Kylie Johnson of Paper Boat Press bought this building in the leafy suburb of Ashgrove just three years ago. The home was originally built 1926, and a lot of structural work was required as soon as Kylie took possession of the property. ’It didn’t even have a kitchen, and the bathroom was from the 1980’s’ Kylie recalls.
With the assistance of various skilled tradesmen, Kylie re-roofed the whole house, gutted most of the rooms, restored and installed enormous doors that she found under the house(!), and created a new kitchen in what was once a walkway and verandah. ‘I designed everything here and had various tradies and furniture makers create my vision’ says Kylie.
Kylie’s home is cosy, artful and eclectic. Every surface is crammed with handcrafted pieces by Kylie and other makers, and every wall adorned by artwork by Australian artists and creative friends. Kylie often travels to Japan, and is very influenced by a Japanese aesthetic, so there are inky blues and ceramics on every surface. She also loves being surrounded by books!
Kylie is particularly fond of her ‘ridiculously large’ ceramics collection, and also her collection of Australian art. ‘I’ve been collecting art since I went to art college 25 years ago, and my walls are covered with some of my favourite artists, some of whose work is quite personal to me’ she says. Artists include David Usher, Michael Leunig, Allyson Reynolds, Stephen Brash, Leonard Brown and Lincoln Austin.
What Kylie loves most about her home is that this property has allowed her finally to combine all three aspects of her creative life – a gallery, a shop and a home. It means that although she lives alone, her home is always filled with conversation and company, with friends, family and staff here every day of the week!
‘I love that this building is a true atelier – shop, studio and home all in one’ says Kylie. ‘And I love that it’s an old building, it holds history and stories and memories from long before my time’.