A wise collector once told me that letting someone into your house is like letting them read your diary; your obsessions become apparent quite quickly. This is something stylist and author Jessica Bellef understood keenly when researching her new book, Individual, which examines how 15 unique homes reflect their owners.
“I was searching for homes that looked lived in and loved,” she says. “I wanted to see books on the shelves, art on the walls, and a mix of old and new pieces; these to me were indicators that the people who lived there were using their surroundings to express who they were.”
The home (pictured) of Eryca Green and Eddy Opmanis, owners of Melbourne’s Smith Street Bazaar, certainly met the criteria. Their constantly evolving space includes a fibreglass greyhound and a classic 1950s kidney-shaped coffee table alongside a golden yellow sofa still in its original fabric.
The house was bought by Opmanis’s parents in the 1960s, and celebrates pieces from that era in tandem with contemporary art, ancient objects and finds from the natural world. “When an unexpected mix of eras and styles come together in a room, it sparks a certain energy and tension,” notes Bellef. “It’s a form of mindful decorating; you may never feel ‘done’ but the feelings of connectivity and security are well worth the time spent.”