Well-known artist and designer Christopher Vine opens the doors to his fabulous, flamboyant and colourful Melbourne home... A household name, Christopher Vine Design is synonymous with edgy, fresh and fun motifs and patterns. Walking into Christopher’s amazing South Melbourne home, it’s clear to see he lives the colour and vibrancy found in his designs.
No matter where the eye falls, there’s always something fascinating to look at. Fun, whimsical, elegant and charming all at once, the residence has a sense of occasion and nostalgia that is reflected in the Christopher Vine Design homeware and gift ranges.
WHAT AN ENTRY
The wow factor begins the moment you enter the home and find yourself in a nine-metre high atrium. “People are always surprised by the size of the house!” Christopher says. To the left of this space is the downstairs kitchen and living area. A hallway painted in a spectacular magenta pink leads off the living area with a bedroom on either side. The laundry and a large bathroom can also be found in this part of the home.
Taking the stairs from the atrium brings guests to a large, light-filled room divided into various spaces, including the dining area. “There are then several different settings depending on the mood and number of people I am entertaining,” Christopher adds. This level is also home to the master bedroom and second bathroom, as well as the second kitchen. The final climb up another set of stairs leads to an attic with a soaring glass ceiling.
LIGHT AND BRIGHT
With three storeys, this spacious home’s multiple living and entertaining areas make good use of the vast open layout through clever architecture. The entire home is utterly flooded with light, giving it an overwhelmingly warm, welcoming energy.
Built in 1857 by Knight & Kerr, the same architects who designed Victoria’s majestic Parliament House, the building has been home to everything from a public library to an Italian club and a dance hall.
Now home to Christopher and his family for five years, he says the property immediately appealed to him when he first saw it. “It has an international feel; I liked the high ceilings downstairs and the loft feel upstairs,” he says. It has bountiful light, which is essential for an artist. “One of the most important elements for me is light,” Christopher says. “I like to paint at home and natural light is extremely important – the house has a lot of it, making it ideal.” With so much space, there is also plenty of room to hang Christopher’s many paintings.
Christopher made some subtle changes to the home to make it more practical and accommodating to the needs of himself and his family. The upstairs and downstairs bathrooms were renovated and he had a new kitchen put in downstairs. The house was also painted throughout, Pirelli flooring was laid on the stairs and the upstairs wooden floorboards were lime-washed.
“I wanted to reduce the size and scale of the house as it was a dance hall in the past. I created different zones to give it a more intimate feel,” Christopher explains. “Having the multi-entertaining areas is unique and having a kitchen upstairs is very useful when entertaining, as it is perfect for making canapés and preparing drinks.”
With the two separate living zones, the children live downstairs and Christopher’s living area and bedroom is upstairs. “The living room upstairs is my favourite room,” he says. “Having the mezzanine attic with the glass ceiling fills the room with light, it’s a lovely airy room and I enjoy looking out the windows watching all the activity on the street below.”
For the full story, see issue 6-12 of Modern Home magazine.
STORY SUNNY DE BRUYN
PHOTOGRAPHY NICOLE ENGLAND
STYLING JAYNE REID