Sandra Eterovic has lived in her tiny two bedroom cottage in Richmond for almost twenty years. She was encouraged to buy the place when still in her twenties by an ex-boyfriend. ‘I was looking for an apartment in St Kilda, when my boyfriend pointed out that on the other side of the river I would be able to afford a house!’ says Sandra. ‘I consider myself incredibly lucky. How things have changed in this city.’
The first and most wonderful thing that Sandra invested in after taking possession of her home was hydronic heating! She also pulled up what she describes as ‘filthy cream coloured carpet’ and had the floorboards polished, whilst most of the walls were painted white by her helpful dad.
Granite benches were installed in the kitchen, and a dark green marble top in the bathroom (also thanks to Sandra’s father, who used to be a stonemason). An enormous custom bookshelf was installed in the front bedroom, which doubles as Sandra’s study / workspace. A big white shed which took up a quarter of the backyard was replaced with a smaller (and cuter) one, and silver birches were planted on either side.
Sandra loves the sweet Ikea daybed in her front room / study, which is piled high with her favourite colourful painted cushions and soft sculptures. ‘This daybed took me over two days to assemble, and I shed many a tear of frustration in the process. Now when I rest on it, I feel that it is thoroughly deserved’ she says. She’s also very fond of her many vintage treasures, amongst them a 1940’s Italian Alimentari map, and a 1960’s German light-up globe, both of which were found at The Chapel Street Bazaar many years ago.
Of course, what’s most distinctive about this home is quite simply, all Sandra’s amazing collected STUFF. As you’ll note if you’ve taken a moment to read through the epic captioning effort above, Sandra’s home is a living museum of sketches, paintings, embroideries, artworks and other collected ephemera kept, in some cases, since childhood! Amongst these treasured items are a copper cake tin her Father gave to her Mother when the family first arrived in Australia, fabrics handed down from her Grandmother, and collages made by Sandra when she was a child, alongside more recent acquisitions made by friends and fellow local creatives.
‘This is the home of someone who loves odd and somewhat childish vintage items, textiles, books, maps, plants and the colour RED’ explains Sandra! ‘It is also the home of someone who is surrounded by inventory: hence the mountains of cushions, wooden artwork and stacks of greetings cards. After writing the captions to the photos, I have realised that it is also the home of someone who spends WAY WAY too much time buying vintage tchotchkes on Etsy’.