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Jacky Winter Gardens

Homes

“What’s this.. another house?” I hear you say. ‘Why, but it’s THURSDAY!? Has the world gone mad? Am I experiencing some kind of Groundhog Day where Wednesday happens TWICE in one week!?’

No, no, rest assured it is most definitely Thursday, however today’s story is not a straightforward ‘Australian Home’. It is in its own category, you see, because this unique house in Belgrave, just 45 minutes east of Melbourne, is an inspired creative side project for serial creative entrepreneur Jeremy Wortsman and his partner, writer Lorelei Vashti. It’s called Jacky Winter Gardens, and it’s much more than just a very cute house.

10th September, 2015
Lucy Feagins
Thursday 10th September 2015

We have always been impressed with Jeremy Wortsman of The Jacky Winter Group. There just seems to be no end to his brilliant business ideas, and, crucially, he makes an impressive habit of actually ACTIONING them. This is a guy who really knows how to get things done.

Jeremy’s latest venture with his partner, writer and editor Lorelei Vashti, is Jacky Winter Gardens. Since moving to the Dandenong Ranges in 2012, where Jeremy and Lorelei now live with their young daughter Winifred, they have become big fans of the area. Escaping the busy hum-drum of each day to the leafy outer suburbs has become an integral part of their daily ritual, and it is this mindset that inspired Jacky Winter Gardens. ‘We ​have ​really fallen in love with the area, especially ​with ​the rich history that exists in the region as a retreat for city-dwellers and artists, and I really wanted to share that with others,’ explains Jeremy.

The idea behind this latest project was to create a kind of permanent physical showcase of the immense talent in Jeremy’s creative agency, as well as the ultimate creative retreat. A place, not too far from Melbourne, where creatives could be amongst nature, recharge their batteries and be inspired. Having harboured this pipe dream for a number of years, in December last year Jeremy and Lorelei finally found the perfect spot to realise their vision.

‘The idea that we could have this special place in the hills that would be a showcase and platform for Jacky Winter as an agency, as well as a business that could be run together as a couple ​and which would allow us to support our family was too good to pass up!’ Jeremy says.

Everything about Jacky Winter Gardens celebrates local design and creativity. The interiors have been designed by Melbourne interior architect Sarah Trotter of Hearth Studio – whose work we always love! Other collaborators include Maricor/Maricar, who have created a unique embroidered entrance flag, Sydney signwriter Will Lynes, who made the custom glass door panel, Georgia Perry, who has contributed an oversized hand-painted Jenga set, Marc Martin, whose illustrated wallpaper has been used to stunning effect, as well as paper lampshades by famed paper engineer Benja Harney, and that’s just the start! All contributing artists are listed on the website, and Jeremy hopes to add more artists to the space as time goes on.

The primary function of the house, and what makes it a viable project financially, is that it’s available as a guesthouse for rent. At the same time, a key part of the concept is also about giving something back to the creative community, which is why Jeremy and Lorelei have implemented an artist-in-residence program, whereby a roster of various artists and creatives will be hosted for five days of every month, from March to November.

Applications for these monthly creative residencies will open next month to all commercial artists. ‘The purpose of the residency is to offer a space for an individual to work on a brief with a commercial outcome’ explains Jeremy. ‘Whether it’s a writer doing a final edit on a book, a painter getting a start on a solo show, or a​ musician working on an album​, we hope the space offers inspiration and retreat for a broad range of talents’.

Jacky Winter Gardens is available to book from October 2nd onward! The property backs onto beautiful Clematis Creek, and is only a 10 minute walk from Belgrave Train Station, so you don’t even need a car to get there​ from the city​!  Learn more here.

Jeremy Wortsman, Lorelei Vashti and baby Winifred Waitsman in front of their new family business, Jacky Winter Gardens. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

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