Best of Australian Homes 2014 · Greg Irvine

We couldn’t think of a better way to cap off our ‘Best of Australian Homes’ round up for 2014 than with this truly incredible creative space – the South Melbourne home of artist Greg Irvine.  Hands down one of my all time favourite TDF features ever… Greg Irvine showed us all a truly unique and uncompromisingly creative way of living.

ALSO, in collaboration with local filmmaker Paris Thomson of SIRAP, we made a short video documenting Greg’s remarkable home – a vivid motion snapshot which really captured Greg’s infectious creative spirit!  The film received over 12,000 views (which is huge for us!) SO THANKYOU all for supporting this new direction – we are plotting a lot more videos for you in 2015!

Today our ‘Best of’ series draws to a close.  Next Monday we’ll be back to regular programming!


Lucy Feagins

The incredible home of Melbourne artist Greg Irvine.  Above – front sitting room, in original condition with timber floors, walls and ceiling.   Magnificent French Art Nouveau mirror, collection of old hat boxes on top shelf, original Victorian lino topped table found in junk shop, decorative orientalist bamboo furniture, and glassware. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Greg’s mind boggling collection of bakelite bangles, vintage purses  and accessories, alongside his own artworks in the front sitting room.  Original iron fireplace.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Greg’s collection of bakelite bangles and vintage purses displayed in the front sitting room.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Greg’s master bedroom, showcasing his impressive collection of Victorian plates and an original Victoria wash stand with jug and basin.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Greg’s remarkable collection of antique tortoiseshell haircombs. Greg has been collecting these treasured pieces since the 60’s, when he says he would pick them up secondhand for $5.00 a piece.  ‘Shardware’ mosaic-encrusted dressing table created by Greg. Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Greg, pictured in his dining room alongside his hand painted Chinoiserie chairs, early 19th Century antique Georgian Anglo/Indian Rosewood and marble dining table and antique cobalt blue mirror, which once adorned an Indian Maharajah’s palace.  Photo – Eve Wilson, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
2nd of January 2015

When Eve and I first stepped through the front door of artist Greg Irvine’s incredible South Melbourne home, we were, in short, dumbfounded. We wandered from room to room, mouths open, casting our eyes in disbelief over Greg’s truly remarkable and seemingly endless collections of antique furniture, Victorian ceramics and tableware, glassware, enamelware, tortoiseshell and bakelite objects, vintage fabrics, suitcases, decorative boxes, jewellery and antique purses… the list goes on, and on, and on!  It is a ‘down the rabbit hole’ experience, a truly magical space that feels a little like stumbling absent-mindedly into some kind of alternate universe.

But don’t be deceived.  This is not the home of a hoarder.  Greg’s collections are tightly controlled.  The rule is ‘if I can’t display it, I don’t own it’ – he’s not interested in simply amassing things and squirrelling them away.  Each collection is carefully considered, and artfully displayed.  To Greg, they are installations – curated, and meticulously well kept.  There is not a skerrick of dust to be seen, either, which I know seems unfathomable, but it’s true.  Greg takes ‘house proud’ to new heights.

For Greg, collecting is an extension of his artwork – collecting, displaying and being surrounded by beautiful things is paramount to his practice.  Indeed, there is a great deal of crossover between Greg’s eclectic home and his meticulously detailed paintings.  His favourite household objects often find their way onto his canvases, whilst vintage fabrics often influence the patterns and colours in his works.  If not surrounded by beauty, he reasons, he ‘might as well curl up in a ball and die’.  Passionate words, from a very passionate aesthete!

For the full story and many more pics of Greg’s truly remarkable home, do POP BACK and revisit the original story.  And don’t forget to watch the VIDEO below, if you haven’t already!

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