Julie Ockerby’s Meli Studio – champions of sophisticated seniors living

Julie Ockerby With The Bespoke Collection Fabrics Outside Meli HQ

Julie and her team at Meli Studio Australia have now added visionary commercial partners such as Allity, Uniting and Aurrum to their loyal residential client portfolio, together raising the bar on design expectations for aged care in Australia and determined to continue to push the boundaries of both design and functionality until the growing number of residents in Meli Studio-designed homes are able to age as gracefully as possible.

Julie’s inspiration came from a deeply personal experience: “My father was ill and needed a nursing home, but I couldn’t find one to the standards I felt he deserved. Nobody was considering the environment as adding to his quality of life – somewhere designed with heart and soul”

Further impetus to look beyond Australia came from visiting facilities in Singapore and finding striking exteriors hiding soul-less institutional interiors. Julie is now a member of Ageing Asia’s Fast Track team, who conduct masterclasses in best practice aged care around the region. For this, she was recognised with the coveted Trailblazer Award at the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in 2018, and two projects were featured as finalists in the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards 2019.

Julie’s philosophy is simple: “People deserve to be in a space where they are cared for with privacy and dignity.”

“Why can’t aged care bedrooms be designed more like hotel suites? Why can’t dining areas be more interactive and truly inspire all five senses, as we see in modern restaurants? Our recent aged care home projects feature cafés, hotel-style reception or lobby spaces, hair salons and cinemas. Moving forward, I’d like to see the design trends embracing the whole family to encourage intergenerational involvement. Areas such as private dining rooms needs to be more than a big table with 12 chairs, they have to involve the outdoor spaces and landscape features, such as playgrounds.”, Julie concludes.

Meli Studio also works on specialist dementia units, evolving the use colour psychology and its effect on behaviours to create less of an institutional feel. Julie designs the floor plates for these areas to support movement and engagement, and links to the community together with effective use of colour and textures, bringing a new dimension to dementia design.

David Armstrong, CEO of Allity Aged Care, adds “With her uniquely diverse background in hospitality and healthcare, Julie has challenged and broadened our design vision to create outstanding, uplifting environments that our residents are proud to call home.”

Meli Studio has grown twofold in the past 12 months. With 19 projects in development across Australia, Julie and her team will continue to reinvigorate our aged care facilities while expanding into Asia and even eyeing the USA.

To see more of Julie and Meli Studio’s work, visit For Meli Studio interior design inquiries, contact +61 2 8920 3500 or

The Bespoke Collection Australia by Julie Ockerby – fabrics tailored to stylish living for seniors

Julie was so frustrated by the lack of quality fabrics tailored to the aged, and the predominance of uninspiring beige (her personal design bugbear), that June 2019 will see the release her own fabric range, The Bespoke Collection Australia, pictured here. Bright but not overbearing colours, simple patterns, soft but hardwearing textures and the obligatory waterproof backing.

The range is split into five collections to cater to a broad range of interior styles and settings:

  • Escape with a laid back, beachy vibe
  • Promise featuring bolder patterns for more directional interiors
  • Humble with more subtle tones and textures
  • Untouched for even softer design, reflecting the tranquillity of botanical landscapes
  • Plains to allow for simpler styling when needed

The Bespoke Collection will be available from May 2019. For sales inquiries contact +61 2 8920 3538 or

Once Bespoke is launched, Julie will be turning her skills to designing a collection of outdoor furniture to allow seniors to spend more time outdoors in comfort and style.

Source: Meli Studio Australia

Featured Image: Julie Ockerby With The Bespoke Collection Fabrics Outside Meli HQ