Eccentric Art House

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Eccentric Art House

Artist and teacher, Andrew Hayim De Vries, has completely rebuilt a small, 1920s timber worker’s cottage using what he calls ‘urban rubble’. Andrew purchased the house in 1986, and over a period of 12 years he transformed it into a whimsical brick, iron and timber home and studio complete with guest accommodation. The front wall, guesthouse and studio have been heritage listed by the local council for innovative use of recycled material.


Passers-by are astounded at Andrew’s front wall, which accommodates hundreds of dolls, toys and trinkets sent in the mail or dropped off by children.
The entry passage has a ‘Mediterranean’ feel, with high white walls forming courtyards with trees, large tree ferns, potted plants and crazy paving.
Situated at the rear of the property, the guest house includes a 1950s timber train carriage converted to a master bedroom, a shower in a telephone box, a kitchen converted from a ship’s wheelhouse, and a garden bathhouse covered by a perspex dome from a shopping centre.
Andrew’s house is environmentally friendly. All building materials are remodelled ‘found objects’. He uses worm farms to recycle all organic matter, which then goes onto the garden. The garden is watered using grey water from the shower, laundry and kitchen. The structures have been built to take advantage of natural lighting, allowing for warmth in winter and coolness in summer.

Further information

This garden will be open under Australia’s Open Garden Scheme on 25-26 January, 2003, 2pm-8pm. For more details ring the AOGS Information Line on 1902 261 026, closer to the date.

For accommodation details visit Andrew’s website: