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Orlando Mesiti and Gregg Smith

Homes

I often say that creative shopkeepers have the best houses, and today we share yet another example! Orlando Mesiti is best known for his wonderful store Scout House in St. Kilda, much loved for its inspired edit of vintage finds, sourced by Orlando on regular buying trips abroad.

The home Orlando shares with his partner Gregg Smith is a Victorian terrace in St Kilda, decorated sparingly with an elegant edit of original vintage furniture, treasured artwork and handcrafted details.

2nd November, 2016

Vintage collection of Bitossi ceramics designed by Aldo Londi. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

The St Kilda home of Gregg Smith and Orlando Mesiti of Scout House. Above – kitchen, looking through to dining room. Antique A310 TV Chair by Grant Featherston. Ceramic Artwork by Lucy Body Beck. Ceramics to left by Bridget Bodenham. Ceramic cup on table by Astier De Villatte. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Kitchen looking through to courtyard. Artwork by Nora Wompi. Vintage tolix chairs. Vintage refectory table. Bridget Bodenham ceramics. Vintage french Jielde lamp. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Painting in dining room by Celia Perceval. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Kitchen details. Flowerpot Pendant by Verner Panton. Vintage French Pine Breadboard from Scout House. Ceramics by Bridget Bodenham. Vintage Atomic Coffee Maker. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Dining room. Artwork by Kazmir Malevich. Vintage French Standard lamp by Jielde. Vintage Holmgaard Gulvase. Ceramic vessles by Gus McLaren, Silvia Halpern and Ellis Ceramics. Vintage french milkglass pendant. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Lounge room. Artwork by Ojars Bisienieks. Rocking chair by Douglas Snelling. Vintage kilim. Candle by Cire Trudon. Planter by Mr Kitly. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Front living room. Paintings by Ethel Jackson Morris. Vintage french bistro table. Vintage Belgian railway platform trolley. Banksia curtains by Julie Paterson. Cloth/cushions by Vox Populi and Ralph Lauren. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Master bedroom. Tilly Bed, ticking stripe bed linen, all from Scout House. Vintage African Mudcloth textile bought in Paris. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Master bedroom. Vintage Colonial wardrobe, Greg Hatton Beetle Track Stool,  Vintage Grant Featherston A310H TV chair, Louis Poulson Pendant. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Second bedroom. Vintage style iron bed from Orlando’s store, Scout House. Have You Met Miss Jones cockatoo lamp. Handknitted wool throw. European pine bedside table from Scout House. Artwork by Friends With You. Vintage army blanket cushion by Bob Window. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Gregg and Orlando in the back courtyard with their beloved pups, Stanley and Matilda. Photo – Annette O’Brien.

Stanley the dog! Gooseneck light fitting by Barn Light Electric. Vintage French Wine Barrel.  Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 2nd November 2016

The St Kilda home Orlando Mesiti shares with his partner Gregg Smith is a Victorian terrace of rather grand proportions. Built in the 1870’s, this is a 6-room house (2 living, 1 dining, 2 bedroom, 1 study), with generous ceiling height and beautiful period detailing. When the pair moved here eight years ago, they were seen to ‘restore’ the house rather than renovate it.

‘From the start, our idea was to reduce the amount of visual clutter’ Orlando says. Inside, the pair painted every wall white to provide a neutral backdrop for their collection of artwork. Frilly curtains were removed in favour of streamlined timber shutters. Outside, paint was removed from exterior render to restore the home’s original exterior finish.

Paving and decking in the back courtyard was also removed, to expose the ground and create a bigger garden, allowing Gregg and Orlando to plant natives and encourage birds and wildlife.

With a keen eye for vintage treasures, its no surprise Orlando has amassed an impressive collection of vintage furniture, lighting and ceramics, all on display here. However, it’s his art collection, including small original works by Joy Hester and Mirka Mora, of which he is most enamoured. ‘The art we have collected is easily our favourite thing’ he says. ‘Collecting original pieces need not be expensive, it just takes a keen eye and lots of patience to wait for the right thing to come along.’

Orlando and Gregg are intuitive rather than strategic when it comes to interior decoration. That said, they do have a few non-negotiables! They emphatically hate adhering to rules or trends. ‘Its just about things we like’ Orlando says. ‘Our style is eclectic and imbued with an Australian flavour, peppered with treasures from our travels. No replica. Hand crafted and reused. Natural timber, stone, fibres and linen’.

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