Eclectic Collectors Create an Imaginative Modern Home in Melbourne

updated Apr 30, 2019
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A mid-century kitchen/dining room full of rich brown wood furniture. The dining furniture features robin egg blue fabric and a circular rug underneath matches
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Name: Annie Price, Jamie Paterson, Dorothy (Dottie) Paterson (and Furry beasts: Muttley and Pearl)
Location: Beaumauris — Melbourne, Australia
Size: Approx 400 square metres
Years lived in: Owned 5 years

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Annie and Jamie’s home is located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Beaumauris and is testament to the couple’s love of modernist design, Palm Springs and the perseverance in restoring a beautiful piece of architecture that many others would have perhaps demolished and built something new in its place.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Annie can be found on Instagram and both her and Jamie have the most amazing skill and luck when it comes to finding cheap garage sale, yard sale, side of the road and junk shop finds. Like the $4 original Hans Agne Jakobsson pendant light hanging above the dining room table found at a church sale. Or discovered at a garage sale—therefore cheap—vintage concrete bird statues in the front yard.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

With the help of an architect they reconfigured the entry and living room space and installed new cabinetry in the kitchen, but repurposed the original drawer handles and somehow found matching ones, too. Likewise, the backsplash tiling was as-new old stock they had re-backed. Most items in their home have a story attached and it really is a fun, vibrant and inviting space to be in.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: We are mid-century fanatics, with a healthy dash of eclectic collecting/hoarding. A mix of garage sale, op shop and hard garbage finds. Everything has a story, and it all makes us smile. We love re-purposing things, giving them a new lease on life and whipping up the odd handmade, crafty bit.

Inspiration: We’re inspired by so many things. Starting from childhood memories of teak, laminate and vinyl surrounds; the successful contrast of modernism and the Australian bush; the possibilities of open plan and hidden nooks; recycling vintage materials with new technology. We can also happily waste hours wandering vintage stores in reality and online. We love our source books and mags. Pretty much every day, we get inspiration from somewhere. One of us is always sending the other an image of something amazing and the other writes back “where will we put it?”

Favorite Element: We love the elevation and split level living at our place. Our double stacker sliders at front and rear provide an open plan area that accentuates the size of the living area and provides lovely summer cross breezes. Plus the split-face block work clearly done by a mad man.

Biggest Challenge: There were two… Living downstairs in just one room for nearly a year, while the renovation took place. Especially through winter with no roof and drips. And trying to stay 100% true to the era… Unfortunately some tradies don’t respect the idea of working with vintage pieces and recycled materials.

What Friends Say: Some friends say they love checking out our latest finds when they drop round. Other friends think we are bonkers and can’t understand why we wouldn’t want a caesarstone bench top and beige faux suede chaise lounge.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Biggest Embarrassment: The backyard sadly. We are both green thumbs, but it’s been a big year and we’ve not had the time to complete our vision out there or even keep the weeds at bay.

Proudest DIY: Annie—a planter made from a 1980s pool pump from hard garbage. We got the top chopped off and I painted a diamond pattern on it. Boom.

Jamie—Hand-sanding and oiling the original Oregon beams after ignoring the architect’s advice to paint them white.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably the pair of Milo Baughman swivel chairs we bought on a total whim. But in complete contrast, we found an original Hans Agne Jacobsson lamp shade for $4 at a church fete, so it all evens out in the end!

Best Advice: Surround yourself with things that make you happy. And try to preserve… shiny new things might be attractive, but it’s heartbreaking seeing beautiful old homes being demolished flippantly and hard rubbish piles laden with stuff that could have been restored. We all need to be more aware of our history and look after it before we lose it.

Dream Sources:

  • Palm Springs
  • Ventura (thrift shop heaven)
  • Retro Renovation
  • Grandfathers Axe
  • Etsy
  • The books on our coffee table we never get time to read
  • The next garage sale, op shop our hard garbage pile… who knows what we’ll find
(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)
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Jamie and Annie in their living room. (Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

Thanks, Annie, Jamie and Dottie!

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