Melbourne artist Miranda Skoczek moved to Upwey just three months ago, but this colourful little cottage, nestled amongst the leafy surrounds of the Dandenong Ranges, already feels like home.
‘The day I drove up here to view this house for the first time, I instantly knew I would be content here, and I was right.’ The artist explains. ‘I feel more grounded, and my Harper is thriving with so much space to explore. We just love it.’
Previously living in a two bedroom apartment in St Kilda, Miranda made the move seeking a different pace of life, and more time outdoors for her son Harper (6 years). It was an impulsive idea – but when Miranda gets an idea in her head, there’s no stopping her! ‘I’d literally had the idea of living up here on a Sunday afternoon, drove up the next day to view the house, and two days later I had the approval to move in!’ she says. ‘It was meant to be – and yes, I’m spontaneous!’
As her home is a a rental, Miranda hasn’t made any major changes here (and like most tenants, there are a few things she really wishes she could update!). However, this home is testament to just how much personality you can inject into a space without making any structural changes. Miranda collects art, furniture and beautiful objects obsessively. Her home is a celebration of her favourite things – this is a place where Australian contemporary art sits alongside vintage textiles, contemporary design pieces are celebrated equally alongside tribal relics, and Asian antiques perch perfectly alongside vintage ceramics from Portugal to Japan, Ethiopia to the US. Miranda is a bowerbird in the truest sense.
‘Truly, everything in my home is cherished’ the artist says.’The rugs I walk over everyday, the art of my friends and peers, the beautiful Adam and Eve naively painted on pieces of driftwood by a French artist in her 80s, my most gorgeous French antique Globe de Mariee, gifted to me by a favourite friend of mine, Flora, who I spent two magical days with (having just met her) at her exceptionally beautiful home in the English countryside.’ And so it goes on… simply everything here has a story.
Mind you, Miranda’s obsession for collecting is not without its challenges. ’Sometimes my love of ‘things’ stresses me out, especially when I move, carry things back from my travels, look at my bank account, or glance around me and feel claustrophobic’ she confesses. ‘Ideally I would have a bigger home (not too big) so my things could breathe a little more’.
Though all-consuming, Miranda’s bowerbird tendencies are, in fact, paramount to her creative output. Being amongst creative surroundings, and continuously feathering her nest with shiny new discoveries is all part of her process.
‘I delight in creating little stories all around my home, which speak of different histories and societies; they tell all that enter my domain who I am, but also serve as daily reminders of where I have been, what I have seen and loved’ Miranda muses. ‘I’m a restless soul – always on a quest for new books, art, furniture, plants, plates, textiles, and clothes to stimulate me. My aesthetic is ‘storytelling’.
Dining room, featuring Vernor Panton S Chair from Space, and Bentwood Le Corbusier chairs. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Miranda and her son Harper at home. ‘Six-year-old’s outfit chosen by himself (nothing to do with his Mum),’ grieves Miranda. Antique Japanese stand, pot painted pot by Miranda and Polish spotted vase behind. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Detail from the Melbourne home of artist Miranda Skoczek & family. Artwork by Miranda’s close friend Emily Ferretti from Sophie Gannon gallery, French table, Eames LCW chair from Living Edge, Kashmiri silk rug, Gubi lamp from Cult, bookshelf from Bunnings, and Mexican mask. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Living area with antique French mirror, IKEA PS cabinet, Noguchi lamp from Scout House, rug from Loom, and Monster urn from Tarlo and Graham guarded by Ziggy the Affenpinscher! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Watercolour by Adam Lee from Station Gallery with antique French table, and chairs from Scout House and Thonet. Photograph by Jacqui Stockdale from This Is No Fantasy Gallery, vintage Italian candlestick from Nyary ES, and Indian God from Fenton and Fenton on the mantle. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Miranda’s kitchen, featuring a pot she painted, an antique Chinese plate, and the cabinetry she’s hoping to renovate! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Hallway goals! Glass painting from London above a Balinese farmer’s hat and Ercol love seat from Temperature Design. To the right, Boucherite rug from Loom, fine art photograph by Leila Jeffreys and Blue Bird Bottle by Leah Fraser from Arthouse Gallery. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Artwork by Leo Coyte from Nicholas Thompson Gallery above snake artwork by Miranda, Chinese urns and Indian chest from Water Tiger Sees, and resin ‘table’ object from Dinosaur Designs. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Adam and Eve on driftwood by a French artist that Miranda connected with during a trip to Europe, and a work on paper by Miranda. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Portrait of Miranda’s Aunty Margaret Campbell, beside portrait by Gavin Brown. Butterflies and antlers from Tarlo and Graham, Globe de Mariee from London, and paper lantern from Nyary ES on top of an antique Chinese wedding cabinet. On the floor, painting by Emily Ferretti, and Moroccan and Turkish rugs from Loom. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Artwork by Miranda in Harper’s bedroom, along with bed from Scout House, quilt cover from Hay, Moroccan throw rug, pillowcase from Country Road, and cushion by Bonnie and Neil. The bedside table is from Space and the lamp from Mondoluce. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Paint palettes in Miranda’s home studio. Photo – Eve Wilson. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Detail of bedroom with Painting by Rhys Lee, bedlinen from Country Road, Guatemalan mask from Fenton and Fenton, and Jielde lamp from Euroluce. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Miranda’s bedroom, with lamp from Cult, vintage Casala chair, orchid pot by Whitely from Flatiron Store, and paper lantern from Nyary ES. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Miranda loves the connection to the outdoors – with lots of trees for Harper to climb! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Back deck, dotted with pot plants and a vintage French drum from History Vintage Antiques. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.