The truly delightful Daylesford home of artist Helen Connell found us in a round-about way.
Our dear art director, Annie, stumbled across the place after accepting an invitation for a weekend away with a bunch of friends. Helen’s daughter had invited them to stay. In Annie’s words ‘I remember walking in and immediately thinking.. holey moley I’ve got to get this place on The Design Files!’.
The house was built in the early 1980’s from mud brick, and Helen has lived here for just three years. The house has only ever had three different owners, and has been loved and changed and cared for by each occupant, including Helen. ‘It is a wonderful place to live’ Helen says. ‘It is warm and generous and feels like home’.
It was love at first sight when Helen first discovered this place. Having lived in the Riverina area for 30 years prior, Helen found herself craving a cooler climate, high rainfall, and good soil. ‘I am a keen gardener and have been amazed at the way plants respond to the rain and rich earth!’ she says.
Though she’s only been here a short-ish time, it’s as if this house was always waiting for Helen. As soon as she moved in, all her belongings fell into place, and Helen immediately felt at home. The chalky, whitewashed interiors perfectly complement her distinctive collections of antique furniture, eclectic artwork and textiles, then there’s the rambling garden, and room for her home studio, too.
For Helen, home is an extension of her creative practice. ‘I have been a magpie my whole life – I collect stuff and arrange it into stories’ the artist explains. ‘I paint, mosaic, draw and write. I’m not that interested in fashion, and never know what I should like, but am attracted to objects for the visual pleasure they give me. I surround myself with colour and happily live amongst the overflowing shelves of birds, ships, books and other assorted stuff!’
Helen, you’re doing everything right.