself.

Browse and shop her range online at luluandmarula.com

SLIDER IMAGE CAPTIONS: 1. Jesslynn's bedroom is a calm space with a bedspread from Country Road and a scatter cushion from Zana; 2. Jesslynn sitting beside one of her favourite prints, gifted by her typographer friend Kyley Roos; 3. Jesslynn's work desk and chair, where all the Lulu & Marula magic happens, came from @Home.