I'm probably the only person in Melbourne, who would willingly move from the sea (St Kilda) to the trees (Warrandyte). Yes that's right. Earlier this year I packed up my family's home of twenty years and directed the removalists up to Warrandyte. I've become used to the bewildered response when I tell people about my tree change...but I'm just as happy as a little piggy in poo.
I searched for two years to find just the right home and eventually opted for position, position, position. I have a little plot of land in a secluded area of Warrandyte where the Yarra River runs at the bottom of the garden. (That's me by my "water feature" on the right.) The area running down to the river is inhabited by a big old grey kangaroo and birds. Oh the birds!! The day I moved in, the very moment I opened my new back door, three kookaburras celebrated my arrival from the big spotted gum beside my deck. Thirty sulphur crested cockatoos perform an intensely noisy display every evening at dusk....I view it from my deck... it's better than the tellie.
I've named the place "isiiad". An acronym for I Saw It In A Dream, because I did see it in a dream, long before I bought it. In the dream I saw a place amoung the gum trees in Warrandyte where I could follow my creative spirit and make my very own sanctuary.
My daughter has named the street leading up to isiiad "Warrandyte's answer to the Great Ocean Road"- as the view of the river is spectacular!
I tell people I bought the place, not the house. The house is ordinary. I tell people that you can always rearrange a house but you can't put the Yarra at the bottom of the garden. So the work of turning an ordinary house into a sanctuary is in full swing!! There's furniture to buy, an ensuite to renovate, windows to alter, quotes to be chased, and a garden to fill with natives and love. I've spent the last few months shopping, planning, choosing and being inspired by my new surroundings.
Note on my new surroundings. In addition to it's natural beauty, Warrandyte is home to painters, sculptors and potters. Heide is close by to remind us of people like Mirka Mora, Joy Hester and of course the visionary Sunday Reed. Montsalvat (ten minutes away) continues to charm the crowds and to host musicians and artists in its quirky buildings. Those of you already familiar with the Yarra Valley, will understand the inspirations to be had there. As if wine, food and sweeping views is not enough, perched up on the hill of a vineyard in the Yarra Valley is TarraWarra Museum of Art. It is one of those places every Melbournian should see before they die...but get in early, since one visit will have you recording regular visits into your diary forever more. All around this big ticket item are the studios of local artists, where works of exceptional quality can be found.
I hope to share my finds, my inspirations, my new hood- in short whatever floats my boat, with you, dear readers, via this blog. You can watch the progress of isiiad's refurbishment. Check out the shops and artisans whose wares have found a resting place at isiiad. View the work of creative people. See the world of arts and design, both here and in other places and sneak a peek into the homes of other renovation tragics like myself.