Our Home Life Series is a weekly sneak peek into the homes and lives of Australia's most creative and inspiring people.
This week on the Home Life Series, we’re taking you through the dreamy coastal home of the incredible Aussie actress Georgina Haig. The 1970s home is just a stone's throw from the beach, and is filled with family heirlooms and cherished keepsakes. Today Goergina shares the colourful history behind some of her favourite pieces, and lets us in on her favourite spots to hunt for more treasures.
1. Thank you so much for letting us in your incredible home and for being an absolute ray of sunshine! Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and your beautiful creative family who live here, and maybe a little bit about your own creative lineage too!
My name’s Georgina Haig, I’m an actor who has worked in film and TV for about 14 years now. I live here with my best friends Josh and Greta Mapleston. Josh is a screen writer and producer, and Greta is our glorious, wild and wonderful 5 year old munchkin girl. My mum Gillian Haig is a visual artist and my late father Russell Haig was a script writer and film-maker. My brother Julian is in acting too. We all like making things it seems!
2. What can you tell us about the history and architecture of your dreamy coastal home?
The house was built in 1978 and is a split level, double brick veneer. It has all the trademarks of certain styles of homes built during that era, high ceilings with exposed beams, cedar-lined walls, feature paneling, and raw brick walls. The previous owners updated the house quite a lot. They painted the ceilings white, plastered quite a few walls, added plantation shutters, it makes the smallish space feel spacious, and gives the whole house a beachy relaxed vibe. They even added a gas fire place in the downstairs sunroom, it’s so lovely to sit there in winter and look at the garden. (They also loved gardening so we were lucky enough to inherit a mini-orchard.)
3. Our favourite thing about your home is your incredible sense of style - a collection of pieces that each seem to have a colourful story behind them, whether they were inherited, hand made by you, thrifted during your time in living in the States, gifted, or found at your local op shop. You have a knack for creating a space that has a thousand stories to tell. How would you describe your sense of style and where do you think that has come from?
I would call it, hmmmm, nautical antique yacht club playful beach house? Can that be a thing? Where does my taste come from exactly? I’m not entirely sure, that is a good question.
This specific house and environment, along with family background, my loves and my ideas of what is beautiful I guess, have partly inspired this style. The little bungalow we lived in LA lent itself much more to a mid century modern style, whereas this place, with its sea views, natural light and beach shutters needed a different touch. I perhaps am pushing it too far (as I arrive home with another boat shaped planter…)
I think growing up I always loved visiting houses that felt like they held secrets and stories, that no matter how much you explored them they seemed to have another surprise waiting for you around the corner. So I like having family heirlooms around me. I like Greta picking up my grandfather magnifying glass. I like objects to be touched and handled and try not to be too precious about things breaking. I think cause of Mum and growing up around so many artists, and having a love of making things myself (mostly crochet and knitting) I have a love of craftsmanship- interesting hand-made objects. And I appreciate the work that goes into them. I think my favourite thing is when I find a beautiful object that is also practical in some way, cause that is the hardest thing to successfully make. For example, I have an art deco teapot in the shape of a black sea-liner. Who made that!? How? Why is it so beautiful?
4. What is your favourite piece in the house?
The most important pieces to me in the house are the artworks, some I’ve collected from my travels and remind me of jobs and adventures I’ve had in certain parts of the world, many were done by my mum over her career. I have a very special piece called “Soon” that she did when she was pregnant with me, pastel and ink drawn with a hand made quill (I’m looking at it right now!). That large abstract canvas in the living room over the brown sofa is also one of Mum’s oil paintings from the 80’s. I love the colours, the movements, the way I can see her in it. Her art is magical to me.
I also have an oil portrait by George Coats of my great great Aunt May when she was a child. It’s very special cause he was a significant Australian artist and he gifted that piece to our family. I have an exquisite print of charcoal horses by my Great Grandfather.
5. We’ve chatted a lot about some of the best spots for finding these special mementos. Can you give us your top five go-to shops?
There are so many great vintage stores in Tyabb but one of my favourites there is 1546 Vintage, they have some really fun stuff.
Obtainium Antiques in Mornington are great.
The Factory Antiques in Dromana, George can help you find anything. As in you literally say “George I need a Shakespeare door knocker” and he’ll say “I’ll check out the back.”
Dromana Salvos has a really high turn over of quality things.
Rosebud Vintage Bizarre is lovely, it’s in a beautiful old theatre.
6. There’s a few things in the house that we are just obsessed with! Let’s start with your gorgeous yellow lamp with the pleated shade?
Ha! That was sitting on the side of the road in Rosebud, and when I went to get it a lovely guy came out of his house, Bob was his name. I offered him money but he wouldn’t take any. What was the story there? How did Bob come to have a lamp like that? He couldn’t remember but I’m sure if he could it would have been a good story.
7. One of our favourite pieces is the tartan armchair in Greta’s bedroom. Where, oh where, did you find this treasure?
Facebook market place. I was really drawn to it and asked the owner where it came from, cause it was so unusual. She said it was from Chicago and she’d lived in the States for many years. I said I had been living in LA. And she said her daughter had been living there for years too. When I went to pick up the chair we put together that her daughter was a great friend of mine and that it had actually been her childhood chair!
8. In addition to being one of Australia’s best actresses, you’re also very creative at home! What’s your latest creation?
That is too kind of you to say, I won’t correct you incase I need to use that grab for US Visa purposes… I think the last thing I made was a crochet Rhino for my friend’s soon to be born baby boy. And a bag for my friend. And a bag for me. And a brown, orange and yellow ill fitting crochet bikini. I can’t stop I’m completely addicted.