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A mural art case study: transforming lulu's restaurant

Mural install for Lulus by me, neon install by Kings Of Neon, photo by Hugh Davison.

Last year, I had the pleasure of working and collaborating with some awesome clients on a fun project for an American Diner-inspired burger bar named Lulu's in Yarra Glen. The space, formerly a dark and dull wine bar, was transformed into a vibrant, electric, fun and inviting burger bar for the locals to enjoy. The owners, former Merricote chef Matt Binney and his partner Bianca Leach, commissioned me to create a feature wall mural that would embody the Lulu's name, it's vibe and be a pop of colour in the restaurant.

The mural was created with the following design specs I discussed with the couple.

  • Pop Art / Street Art style girl

  • Hero colour - Teal

  • Secondary colour - Neon pink

  • Incorporate Lulu’s logo as a Neon

  • Don’t think generic diner

  • Late night venue

After going through several concept design options, we found the aesthetic direction for Lulu's feature mural.

I personally liked this concept sketch for its GTA vibe modelled off of a friend who posed for me.

Once we were all happy with the finalised artwork and mockup designs, the Lulu's neon sign was ordered, my Airbnb was booked and I headed down to Yarra Glen to install the mural.

It was during Winter and it was super cold, so I had the heat gun out pretty much the whole time to dry coats faster, and warm ma cold fingies. For this mural I used Resene Colour Lumbersider paints for the best quality and vibrant colours.

Lulu's owners, Matt and Bianca at Lulu's soft launch opening.

Matt and Bianca, also owners of successful restaurant Heartswood just across the road, wanted Lulu's to be complimentary to what they do over there, and give both locals and people passing through the Yarra Valley a fun and casual place where people can come to get a little rowdy if they want.

Photos by Hugh Davison.

Lulu's has quickly become a local favourite, and has had some great things said about them on Broadsheet and The Sydney Morning Herald. Having been a guest of honour at Lulu's mural unveiling and official launch, I can confirm the food is INCREDIBLE. I'll definitely be stopping through on my next trip to the Yarra Valley.

All in all, as the artist, I am incredibly proud of this mural installation I created for Lulu's. Seeing the transformation of the space from a lifeless deserted wine bar to a vibrant, fun, and edgy American diner-inspired burger joint was truly rewarding. Especially in it's environmental setting, with those colourful sunsets and dark foliage surrounding the front of Lulu's, it gives the venue a moody vibe I find beautiful.

This is the beauty of art, it really does hold the power to transform spaces and turn a place into an experience when done right. I am super grateful to have been a part of this project, working with Matt Binney and Bianca Leach was an absolute pleasure, and I am grateful for their trust in me to bring their vision to life. I hope that this case study inspires other business owners and artists to collaborate and create unique and special spaces for people to experience.

Photo by Hugh Davison.

I'm Justine (Juzpop) a professional artist and muralist, I specialise in creating large scale one-of-a-kind murals and paintings that add a new dimension to spaces inside and out. Visit my portfolio page to see examples of my work and learn more about my approach to mural art. I'm based in Melbourne but love to travel for my work, so wether you're local or aboard and you’re interested in commissioning a mural or other kind of artwork for your next project, please don’t hesitate to contact me at


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