An Artist’s Australian Home Has an Envy-Inducing Sunroom and Art Studio
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Name: Sam Michelle, her husband, and their two kids
Location: Blind Bight — Melbourne, Victoria
Size: 3,292 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned.
Sam Michelle and her husband Darren are renovating this Melbourne house slowly and in stages. When they first moved in, for instance, they pulled up the original slate flooring throughout, and replaced it with timber. But that was just the start. The kitchen and living room lounge got refreshed (and the giant floor-to-ceiling door that opens up to their sunroom is downright dreamy). And next, they plan on tackling the laundry room as well as both bathrooms.
Sam left her career in banking to become a full-time artist just five years ago, and spends her days painting stunning still life, seasonal florals, and landscapes from her spacious home studio that’s dedicated to creativity. In fact, the whole house is. Much of the decor is centered around their growing collection of art, ceramics, and plants, and the result is a soothing home full of inspiration.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Chilled, coastal, entertainer. I like to keep things pretty relaxed with a young family and animals (especially one dog that likes to sit on the couch like a human). Our home is based around art, ceramics, and plants and I love slowly and intently adding to our collection. We moved to the quiet town of Blind Bight one and a half years ago to escape the hustle and bustle. We love the relaxed vibe of the town and being surrounded by nature.
Inspiration: The three things that inspire me most in our home and art practice are lines, texture, and levels. Stripes get me every time and I am always drawn to them. I gravitate towards texture at home and in my paintings and I am always working on creating interesting levels and little interesting nooks in our home.
Favorite Element: I love the ample space we have. We have a pool in the backyard, which gives the house a little coastal holiday home feel. Our Australian summers can get very hot so we constantly have friends and family pop around for a swim and some might stay the weekend, so with the five bedrooms it means we have ample space to host. My large studio runs off a little decked undercover space and it’s such a blessing to have such a big space to work in and have it so close to our home life.
Biggest Challenge: Renovating in stages has its challenges. After the kitchen and lounge, our next stage is the laundry and both bathrooms so it’s has been a challenge with a partially opened roof and no cooling during this summer.
What Friends Say: Is the pool open?! Our friends love our big wooden bench and the little sitting area in the kitchen, which is flooded by natural light.
Biggest Embarrassment: How long it took to clean up the house and studio for this shoot.
Proudest DIY: Pulling up all the slate flooring, which ran throughout the entire home. This was back breaking work but so rewarding and now our place is much lighter, brighter, and more comfortable to walk around on. We have always been less than handy but since moving into this home we have been inspired to learn how to renovate. I completed the 3 Birds online renovation course while waiting to settle on this home, which helped with making decisions and planning.
Biggest Indulgence: The three skylights in the kitchen area. The natural light it provides in the kitchen and sitting area makes it a favorite place to hang out.
Best Advice: If you can, start with the art (wall hanging, etc.) then build a room from there. It makes all the flow on decisions so much easier.
PAINT & COLORS
- Taubmans — Almond Milk (a lovely warm neutral that makes the home feel cosy and allows the white features of the kitchen cabinetry and art pop).
- Kangaroo print above fireplace — Martin King
- Snowy Landscape above fireplace — Sam Michelle
- Gold spot planter on side table — Bridget Bodenham
- White Vase on fireplace — Jumbled
- Pink vase — Amy Leeworthy
- Artwork on main gallery wall left to right:
- Large landscape painting — Wendy McDonald
- Next 5 works — Sam Michelle
- Large green landscape painting — Kevin Perkins
- Little square landscape painting — Wendy McDonald
- Large still life — Sam Michelle
- Small square landscape with blue sky — Jenie Fawckner
- Rug — Bunnings
- White round coffee table — Early settler
- Glass coffee table — IKEA
- Throw rugs — Cotton On
- Cushions — Cotton On & Pillow Talk
DINING/KITCHEN SITTING AREA
SMALL SIDE BENCH IN KITCHEN UNDER PENDANT LIGHT
- Large fashion print of ladies walking up hill, above desk — Twenty Seven Names (NZ fashion brand).
- Pink Peony Painting to left — Sam Michelle
- Landscape on paper — Sam Michelle
- Black square portrait painting — Georgie Wilson
- Main wall / paintings near painting trolley — Sam Michelle
- On Studio Shelves behind workbench:
- Ceramic Watering can — Robert Gordon Pottery
- 2x Portraits on paper — Ann Nguyen
- All other paintings — Sam Michelle
- Large white plant holder — Made of Tomorrow
- Seating — 2nd hand finds and recovered
- Artwork above bed — All Sam Michelle with a Matilda Julian at right end
- Bedhead and shoebox — Heatherly Design
- Bed & Draws — IKEA
- Bedside lights — IKEA
- Striped ceramics — Bridget Bodenham
- Bedside tables — Made of Tomorrow
- White vase on right bedside table — Angus & Celeste
- Striped vases on left bedside table — Bridget Bodenham
- Print on entry wall — Elizabeth Barnett
- Blue print on curtain wall — Julian Opie
- Patterned flat sheet — Kip & Co
- Plant print on curtain wall — Elizabeth Barnett
KID BEDROOM 1
KIDS ROOM 2
Thanks Sam and family!