Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Up In The Air

During our Melbourne trip, MOTH & I enjoyed the most wonderful evening at the home of our dear friends L.& B. L. & I have been close since we worked together in the late '70's in Melbourne & our lives have mirrored each other in lots of ways. We both went through messy divorces, became single Mum's juggling demanding full-time work with young children & found love & happiness the second time around (although in L.'s case, it was third time lucky!). Her gorgeous husband is one of Melbourne best-known antique dealer's & what doesn't live in his shop, resides in their magnificent home. A 2 storey listed Victorian Gothic mansion built in 1872, B. bought it nearly 35 years ago when you could pick up these buildings for a song. When L. appeared on the scene it was in desperate need of TLC. Over the past 25 years she has waved her magic wand & has transformed the house into quite the most amazing home I have ever been in. MOTH always says its like walking onto a movie set & he's exactly right!

Since our last visit, they have completed a huge project, adding a grand Conservatory to an unused concrete deck area above their kitchen/family room & reworking an existing bedroom & bathroom to form a self-contained apartment for L's. daughter. The Conservatory is reached via the grand main staircase & then across the first floor landing. We took our pre-Dinner drinks there & stepping through the new doorway, this spectacular space just took my breath away. The designers have cleverly created a twin ridge roof structure with central box gutter which mimmicks the Gothic roof contours of the existing house. Ornate solid bottom panels to the wall areas and decorative internal mouldings on the rafters and beams also follow on the incricate detailing found in the rest of the house. L. found some huge sandstone slabs for the floor & added motorized thermal roof blinds. Then she had great fun furnishing it with unusual antique pieces from their eccentric collection & voila, total perfection! The only hiccough was the 3 matching chandeliers B. had purchased on a buying trip to Prague. On the day of installation, they were too big to even go through the front door, so back to the shop they went to await new Owners & other smaller ones were found.

I've included images of the Conservatory, apologies for the grainy quality, but the only ones L. had were ones the Conservatory Company had sent her. Still working full-time, she says she's always too busy cleaning the house & caring for all their treasures to take pics at the weekend!!


  1. What a great space, it would be so lovely to sit in and enjoy life with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Bliss. xx

  2. You write so well, Millie, that I can just imagine how it all looks. How lovely to have such interesting and talented friends and to be able to admire and celebratet all their hard work. I hope your week was rejuventating for you both and that MOTH has returned with new vim and vigour for the bathroom project. Meredy xo.

  3. Ohhhh, yes please! t sounds just wonderful.

  4. What a fab looking conservatory, grainy pictures or not! It is my dream to one day own a house with a conservatory attached!

  5. I can just imagine the jaw dropping moment as you entered this amazing space Millie!
    Shame about the chandeliers ... and I wish you had more photos to share!

    Have a great week!

  6. Oh wow, it sounds amazing....a dream house for sure!

    Sounds like your trip to Melbourne was just wonderful :)

  7. What a gorgeous conservatory! The house sounds amazing and this looks like the icing on the cake. Leigh

  8. Gorgeous. I'm trying to imagine my morning coffee in that amazing space, then a quick mid morning shut-eye, followed by lunch among all of that light, repeat morning nap, a bit of light reading before cocktails... see where I'm going here... I don't think I would be able to leave. Thanks for taking us along Millie.

  9. Oh Mill's,
    That house is so ME. I love Gothic Victorian houses...... and to match the conservatory so well to the exsisting house... they get full marks for that. I don't like it when people stick a square box onto a beautiful building.
    It sounds as if you both had a wonderful break, visiting old friends. XXXX

  10. Millie
    Ilove to read your blog.
    Some lovely stories.
    Ive also read meet Mllie and I felt I did.
    I also enjoy your pictures.
    So thanks for inspire.

  11. Come on Millie you can do it!
    Kind Regards

    PS: Back to work today.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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