The Collingwood apartment of Sarah Booth and her housemates is unexpectedly enormous, with three generous bedrooms and a huge open workspace where Sarah bases her floristry business. It’s the sort of versatile, open plan space that is a magnet for creative people – both those who live here, and a steady stream of friends and creative collaborators.
Built in 1862, this red brick building was once part of Aitken’s Distillery, a relic of the brewing and distilling industry that flourished in Collingwood during the 19th century. ‘Our section was the ‘Bagged Malt Store’ Sarah explains. ‘We’re convinced the apartment is haunted, but it’s a friendly ghost!’.
When the group moved in, they decided to keep the aesthetic of the apartment quite minimal. ‘A big open space with beautiful windows and more light then we know what to do with doesn’t need very much to make it appealing’ Sarah offers. Like so many eclectic, creative homes, this space has come together quite organically. ‘The only ‘rule’ was to avoid clutter’ Sarah says… ‘Though, that’s not to say we don’t occasionally end up with random bits and bobs…’
Clutter not withstanding, this well loved home is very much a reflection of the individuals that live here. Roya’s Borge Mogensen couch has become a valued family member, after being sold to her by someone who didn’t quite know what they were getting rid of! Gian’s paintings find their way home from various galleries and group shows, so there’s always something new adorning the walls. ‘What was once admired by ladies in assymetric dresses drinking champagne at Fort Delta is now looking down on us while we drink too much wine and yell at the Kardashians on the tee-v’ Sarah muses!
There are share houses where tenants live quite separate lives, passing like ships in the night. This is not one of those houses. Sarah and her housemates revel in the ‘communal’ aspects of co-habitation. They cook for each other, watch TV together, and offer encouragement and input on each others’ various creative endeavours. They even ran a pop-up restaurant here a couple of years ago, which seated 40! A hive of activity, in every sense.