When actors Marta Dusseldorp and Ben Winspear aren’t making award-winning television dramas, walking the AACTA red carpet or treading theatre boards, they can be found relishing time out in the alluring 1880s home they share with their children. Filled with treasured antiques and art works, each space speaks to Marta’s appreciation of times gone before. “It feels like we’re passing through, which is what I think about life,” she explains. “I want to create as little a footprint as possible when it comes to things like houses.” In the living room, the original marble fireplace sets a nostalgic mood, along with an Eames-style chair, which Marta recently had reconditioned.
The living room contains an antique chest Marta inherited from her aunt. “It’s all about memories,” says the actor. “Every time I open the chest, I think of her.
A wall was knocked out to create an expansive kitchen, which is the hub of the home for Marta and Ben. When the family moved into the home, it was after a long stint of house hunting. “We were worn down and didn’t really mean to buy it. At the auction, we put up our hand and made a bid, and then the hammer fell!” says Marta. Despite this, it didn’t take long to warm to the home, now brimming with family keepsakes. Here, Le Creuset cast-iron cookware that Marta inherited from her aunt blends beautifully with a blue wall. The vintage-style space is awash with character – and sometimes chaos. “We’re a very creative household, so it’s often messy,” admits Marta.
A vintage cabinet, which the couple picked up in the Blue Mountains, NSW, houses kitchen collectables including an eclectic mix of teacups and a set of scales that belonged to Marta’s grandmother.
Moodiness reigns in the largest bedroom in the house, where dark wooden pieces are set against a backdrop of existing textured wallpaper. An evocative work by the couple’s friend, artist and children’s book author Aaron Blabey, creates a focal point above the bed, with its mauve, lavender and white bedding, and patterned scatter cushions.
A much-loved chair that Marta picked up from an op-shop in the Blue Mountains sits in a cosy corner. “I just can’t get rid of it,” she says with a laugh. “We have way too many chairs, but I love it.”
A striking artwork by Del Kathryn Barton, bought after Marta finished filming the first Janet King series, hangs above the mantelpiece, bringing personality to this well-used zone. “There’s something about retreating to the living room,” says Marta.