Student style: Forget chain stores - it's all about antiques gallery


Henry Tuck, interior design student, uses his antique finds to create a room that's calming and reflective of his love for natural materials.

The 2017 calendar was the same width as his bed and Tuck thought it would almost be like a headboard.

Opposite his bed, Tuck has made use of the fireplace as a mantelpiece as a shelf for his vintage finds.

The 'Patient Property' bag was given to Tuck when he had surgery on a broken finger. He decided after that it would also make a good piece for his wall.

Tuck's clothes cabinet was sourced from the Glen Waverly Bazaar.

Plants invoke a sense of calm in Tuck's flat.

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Think all student flats have old couches, second-hand drawers with peeling paint and bare walls? You need to meet Henry Tuck. 

Tuck is a 21-year-old Kiwi studying interior design in Melbourne, and his flat is a perfectly choreographed case study of how to pull a great look together on a budget. 

It's fitted out, not with run-of-the-mill items from homeware shops, but with treasures he finds in antique stores. 

Tuck says he's always had a passion for interiors.

Tuck says he's always had a passion for interiors.

Interior design has long been Tuck's passion. "When I was younger, I used to save up any money I got for my birthday or as a Christmas gift and buy things for my room with it. I was always rearranging my bedroom for fun," Tuck says.

He has a knack for sourcing vintage finds and making them work in his space. He says, "the best thing about collecting and searching in antique stores is that you fall in love with things people think are junk and then take them home to a totally different context where they look amazing." 

*The changing face of student accommodation
*Update your home interior on a budget
*A Puhoi homestead that bursts with antique treasures


His style revolves around a love of natural materials, muted colours and items that are vintage or antique. "I love dark wood, animal hides and linen."

You wont find a store-bought print hanging on Tuck's wall. Instead there's a "patient property" paper bag that Tuck was given on a trip to the hospital, pages from a book and a painting done by a friend. 

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Scents don't come from candles, but from bundles of drying bay leaves hanging from the mantelpiece. 

So how does a student living in Melbourne afford such style? 

Seven-day weeks is the answer. "I study three days and work for four," he says, "but that being said, I have collected most of my stuff over time since I was about 13."

"I don't really spend money on alcohol or clothes, which means when I see things I love I can mostly re-work my finances so that I can get the thing I've found." 


Sitting pretty in my room ☺️☺️☺️ #vscocam #mercerschoolid #interiordesign

A photo posted by Henry Tuck (@henrytuck) on

Where do you source your homewares?

In Auckland I really love Flotsam and Jetsam, Helter Skelter and Junk and Disorderly. In Wellington I love Brown and Co. I like shopping at stores where you can have a good dig around for vintage and antique treasures. In Melbourne this year I have fallen in love with the Glen Waverley Bazaar - it's about the size of three rugby fields and is full of antique and vintage homewares, and everything is such a bargain.

Best tip?

If I know something is overpriced, I won't buy it. Lots of the stores I like in Melbourne sell stuff I see at the Glen Waverley Bazaar but mark it up a tonne, so I guess it pays to be aware of that so you can find and afford what you like too.


7 months on and I think this guy needs repotting - getting huge!! 🌿🌿 #vscocam #peacelily

A photo posted by Henry Tuck (@henrytuck) on

Do you always shop for something you've got in mind?

Whenever I'm looking for something in particular I can never find it, so now if I find something I love I tend to just get it because it's more than likely I won't come across it (or something like it) again. Looking for the fun of it is always great.

What's more important, form or function?

I hesitantly say form because I have such a dysfunctional clothes storage arrangement at the moment but totally don't mind because I like the cabinet my clothes are in.

Is there a method to your room design? 

I guess it's happened by accident. I think that if you just buy things that you love there will always be some sort of thread between them and they will all work together well. At least that's been my experience. Over time I think that it's become more obvious what I'm drawn towards so I can now decorate with that in mind, but it still comes down to loving each piece I buy for my room.

 - Stuff


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