Home of the week
Good taste … breakfast time for Eduardo (left), Maria and Mateo.
Maria Villa has a restless eye for beauty. Her home in Sydney's Chatswood is an ever-changing tableau of pieces fossicked from design stores as well as her humble local Vinnies. "I like to surround myself with old treasures, preloved objects, friends' art," says the Argentinian-born artist and designer. "To me, placing all these finds together is like exploring and writing a little story. I love the reflection of glass, the sensuality of feathers, the beauty of old paper. The beauty is in the details, the sensuous touch."
Villa and her architect husband, Eduardo, run Villa + Villa, an architecture, interiors and graphics firm. Last year, they extended their modest 1950s bungalow by adding a downstairs living area. She decorated the back wall of the space with a bank of mirrors she found at Le Forge in Camperdown and then painted the room a moody brown/black. The result is perfect for winter evenings in or for entertaining, spilling out into the lush formal garden.
"It's not a big house, it's just the three of us [including their 12-year-old son Mateo]. I like living like this; I'd much rather this than 15 bedrooms," says Villa. "When people come to my home they feel warm, and they want to know about and touch everything. It is not a showroom. It is like life – full of beautiful imperfections."
Photography: Vanessa Levis
From Sunday Life