As an Australian, Michael Ristic had been making trips to the UK for a few years. “I absolutely loved it here,” Michael explains. “So, in 1972, I decided to move to London for good.” For the next thirty years or so, he lived in a variety of fashionable London addresses moving to Fulham then Putney before settling in Wimbledon. 

Woodburners have been placed at each end of the living room. They are so efficient that they stay alight from November to January, meaning that the central heating is rarely used

Woodburners have been placed at each end of the living room. They are so efficient that they stay alight from November to January, meaning that the central heating is rarely used

The side table and cupboard were both from Woodpigeon

The side table and cupboard were both from Woodpigeon

The Art Deco-style armchairs are actually 20s-inspired designs from the Conran Shop, re-upholstered to Michael’s choice of fabric. “The beauty of the high headrests means that you can fall asleep by the fireside without your companion noticing,” he says

The Art Deco-style armchairs are actually 20s-inspired designs from the Conran Shop, re-upholstered to Michael’s choice of fabric. “The beauty of the high headrests means that you can fall asleep by the fireside without your companion noticing,” he says

Michael moved into the house at 12 noon one August day and within the first half hour removed the breakfast bar, replacing it with an old washstand; the pantry was created out of what is thought to be the site of an old staircase

Michael moved into the house at 12 noon one August day and within the first half hour removed the breakfast bar, replacing it with an old washstand; the pantry was created out of what is thought to be the site of an old staircase

Michael’s cockatiel was hatched from the egg of an earlier pet and now shares his owner’s appreciation for antiques and collectables

Michael’s cockatiel was hatched from the egg of an earlier pet and now shares his owner’s appreciation for antiques and collectables

Michael has filled every available wall space with paintings, mostly by talented friends.

Michael has filled every available wall space with paintings, mostly by talented friends.

The wardrobe was restored and hand-painted by Woodpigeon. His childhood teddy (back left on chair) was recently brought over from Australia by Michael’s sister

The wardrobe was restored and hand-painted by Woodpigeon. His childhood teddy (back left on chair) was recently brought over from Australia by Michael’s sister

The French boudoir chair is one of a pair that Michael is just starting to restore. A selection of Scandinavian rag dolls span the seat

The French boudoir chair is one of a pair that Michael is just starting to restore. A selection of Scandinavian rag dolls span the seat

The bathroom. Michael found the naïve watercolours (above left), taken from a Victorian travel journal, at a boot fair for only £1 each; the nautical memorabilia was found locally

The bathroom. Michael found the naïve watercolours (above left), taken from a Victorian travel journal, at a boot fair for only £1 each; the nautical memorabilia was found locally

The feeling of open space and light is helped by the open doorways downstairs.

The feeling of open space and light is helped by the open doorways downstairs.

The garden is a source of peace and delight, Michael aims to be self-sufficient

The garden is a source of peace and delight, Michael aims to be self-sufficient

  • Café des Fleurs Strand Quay, Rye 01797227894
  • Halcyon Days Strand Quay, Rye
  • The Old Forge Antiques The Street, Appledore 01233758585
  • Woodpigeon 01903507460

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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