A Timeless Melbourne Home That Feels Like A Boutique Hotel

When looking to buy a house, Ori Fixler wanted a place he could put his personal touch on, without embarking on a major renovation.

‘I was after something with some heritage charm, that didn’t require too much work off the bat,’ he explains.

Ori found an 1890s Victorian worker’s cottage in Elsternwick, Melbourne with period charm at the front (ornate arches, high ceilings, ceiling roses), and a contemporary addition at the back.

‘The rear extension with a second storey made the home incredibly practical, taking full advantage of the small block and the north-facing aspect,’ says Ori.

‘It was all done incredibly tastefully, retaining the Victorian charm of the original home.’

Before moving in, Ori painted the grey walls a bright white to make the interiors lighter, and made the clever decision to shorten the kitchen island bench — creating space for a dining table looking out to the rear deck.

Over time, he’s replaced pendant lights throughout the home, and installed sheer curtains in the living room to soften the space, introduce movement, and filter natural light.

These timeless features serve as the ideal backdrop of Ori’s growing collection of modern art featuring paintings and sculptures by Jonny Niesche, Gregory Hodge, Troy Emery, and Helen Redmond.

‘I certainly look for artists whose work is distinctive,’ says Ori. ‘Most importantly, I have to connect with the work.’

Some pieces — such as the Nerocactus by Gufram — are either loved or hated by guests, which is what Ori loves most about them.

‘It’s unapologetically bold and witty in keeping with Gufram’s style, and adds a playfulness to the whole living space.’

Colour comes through with the furniture, creating an added sense of warmth and vibrancy.

Ori has made few impulse decisions when styling his home, ensuring the space feels thoughtfully curated, and true to himself.

‘I’m not sure I can pin it down to any specific style, but friends often say it feels like a boutique hotel, which feels right because it captures a sort of irreverence and charm of the space.’

He adds, ‘I’ve never been someone who likes to blend into the crowd, but wouldn’t say I’m extroverted either. I think my home balances those two things.’

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