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A Theatrical Share House In Thornbury

Homes

The phenomenon of people who resemble their dogs is well established – but what about homes that look like their inhabitants?

Today’s eclectic and cheerful share-house is the perfect environment for its artistic residents, theatre photographer and fine artist Sarah Walker, her partner, animator and director Mike Greaney, their friend, designer Eve Gilbert, and Jacko the greyhound. We chat with Sarah about discovering this theatrical home, where  daffodil yellow walls (surprisingly!) provide a unifying backdrop for three distinct aesthetic styles.

14th November, 2018

Inside the eclectic Thornbury sharehouse of housemates Mike Greaney, Sarah Walker, Eve Gilbert and Jacko the Greyhound. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

70s seashell macrame seashell tiered chandelier came with the house, along with the orange velvet curtains and velvet cushions. Globe from Sarah’s family home. Ceramic artwork by Te’Claire. Vintage Candelabra bought by Sarah’s mum from the Convent Gallery in Daylesford. Vintage coffee table from Gumtree. Moroccan-style coloured glass lamp shade rescued and restored by Sarah. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Reproduction chasie lounge from Sarah’s parents’ house. Left artwork ‘Trinity Blessing’ by Sarah Maslankiewicz. Right artworks by Sarah, including ‘Dash after being catcalled’ (bottom), which won the 2016 CCP Salon Best Portrait prize. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

1930s American ‘Morrison’ baby grand piano. Vintage burgundy sofa bought by Eve. Vintage desk from a yard sale in Northcote. Coffee table from some of Sarah’s friends, ‘who often used it as an impromptu theatre stage for drunken performances’. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Gramophone with record saved from a Chinese feature film based in 1930s Shanghai, ‘now spilling with autumn leaves from another television show.’ Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Early 1900s antique baby high chair passed down from one of Eve’s previous bosses. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking form the dining room into the living room. Yellow velvet dining chairs collected for a film shoot by Eve. Sarah’s great grandmother’s dining table. Turquoise mid-century teak Danish couch and armchairs found on eBay. The artwork on the left includes prints of works by Carol Jerrems and Frances Cannon. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The Birth of Venus’ print by Sandro Botticelli, collected by Eve on travels in Florence. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The massive cupboard was in the room when we arrived and will no doubt be in the room long after we are all dead. We have a suspicion that it is a Franco Cozzo original. It’s so big that it must have been constructed in the room – you couldn’t have got it through the door,’ tell the housemates. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Eve’s room. Late 60s Kriseler Stereo system that once belonged to Eve’s father as a teenager. Vintage orange lamp. Vintage Tiki bamboo table. Aluminium cups and tray collected from vintage markets. Hard-carved wooden peacock from Oaxaca, Mexico. ‘Los Growlers’ limited edition Lava Foil band poster print by Nathaniel Deas. ‘Noosa Hedonists’ painting by Marke Payne. Felt cut Grace Jones face made by Eve. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lightbox with LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ text. Mike’s favourite band is LCD Soundsystem and this song has been a party anthem since the three housemates came together and joined social circles. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mike Greaney, Jacko the Greyhound, Sarah Walker and Eve Gilbert. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The palm trees in the yard really make you feel like you’re living in LA in the 30s,’ the housemates describe. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 14th November 2018

‘The relationship between the space and furnishings is a two-way exchange’ – Sarah Walker.

Sarah, Mike and Eve have been renting in this theatrical home for the past year and a half, after Sarah stumbled across the property online. Despite the bad quality photos on the real estate agent’s website, she had a hunch it would be a winner, and describes how she ‘turned up to peek through the windows, and immediately fell in love.’ When it comes to real estate, it pays to follow your instinct!

The home is described by its residents as ‘ridiculous’ – filled with columns and archways, and a theatrical grandeur. Sarah and Eve have lived together for the past six years in a variety of unusual homes, but this one offers a new level of idiosyncratic charm. Sarah explains the feeling that ‘we had the decorating approach to match its quirkiness.’

The interiors are a delightful and unexpectedly successful mash-up of the trio’s diverse aesthetics: Eve’s 60s tiki vibes, Sarah’s Viennese Wunderkammer inspo, and Mike’s aspirations for a Danish cabin in the woods. On paper this REALLY shouldn’t work, but somehow there’s a sense of harmony here!

An Ode To Maximalism

A round-up of homes that embrace ‘more is more’.

Sarah explains ‘because we’ve all worked on the film and theatre sets, we have a good knack for collaborating to make a space feel pulled together, and we’re all always on the lookout for a bargain.’ This pick-and-mix approach to furnishing and decorating means the house is filled with unusual treasures. Sarah draws attention to pieces that were ‘used for a film set in 1700s Versailles’ including an antique letter writing cabinet and powder-blue binoculars!

Sarah describes how the home’s quirky grandeur allows the share-house residents to ‘furnish it with really unusual pieces, and the relationship between the space and furnishings is a two-way exchange.’ This cheerful and eclectic home has personality in spades – and provides a perfect setting for these creative professionals to feel truly at home.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net