Editorial assistance by Madeleine Dore.
Rumoured to have once been a chocolate factory, this three bedroom house is currently occupied by five people in their mid-twenties. Known to all as The Dight, this now legendary share house has had a revolving door of residents over the last decade. To house as many people as possible, one occupies the garage, transforming it into part bedroom, part music studio. Another lives in a fort made from sheets and the frame of a beach shelter in the downstairs living area. In its ramshackle way, it’s clear that this household knows how to have a good time. With its free-flowing occupants coming and going, leaving mystically during the night to follow an adventurous party, or head off to day jobs or to work on creative projects, it can be hard to pin everybody down at once, but the essence of Violette, Jeannie, Dan, Dorian and Tom’s house shines through.
WHO LIVES HERE?
Violette: I am 25 and do too many things! I work in retail, write, take the odd photo and run a sustainable fashion magazine called HESSIAN.
Jeannie: I am 24 years old and am from rural New Zealand. I have been living in Australia for almost five years now, Melbourne for two. I’m currently working part time at Gorman and trying to get my jewellery business ‘ONO the Label’ off the ground.
Dan: I’m 25 and from Devon in the UK. I’m currently working as an arborist for a company in Cheltenham. In my spare time I like to take things pretty chilled, see friends, go out and enjoy what Melbourne has to offer.
Dorian: I am a musician and play in two bands. I have a Bachelor in Graphic Design and I’ve recently realised I don’t like it. I currently work casually for Plakkit, an advertising agency that prints off posters for current events in Melbourne, mostly relevant to art and music. For fun I party at the Tote and Old Bar and network with other musicians.
If the house were a person, what would they be like?
Dight tends to swing between die-hard partier and comfort seeking homebody. These shifts in mood can be linked to weather, financial and employment situations and most importantly the general vibe of other housemates.
Do you have any activities or rituals that you like to do together?
There are a few little family activities we like to partake in that mainly revolve around eating. Going to Mr Scruffs every Wednesday, watching flatmates play gigs, happy hour and Monday Night Mass at the Northcote Social. Hangover movie marathons and Vietnamese roll runs on Saturday and Sunday are also commonplace!
HOW DID YOU COME TO LIVE HERE?
Violette: I’ve lived here for ages, maybe four years altogether. I found the house through a friend of a friend. It's such a gorgeous house – and cheap, cheap, cheap.
Jeannie: I moved into Dight mid-2013. When I came down to view houses in Melbourne I contacted a friend of a friend to grab a coffee. It transpired that she was just about to move out of Dight and offered me her room! Since living here I have met some of my best friends and been on some crazy adventures, it was definitely one of those serendipitous situations!
Dan: Through a friend I met in St Kilda last year.
Dorian: I met Violette at uni, attended a party at the house, then got along well with everyone at the housemate interview.
HOW DO YOU ORGANISE THE CLEANING AND COOKING?
We really don’t have any type of cleaning roster. We have tried to implement one a couple of times but to no avail! As far as shared cooking and groceries goes, we mostly do our own thing. In saying that, a couple of us try to go dumpster diving once a week, although the ones who go diving get first dibs on the loot, the rest is communal.
HOW DOES THE VIBE OF THE HOUSE CHANGE BETWEEN SEASONS?
In summer the house changes dramatically. Firstly some of the rooms get so hot that they become a no-go zone, some of us end up crashing on the couches in the lounge and downstairs to escape the heat! We don’t have a garden so during summer Lentil As Anything becomes an extension of our house – it’s only a 12-minute stroll from Dight.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN A SHARE HOUSE?
Jeannie: Always having people around to hang with, drink with, go on a spontaneous adventure with or bum on the couch and watch the OC with. I barely knew anyone when I moved down to Melbourne so moving into a really social household has been invaluable.
CAN YOU SHARE ANY PET PEEVES, OR WHAT MIGHT DRIVE YOU A LITTLE NUTS ABOUT SHARING A HOME?
Jeannie: The usual – messiness, loud parties when you need to get up early, trying to figure out paying bills.
Dorian: Olive the guinea pig generally shits me. And the lack of privacy.
WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF LIVING IN THE HOUSE?
Violette: There’s too many! The wild parties we used to have before we almost got kicked out, or even sitting on the floor in the kitchen when we're all tipsy and laughing over nothing.
Jeannie: Two days after I moved into Dight, all of my new flatmates convinced me to fly down to Hobart with them to attend Dark Mofo. It was the absolute best way to get to know them all, for five days we partied, watched bands, explored museums, went on bush walks and nursed hangovers together. It was great!
TELL US ABOUT THE BEST PARTY YOU'VE HAD AT THE HOUSE…
Violette: This one time an old guy from the housing commission came and gatecrashed a party and tried to move in. That same night a friend decided to move the fridge into the middle of the room and pretend she was surfing on it. I don't know, lots of stuff happens, who's to say what was the best.
Jeannie: It wasn’t in the house specifically, but we had a party for two guys who left a couple months ago that was pretty awesome. The night started with a massive group of our mates having a BBQ in the park around the corner from Dight, and ended with cranes being climbed and some nudity. Great night!