The host of I Own Australia’s Best Home opened the door of his home to us and let us take a look around.
“Contemporary art is something that inspires me. With almost everything my wife Miranda [Darling] and I have collected, we’ve met the artist. Engaging with artists is a really important part of collecting — it’s part of the meaning. Many of our closest friends are artists or artistic, certainly creative. We look for stories in the artwork, an instant intuitive connection, an emotive connection. I find this work [above, ‘Volcano’ by Lillian O’Neil] particularly inspiring because of its epic nature. It’s talking about a lot of issues.”
“Music is in my soul, my blood, my genes – listening to it and making it. I play the piano, ukulele, mandolin, guitar, and piano accordion. My grandmother was from Paris and moved to Australia in the late 1940s. She was an incredible jazz musician and singer and supported the family. She inspired me to play piano from a young age and be engaged in music and the arts. It was an amazing privilege to have her in my life. I rarely travel – unless it’s business travel – without at least a ukulele.”
I have two boys, Samson [in the red shirt], who’s nine, and Griffin [blue shirt], seven. My wife Miranda is an author and writer. I’ve been blessed to be very present as a dad. We’re all very engaged with each other. I talk about all these creative things but I don’t think there’s anything more creative, more challenging, more rewarding, more blissful, more hair-pulling than family. That’s the ultimate.”
“The ‘Tizio’ lamp, which was designed by Richard Sapper, is a design classic and, I would say, loved by most architects. This particular one is a special edition and was also a gift, which makes it even nicer. When you have something that is an absolute classic, it can go anywhere. It’s been through multiple homes and it always works. That’s a great test for a design.”
“Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson is incredible. It’s about tribes everywhere from Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Namibia to South America. Another favourite is this Peter Beard book. He’s an amazing, glamorous fashion photographer who went to live in Africa, and the book is full of his sketches, his journals and writing. He was a legend. I collect books on art, people, places, culture. There’s even one on traditional Norwegian seafarers’ tattoos!”