Victoria McKenzie’s home tells many stories. The NZ-born set decorator and art director moved to Australia in 2001 with ‘little more than her collection of handwoven baskets and shell necklaces.’ The exacting design eye that landed her the role of head of set dressing for The Lord of the Rings (!!!) is also on full display in this stunning mid-century home in Caulfield North.
Prior to moving into this home (relocating from a rental just across the street – Victoria loves the area!) she had the lounge/dining and hallway wooden floors sanded and polished, and painted the vinyl wallpaper in the master bedroom with Dulux Integrity. A fresh set for Victoria to dress, with her incredible collection of objects and artworks from across the globe.
The 1930s house initially didn’t appeal to Victoria, but after being convinced by a friend to take a peek in the windows, and when she discovered the late 1960s makeover within, was completely sold! She describes, ‘…and that was before I ran to the back of the house and discovered the garden, the porch and the sunroom extension with its wild tiles and built-in cupboards. I was completely beside myself and just had to move in!’
Victoria’s inventiveness, resourcefulness and artistry are on display in every corner of her home. Burnt orange drapes from the op shop are matched with 60’s orange carpet patches that Victoria paid her old landlord $100 to cut two large pieces out of the floor with a Stanley knife. Dulux Oolong and Beige Royal in the bungalow work with the colour of the lino, and the floating shelves in the sewing room offer a perfect display space for her Pacific Island doll collection. Victoria’s favourite piece in the house is her black vinyl four-seater couch with orange wool cushion seats, from Lost and Found Market in Collingwood.
Victoria explains ‘my home reflects the reverence I have for things handmade from natural materials. Nothing is new, everything is vintage, and I do love to see collections of objects en masse.’ She highlights that while the home is full, it doesn’t feel cluttered as the tonal groupings, plants and large windows provide an open and light feel.
Victoria draws attention to the 50-year-old sunroom wallpaper print of ferns, calla lily, kentia palm, marguerite daisy, snowdrops, ivy, and fan palms, and she enthuses ‘I could not ask for a better backdrop to my flax basket collection and shell necklaces!’ With her collections of carved wood birds, hula skirts, straw paintings, tapa cloths, glass animals (just the tip of the iceberg of Victoria’s interests), this home is a true bowerbird’s delight, and a fitting residence for one exceptionally creative character!