It’s another beautiful winter’s day and we are heading to Neutral Bay, Sydney. We are getting into our comfortable and rather familiar ritual of getting lost on the way and if it wasn’t for the excellent navigational specialist next to me, we would have been in trouble.
Scattered among large apartment buildings, we find well kept period homes and hilly, picturesque streets without any sense of overcrowding. With a distance of only 4km out of the city, we can understand why Dieter and Malindi decided to settle here 7 years ago.
We are welcomed into this 100 year old apartment block by a friendly yellow door, the colour that Malindi painstakingly mixed to get closest to her favourite colour, French yellow.
This busy household with two active young boys, is well organised, with a place for everything and everything in its place. Although conveniently located close to the Oakes Hotel for social get togethers, friends and family are always popping by and welcomed with something to drink and a plate of cheese and snacks at the ready.
The long hallway, with high ceilings and dark timber flooring, creates a beautiful backdrop for this farm scene which Dieter painted with oil on canvas.
Dieter and Malindi collect these dolls and bring one from South Africa every time they go for a visit. Dieter is a keen painter and started when he was only in primary school. Most of the artworks in their home was painted by him.
With two busy boys who love their sporting activities, every square inch of space needs to be utilised to full advantage.
This painting in the kids’ room, started off as a tube station map symbolising their family tree. Unfortunately, he could not find enough family member names to add at each tube station, so he changed it to cities of the world!
Practical hooks are added against the wall to hang coats and sporting equipment. This cute little bicycle was bought during a visit to South Africa.
These repurposed shutter doors become handy storage for shoes, where it is kept out of the way, but still within reach.
Malindi says she commissioned Dieter to paint her a vase of flowers. This painting of dandelions started off as something completely different, but as Dieter put his fingers to it (yes, that is what he painted with), it became this lovely piece of art with stunning layered background. Malindi jokingly says that he has always been able to see potential in a piece of artwork that she thought was unsalvageable! Now she has everyone commenting on how beautifully it turned out.
To create a better flow between the lounge and kitchen area, Malindi and Dieter took it upon themselves to break out the wall between these two areas. They came across an unexpected treasure in the wall: an old letter with a few pound coins being sent to the recipient. The coins were dated 1939-1945. In this letter the parties discuss the Brume bombings in the Northern Territory that took place in 1942. They also refer to Mascot, today a busy suburb 7km from the Sydney CBD, as being “in the outskirts of Sydney” and in “the country side”.
The main bedroom at the end of the hallway, leads to the informal outdoor seating are
The tiled outdoor area is not only an area for entertainment, but also a creative space for the whole family. This is where the boys bake their mudcakes and Malindi grows her cuttings of different plants. Dieter is utilising this space to create a masterpiece of a painted timber table and this has apparently been a work in progress for the last few years. We can’t wait to see the finished product!
Dieter and Malindi are both employees of the company that owns Freedom Furniture and their home is filled with beautiful pieces that they’ve collected from a few well known stores. Diedericks is a real bargain hunter and has a great eye when it comes to sourcing products for his Big Brand Outlet (BBO)store at 19 Stoddard Road, Prospect, NSW. If you love finding great quality furniture and other home wares at a fraction of the price, this excess store is the place for you. Big Brand Outlet is open to the public every day from 9am.
We could not leave the house without taking a photo of the breathtaking colourful tree with cascading leaves outside. In the foreground, Gerhard displays his incredible athletic ability and we leave there with a smile on our faces.
After all, we love showing you homes of people with real lives that have to embrace the daily routines around their families.
This home of Dieter & Malindi is a perfect example of how a cozy, liveable, child proof and stylish home can be created within a limited space.
Cheerio ’til next time!
Lyndie & Eriana
(-all styling & photography in this blog post was done by the Vanilla Slate Team)