Since August 2017, Elyse White, 28, has lived in what she and her housemates (past and present) have dubbed the “Glorious Boreas”, on Boreas Road, Hamilton North.
White knows very little of the home’s history, but says she’s been very happy living in the gorgeous space.
White and her two housemates, Ena Illume and Maira Wilkie, have recently learned that the Glorious Boreas will soon be on the market, and they don’t know if they can stay after it sells.
Crossing their fingers and hoping for the best, the three have so many reasons to love their sunny, three-bedroom, one-bathroom abode.
“I only moved in because of the floorboards. I was looking for a house for so long. I walked in and saw the floorboards; I didn’t even say hi to people,” Illume jokes.
Illume is 19 and sings in the Gambirra MOB band. She works at Coquun, a restaurant in Maitland that serves food native to the area.
White is a nursing student originally from Melbourne. She works at Suspension Espresso in Islington and also paints at Studio One in Maryville.
Wilkie studies natural history illustration at the uni and works at the spice shop in the mall, My Souk Drawer.
They find people drift in and out of their home (at the time of the interview two German backpackers were visiting in the sun room). The trio emphasise though, that while the space is very open and welcoming, it’s not a party house. Local musician Grace Turner once played live gig in their garden, though.
They all fondly remember Wilkie’s birthday.
“We got all of our old wooden tables and crates and created a long table (like) out of Narnia and put all these nice white table cloths over it,” Illume says.
They hung fairy lights everywhere and had a feast.
“My mum came and everyone made dumplings,” Wilkie says.
They enjoy many communal meals. Every Sunday they try to make it to the farmers’ market, and they have sourdough pancakes made by Wilkie. Later in the day, if the alleyway isn’t taken up, they grab beers and go skateboarding there. All three of them have bikes as well, and they cycle to Suspension together as the “bike gang.”
During the week White is queen quiche maker. Sometimes rather than go to the shops they eat straight from the garden. Their previous housemates planted the garden and they continue to reap the rewards.
Wilkie and White shared the story of trying to work in the garden with very poor equipment.
Richard, the maintenance man from the nearby bowling club came over and loaned them a shovel and wheelbarrow. Since then, they’ve borrowed his equipment from time to time. In exchange, they share produce with him.
White has the green skills, indoor and out.
“We have the grape vine, a cutting from (previous housemate) Tim’s grandmother who brought it over from Europe. It was a dry old stick in a pot of dirt, and now it’s just threaded its way through the sunroom; that’s my favourite part of the garden,” she says.
They all agree that the sunroom is the most central and enjoyed part of the house.
Succulents, cacti, creeping vines and dried leaves are everywhere, as are works of art, including lots of pieces from their friends.
“My mum did the indigenous art,” Illume says. “Her work will be exhibiting at the Thrive Hub art exhibition soon.”
Clearly from a talented family, Illume also has her sisters’ art on display.
The house features local artists Lu Quade, Seazest, Real Salad and Mia Peters. Dyed silk by Jami Nelson hangs in the loungeroom.
White owns most of the furniture.
“I collected a lot of the big pieces,” she says. “The nice hardwood oak pieces were from a deceased estate I was painting with my ex boyfriend. The woman was going to throw it out.”
She adds that the antique velvet lounge was a gift from Suspension customers.
The three are comfortable, cozy and in their creative element.
The peaceful, natural sunny space has certainly contained a lot of love and warmth over the past year.
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