Melbourne artist Miranda Skoczek moved to Upwey just three months ago, but this colourful little cottage, nestled amongst the leafy surrounds of the Dandenong Ranges, already feels like home.
‘The day I drove up here to view this house for the first time, I instantly knew I would be content here, and I was right.’ The artist explains. ‘I feel more grounded, and my Harper is thriving with so much space to explore. We just love it.’
Previously living in a two bedroom apartment in St Kilda, Miranda made the move seeking a different pace of life, and more time outdoors for her son Harper (6 years). It was an impulsive idea – but when Miranda gets an idea in her head, there’s no stopping her! ‘I’d literally had the idea of living up here on a Sunday afternoon, drove up the next day to view the house, and two days later I had the approval to move in!’ she says. ‘It was meant to be – and yes, I’m spontaneous!’
As her home is a a rental, Miranda hasn’t made any major changes here (and like most tenants, there are a few things she really wishes she could update!). However, this home is testament to just how much personality you can inject into a space without making any structural changes. Miranda collects art, furniture and beautiful objects obsessively. Her home is a celebration of her favourite things – this is a place where Australian contemporary art sits alongside vintage textiles, contemporary design pieces are celebrated equally alongside tribal relics, and Asian antiques perch perfectly alongside vintage ceramics from Portugal to Japan, Ethiopia to the US. Miranda is a bowerbird in the truest sense.
‘Truly, everything in my home is cherished’ the artist says.’The rugs I walk over everyday, the art of my friends and peers, the beautiful Adam and Eve naively painted on pieces of driftwood by a French artist in her 80s, my most gorgeous French antique Globe de Mariee, gifted to me by a favourite friend of mine, Flora, who I spent two magical days with (having just met her) at her exceptionally beautiful home in the English countryside.’ And so it goes on… simply everything here has a story.
Mind you, Miranda’s obsession for collecting is not without its challenges. ’Sometimes my love of ‘things’ stresses me out, especially when I move, carry things back from my travels, look at my bank account, or glance around me and feel claustrophobic’ she confesses. ‘Ideally I would have a bigger home (not too big) so my things could breathe a little more’.
Though all-consuming, Miranda’s bowerbird tendencies are, in fact, paramount to her creative output. Being amongst creative surroundings, and continuously feathering her nest with shiny new discoveries is all part of her process.
‘I delight in creating little stories all around my home, which speak of different histories and societies; they tell all that enter my domain who I am, but also serve as daily reminders of where I have been, what I have seen and loved’ Miranda muses. ‘I’m a restless soul – always on a quest for new books, art, furniture, plants, plates, textiles, and clothes to stimulate me. My aesthetic is ‘storytelling’.