FELIX + ANDREW + BLAISE + EMILY + HARRIET
Editorial assistance by Madeleine Dore.
The five friends (plus Bearded Dragons called Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Nicholson) recently made the move to live together after they stumbled upon this floral carpeted and colourful walled home. A creative household of students and recent graduates, the quirkiness of the house perfectly matches its tenants with its happy-go-lucky charm.
Who lives here?
Andrew: I’m 23 and work as a fulltime freelance animator and illustrator. For fun I tend to my succulent collection and play music sometimes.
Felix: I'm 22 and a 2D animator from Tasmania. I've been living in Melbourne for five years and predominantly do freelance work in a shared studio with a group of other animators, including my housemate Andrew.
Emily: I am 21 and doing my honours year at RMIT in Applied Science. I work part time in a bakery cafe and also as a cleaner for a rail company. For fun I usually just watch movies or catch up for a coffee with friends. I’m taking photography as an elective this year so it’s a good stress release from the rest of my course and has become a new hobby.
Blaise: I’m 24 years old, from Melbourne originally but I grew up in Geelong. I’ve just started studying Fine Art in Sound, Sculpture and Spatial Practice at RMIT and I play in a band called The Infants.
Harriet: I’m 22 and have lived in Melbourne my whole life. Primarily I paint but I also do some collage, printmaking and sculpture. I have a studio in Collingwood where I do most of my work. I also work in an ice cream shop and I like cooking and sewing.
If the house were a person, what would they be like?
Felix: To me the house is like a partner that works totally different hours to you and is always asleep when you get home, so you just quietly get into bed with them. It has this whole life going on without me, but when I finally get home it's dark and lonely, yet still comforting and nice.
Emily: The house is old, but it would be a very glamorous individual with a fur coat, a respectable haircut and wears red lipstick every day. Probably retired in their early 60s with no family and days would be spent drinking tea and reading the paper, possibly listening to records.
How do you organise the cleaning and cooking?
We kind of wing it, and it’s going ok for now, but I think some people do more than others, which is kind of okay seeing as some people aren’t home a lot. We’ve talked about introducing a roster or some kind of system to try and make it a bit fairer. We have a kitty that we all put ten bucks into each month to buy communal things like toilet paper and dishwashing liquid and stuff.
How did you come to live here?
Andrew: We found the house online in January. Emily and Harriet went to the inspection and said it was a sweet house so we applied for it and got it! I think what got our application across the line was that we offered up to six months rent upfront, which showed we were serious about getting it. We never did have to pay that upfront but I think it worked either way!
What do you like most about living in a share house?
Andrew: I like being in the company of other people, but also having my own time to do stuff, which I think this house is good for. A lot of the time people are out doing their own thing which leaves time to turn up the music without annoying anyone and just doing stuff around the house.
Felix: It's the first time since moving to Melbourne that I've been in a house instead of an inner city apartment, which has been pretty refreshing. Less white walls, more space, and the landlords are less anal. Nice little decorations pop up around the house without me having to do anything, and I get to enjoy all the house plants and pet lizards without actually having to be responsible for keeping anything alive. I also have a suspicion there's the ghost of a cat in my room, which I think is a positive.
Can you share any pet peeves, or what might drive you a little nuts about sharing a home?
Andrew: There’s the usual thing with tidiness, but I think this is probably the best house I’ve live in for that, probably because people are usually not home! Loud, bad music is another one, but I think all the music I’ve heard so far coming from people’s rooms I’ve enjoyed.
Emily: People leave shit everywhere, dirty coffee cups every morning, coffee grains, dishes, nobody wants to clean.
What is your fondest memory of living in the house to date?
Andrew: Probably the first (and only) party we’ve had here. I guess on a personal level having a big backyard has been really nice as I’ve been getting into gardening a lot in the last year. I built a greenhouse out of scrap wood I found behind the shed and under the house and I am going to try and grow veggies in there over winter. I’m pretty happy with that.
Felix: Our housewarming. I hadn't hosted a party since I was about ten, and so it was a pretty new and pleasant experience to invite so many people I love into my space. Though the highlight of the evening was drunkenly kissing one of my best friends of several years, and consequently dating them. That was a month ago and I've seen her every day since (except yesterday).
Blaise: Eating home grown tomatoes and stealing figs from next door.
Emily: The first night we moved in we had spent all day driving our things up and back from the old house and working out where we wanted everything. At the end of the night we ordered kebabs and sat around the table for the first time in the house. There were only three of us at this point and we had spent months looking for a place and the thought of knowing we had finally found somewhere we loved was so nice.