An Art-Filled Sanctuary in Rural Victoria
Images by Tasha Tylee
This week we meet Pip Aplin at the beautiful home she shares with her partner Nic and two charismatic Bengal cats; Ernest Hemingway and Margot Tenenbaum. Hidden away in rural Victoria the home has become a sanctuary and a source of great pride for the creative couple. We chatted to Pip about her love of unique pieces of design, hunting for an artwork that would become the soul of the home and spending quiet weekends amongst the trees.
“We’ve been in our home for just over a year and a half now and it’s a pretty special place! Once upon a time the building served as a Knackery, then around 20 years ago, a couple found the abandoned building for sale and, with Wolveridge Architects, turned it into the amazing living space it is now; affectionately called ‘The Nak”.
An IN BED Organic Cotton Towel in Lake Stripe hangs in Pip & Nic’s bathroom.
“The house sits on 3 acres right on the edge of the Uralla Nature reserve in Trafalgar South, Gippsland, so our closest neighbours are birds, kangaroos, echidnas, wombats; and on very lucky days, the occasional deer! Nic found it by chance one day just clicking around available properties all over Victoria. He sent me the link and it was truly 100% love at first site!”
“Waking up to a view of treetops every morning is never a bad way to start a day! Having moved here from a city warehouse apartment environment, the peace and quiet is very much appreciated and savoured!”
“Starting a weekend day with a coffee in the sunshine or ending a day relaxing in front of our wood log fire with a book; it really is just a super calming space to exist in. I was so excited when we were moving here at the prospect of being able to place music at any volume due to there being no close neighbours but it turns out that the sound of the birds outside wins out most of the time.”
“Our bedroom is my bedroom of dreams! The dark ply walls and huge wood windows looking right out into the treetops is just everything I have ever imagined a bedroom could be. The wardrobe is downstairs next to the bathroom so there was plenty of space up here for us to add custom room length low bookshelves for all my favourite novels to live.”
“My big furry beast of an armchair (from CCSS) fit in so perfectly with the dark tones of the room and is the very best spot to sit and read all these books! Or, if you are a cat, a very nice and cosy place to have a snooze.”
“If there can be a most favourite thing of all the favourite things in this room, it has to be my Louise Hearman painting that hangs quietly on the wall adjacent to the bed. With its’ dark wooden frame and blue/green tones it almost blends into the view, so when you take a moment to study the image and realise, as with all Hearman paintings, that there is actually a little more going on than scenery, it is just magic.”
If there can be a most favourite thing of all the favourite things in this room, it has to be my Louise Hearman painting that hangs quietly on the wall adjacent to the bed.
“We have a painting downstairs that I found while trawling Art Gallery online stockrooms in one of the many lockdowns last year. I was searching for a piece that would speak to and for this house and after many, many hours of hunting, I came across this amazing painting by Lottie Consalvo. It is called “It Held the Sky Above the Sea’ and there could simply not be a more perfect painting for this space. The colours, and the movement of the piece manage somehow to let this building say everything that it wanted to say to us, I call it the soul of the house.”
The colours, and the movement of the piece manage somehow to let this building say everything that it wanted to say to us, I call it the soul of the house.
“We are both very much visual people and are inspired and driven by beauty, by form and by craftsmanship. I especially, am a through and through furniture groupie and have a (perfectly healthy) obsession in finding standout pieces that combine to create an experience and bring us joy. Nic, as an artist is very inspired by our surroundings and the idea of contrasting the natural and the built human worlds. ‘The Nak’ - is the ultimate realisation of this combination.”
“On weekends we spend the majority of our time here at the property! I work in the city during the week so to have a couple of uninterrupted days to exist as a little family in our own private forest is more often than not, too good to pass up!”