Emma + Franka + Martijn
Editorial assistance by Madeleine Dore.
A gorgeous house belonging to three thirty-somethings who obviously take pride in the appearance of their home, evident in their combined vintage and artistic sense of style. With the addition of Oskar the cat – a previous housemate’s pet that stuck around – there’s a unique and warming bond between Emma, Franka and Martijn.
Who lives here?
Emma: I’m 34 and originally from Adelaide. I have lived in Melbourne for three and a half years. I work in early childhood and I'm studying to become a primary school teacher. For fun I like seeing live music, walking, cooking, yoga, camping and enjoying time spent at home.
Martijn: I’m a 32-year-old Dutch guy. I have lived in Melbourne for over four and a half years. I am finishing up my PhD at the Melbourne Business School and take up teaching and consultancy jobs. Next to my studies I swim quite a bit, like to go out for hikes and other weekend trips, and have a broad range of other interests.
Franka: I’m a 34-year-old German. I came to Melbourne eight years ago, initially for a bit of work and travel, but you know how life is so unpredictable! I'm a graduate architect, now working for a small company in Fitzroy. I enjoy the outdoors – camping, hiking, camp-fires and fresh air – and I ride my bicycle everywhere. I have a passion for food and organising a good party – with sausages, Sauerkraut and lots of dancing!
How did you all come to live in the house?
Franka: I moved into this house three years ago with friends of mine who were a couple. The house was too big for them so they asked me if I wanted to move in as well. They bought a house in Preston one year later and I decided to stay because I loved the house so much – so did Oskar our ginger cat.
Emma: I found the house on Gumtree. I was instantly drawn to the green front door and spacious garden. Franka welcomed me so warmly and I felt instantly at home.
Martijn: I was looking for a place to stay after a couple of months abroad. I had been staying with a friend in Brunswick and really liked the area. Emma and Franka's profile caught my eye as they seem to have a similar outlook on life and a beautiful place. After a cup of tea and impressing the ladies at our initial meeting, they decided to pick me as their housemate.
If the house were a person, what would they be like?
They would be a little bit cheeky, and almost grown up but in an ageless way. Someone who is productive, gentle, kind and enjoys the outdoors.
Do you have any activities or rituals that you like to do together?
We enjoy sharing meals and making chutney with Italian music playing. We laugh together, spend time in the garden, entertain, and can throw a pretty good party! We have also hosted some pretty beautiful musical performances at home. One was indoors in the lounge with about fifty people and another was a summer outdoor garden party – just lovely and the perfect way to bring people together!
How do you organise the cleaning and cooking?
Meals are often shared depending on who is around and what ingredients are available. Our favourite is to cook with ingredients from the garden – yum!
We have a fortnightly cleaning roster where each person has a turn to clean the whole house once a fortnight, so effectively we each clean every six weeks. It works really well and it is so lovely to come home to a freshly cleaned house. It seems to maintain itself well between cleans.
How does the vibe of the house change between seasons?
In summer the garden is central – we spend all our time outside in hammock, drinking cocktails, staying up late, making salads with ingredients from the garden, playing darts, hosting BBQs – there is a constant sound of happy voices.
In winter the lounge room is the centre – heater on, lots of soup-making, cuddles with the cat, red wine, knee rugs and sometimes we light a fire outside in the garden.
What do you like most about living in a share house?
Emma: The energy, the shared experience, the diversity and I love learning new things about Martijn and Franka.
Martijn: The two absolutely beautiful ladies I live with, they are like my Melbourne family. It is great to share a house for the company, livelihood, adventure, and friendship.
Franka: Having a family so far away from home. It's nice coming home after work and being able to share the little things in life. I'm a social person and wouldn't want to live on my own. Sharing energy bills is also a bonus!
Can you share any pet peeves, or what might drive you a little nuts about sharing a home?
Emma: Hmmm… Dirty bench tops!
Franka: Maybe slamming front doors, too many bicycles under the front porch and soaking dishcloths in a mix of water and food scraps in the kitchen sink!
What is your fondest memory of living in the house to date?
Emma: Too many! The Valentine’s day ‘Make Love not War’ party we had this year was pretty special and full of love! Everyone wore white and red and we ate Persian love cake and drank 'love potion'. My dad sent over three love song compilations he made and we chatted and sang the night away – all you need is love, huh?
Martijn: The music that is always on in the house, the amazing food, the great company we have over, the themed-parties, and the hot summer nights in our backyard... there is just so much life.
Franka: Dancing in the laundry and bonfires!