Coinciding with our preowned ‘winter design jewels’ theme, this July we view some of the Private Objects in the glamorous Melbourne family home of an American born actor / vocal artist and her financier husband. They enjoy hosting musical ‘soirees’ to raise awareness about Melbourne’s creative talent organisations such as Chunky Move and community funded charities such as the Lighthouse Foundation.
This 1930s home was given a ‘Holllywood makeover’ by the best ‘director’of Melbourne architecture, Alan Powell with best ‘supporting roles’ by Melbourne interior designer Margie Bromilow and Sam Daniel Landscape Design.
The owners collection of design objects literally ‘perform’ in surprising vignettes created with powerful works by local artist friends alongside bold and passionately collected design objects. Gathering and curating things over time has produced a truly personalised interior rather than one hinged on the latest design fads.
The irregular shaped entry lobby is ‘monitored’ by this highly polished Carrara marble ‘portrait’ by Melbourne sculptor Joel Elenberg. A simple inexpensive white plinth, instead of furniture, focuses attention on the sculpture and creates a ‘gallery like’ atmosphere.
Tragically, after only 5 years of public recognition, Joel Elenberg passed away from cancer on the ‘artists island’ of Bali in 1980 at the young age of 32. He was mentored by, and became a great mate of Brett Whiteley who painted this portrait of Joel in 1980 [below] which is on display at The Art Gallery of NSW. Joel was married to, and had a daughter with Flinders Lane Gallery owner Anna Schwartz.
To the left, is the study with a large curved bay window dressed in pearlescent fabric. A dark velvet upholstered Arne sofa by Antonio Citterio for B&B Italia follows the curve of the window as does a custom designed circular rug on which the round Knoll Platner coffee table sits. A cinematic photograph of chanteuse Jane Badler by Melbourne artist Jesse Smith takes center stage whilst a white Delft #11 vase by Moooi from Space Furniture Richmond adorns the mantelpiece. A pink electric guitar from Mannys music store Fitzroy adds a ‘westcoast LA’ vibe to the room.
Across the lobby is the formal entertaining room. In the bay window, is a painted porcelain vase titled ‘Peace’ from Neon Parc Gallery Brunswick. So beautiful.
The original fireplace has been reworked brilliantly with a juxtaposed mix of stone slabs. Resting on top is a painting by Vivienne Shark LeWitt and a red sculpture by artist friend Siobhan Ryan. *Not hanging artworks further helps create a ‘gallery’ mood.
‘Sexy and Dangerous’ by Brook Andrew hangs behind the much loved baby grand piano. *note the ceiling devoid of rows of energy draining down lights, floor lamps providing more atmosphere.
Double cavity sliding doors open to reveal the dining ‘scene’ where a sparkling lolli e memmoli chandelier from EEC Lighting takes center stage. Behind is a painting by friend Stieg Persson, a masters graduate of Melbourne’s Victorian College of the Arts.
More vignettes work to distract the dinner conversation:
Decorative ‘Coral Vase’ by Dutch ceramacist Norman Trapman
A glossy dark 1940s sideboard from Italian antique specialists Nicholas & Alistair provides the perfect stage for this Belgian silver dipped ‘bambi’ vase.
Upstairs is possibly the best dressing room in Melbourne. A wall of ivory leather upholstered push close closet doors combine with two large ‘islands’ of drawers with tinted mirror tops that reflect timeless designer accessories and the white murano glass chandeliers glowing above.
We hope you are inspired by this collection of design objects and discovered some tips on composing artistic vignettes and creating a gallery-like atmosphere in your home.
words & images:Mel deC for designconsigned.com.au 2016