Hitting the heights … Julie Paterson (at right) and Amanda Kaye sitting in the living room of their home, originally built by a female Dutch architect in the 1970s.

This ‘70s fibro weekender in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney holds so much charm and creative inspiration for artist Julie Paterson, she has lived in it twice. “This home
is a boomerang in my life,” she says. “It isn’t grand or ancient, but it has a magnetic hold on me.”

Paterson’s history with the Blackheath home started more than a decade ago when she lived in it for the first time. After two years, her ex sold the house to a friend, whom Paterson kept in touch with. In 2010, Paterson heard the house was back on the market, so she and her partner, Amanda Kaye, jumped at the chance to reside there again.

The home now has a raw, eclectic feel about it. Paterson has filled it with an assortment of artwork, hand-made pieces of furniture covered in vintage Australiana textiles, and finds from op shops and the street. “There is a sense of serendipity in how we decorate. I wouldn’t call myself a collector, but I have the sensibility of one. The effort involved in trawling through op shops is what makes each find so special.“

Winnie pads through the living room. Click for more photos

Home of the week

Winnie pads through the living room. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Paterson’s main inspiration for her artisanal fabric business, Cloth, comes from the natural environment and dramatic landscapes around the home; her studio is set in the native garden at the back. “In the city I’m always distracted, but in my studio in the mountains I can focus.”


Photography: Jennifer Soo