I’m sure you’ll agree today’s real home is a stunner and it belongs to Australian artist Christopher Vine.
His open plan home is like a white blank canvas for his own paintings and collections. The South Melbourne property, formerly the Emerald Hill Mechanics Institute and later the Italian Club, appealed to him because of its New York loft feel and abundance of natural light.
His art is displayed beautifully throughout the three-storey building, where he has created cosy zones and a very eclectic feel. Colourful furniture and accessories sit against all-white walls and around an exposed staircase.
“I am definitely very fond of great chairs and I have an eclectic mix,” he says. “The Tractor chair (the green chair at the end of the hallway) is my favourite, followed by the Featherstone that I couldn’t resist purchasing. I like to create different settings in a room, almost like a club atmosphere where you can sit in a different environment to suit the mood.
“My home reflects my life. I travel often and purchase things I love around the globe. I often go to markets and enjoy fossicking through boxes to find one off or unique pieces.”
Upstairs and downstairs have quite different feels. Downstairs is fun and whimsical, home to his three children and where family meals take place. Upstairs, on the other hand, is Vine’s “sanctuary” and where he entertains friends.
He moved in five years ago, lured by the lofty ceilings, vast open plan space and the best of Victorian architecture. “It appealed to me immediately. It has an International feel. I repainted the whole house, put in a new kitchen downstairs, renovated the bathrooms and had the timber floors upstairs lime washed. I like to paint at home and it’s really important to me that I have natural light.”
Despite the eclectic feel, Vine manages to keep the space from looking over the top. “The white background is very important because it adds light and is a great backdrop for any colour. There are very few patterns in the room and the majority of the pieces are a single colour, which is easier on the eye and makes the room look less cluttered.”