It's something of a reliase to breeze through the Victorian terrace of fashion designer Virginia Feldtman, located in the inner Melbourne suburb of Albert Park.
Unlike many renovations of buildings this age, the interiors have not been demolished and gutted in order to make way for a modern landscape of linear surfaces. Instead, once you draw the curtains separating her Parisian-style salon from her double storey home, you step back into a time when objects d'art filled a house and quality craftsmanship was more important than a quick makeover.
Virginia and her husband, criminal lawyer David Laschko,"wanted to walk through the front door and feel transported".
Not that creating this sanctuary came easily. The couple bought the former 1800's boarding house (which has had more recent incarnations as a personal-training studio and a gallery) in an unrenovated state and lived in it before slowly making changes.
Her home has inspired her work and added another dimension to her boutique, since she often invites clients to high tea behind the curtained door.