Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrity house: Toni Collette

Toni and her husband Dave Galafassi in LA
I love Abba. I love Toni Collette. And while she would probably hate me saying this, I still think Muriel's Wedding was the best movie, like, ever. (Only cos it understood how sing-able Abba was waaaay beforeMamma Mia.) One of the highlights of my house-obsessed life was walking through her hillside retreat on the south coast of Sydney when she was trying to sell it last year. Toni and her muso husband Dave had this great nature retreat up a one-lane dirt track outside the little town of Berry. Surrounded by tall gums and gorgeous birdsong was a sustainably built house crafted from recycled materials. It even had a music studio where Toni and Dave assembled their mates to make nice songs (see links below). The house was as calm and relaxed as I will never be. The woman must be a zen master, with motivational pics of the Dalai Lama taped to the fridge proclaiming: “Never give up, no matter what is going on”. Another Buddhist wall hanging in the living room espoused, “What matters most is How well did you live, How well did you love, How well did you learn to let go.” I confess to becoming anxious around relaxed people. (I couldn't spot the white wine glasses in the sink, or any tabs of Valium lying around, so I just had to believe that Toni really IS a calm, centred being.) I did become slightly worried about those mismatched light fittings ... but a few days of Mummy Wine Time (evening medication that's better than meditation) helped me put my Home Nazi to rest. You likey Toni's house?

The music studio where their CD was born ... it's also called "Dave's Shed" but apparently is one of the best recording studios in Australia (the real estate agent might have been embellishing, though).

The open plan living area is large and airy with clerestory windows to let in the northern light.
There were lots of gorgeous timber sculptures dotted through the house and property, which look better in real life than they do in the pics.
Oh I like a big dining table - especially one that's all timber and gorgeous like that one.

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