The Room Illuminated

Room 71 – Miriam McWilliam’s lounge room (Melbourne, Australia)


Head down the hallway, open the glass doors, and you’re greeted with the beautiful lounge room that Miriam shares with her husband Hamish and their pooch Poncho.


“The taxidermy bird was created by our good friend Jo-Roxy, who learnt the skills of the trade under a master in a Scottish castle (how cool!). She only creates ethical taxidermy – using animals that have died by the hand of nature. My husband Hamish found this darling King Fisher on the ground at his work after a mis-hap with the glass door. Being the scientist that he is, he popped the bird on dry ice, took him home all wrapped up to our freezer, then passed him on to Jo-Roxy to work her magic.”



Miriam’s favourite piece in the room is the ceramic artwork ‘Floating Stone’, by Scottish artist Lotte Globb. “It’s hanging perched upon my ‘sea crown’ that I collected on a Scottish beach. The two seem to go so well together and remind me of the rugged, dramatic landscape that makes everyone want to drink whiskey to keep warm!”


“Wherever I go I try to sit outside as much as possible – the sunshine is where it’s always at for me. If I can’t be outside in the sun, I try to bring the outside in! My plants bring life, fresh oxygen and a sense of calm into the space. I really enjoy watching them grow and looking after them – it seems to go against the values of our fast paced society, and they are simply an oasis to my eyes – I enjoy drinking them in.”



The artwork was created by Miriam using a vintage painting found at an op shop. “I loved the bright aqua colour and the ocean landscape. I re-purposed the painting by layering the ocean with textured feathers collected on a beach and added the stenciled birds flying above the ocean with the letters ‘F’, ‘L’ and ‘Y’ in each bird. This is what being by the ocean feels to me, it helps my soul fly and be free. I also like the concept of collaborating with an artist from another era!”


The black panther is seen as a bit of a mascot for Miriam’s business, Mimi-Myrtle +Co. “I found her at a country op shop in Cold Stream for $5, and she’s since appeared in styling projects as a treasured prop as many times as we can manage. She is so graceful and stylish – qualities I greatly admire!”



“This is one of my ‘Photographic Portholes’ that I’m going to be selling online via the Mimi-Myrtle +Co. shop later in the year. This particular image was taken in Sorrento, Italy a few years ago and is the view from the cliffs overlooking the main beach.”

Logo q and a final
What’s the room and who uses it?
It is my living/lounge room and my husband Hamish, my pooch Poncho and I use it – as well as our friends and family when they gather with us.

What do you do for a crust?
I am a freelance graphic designer, who has recently joined forces with my talented florist bestie Megan to form Mimi-Myrtle+Co. Together we style spaces for events, interiors and video / photo shoots, whilst also focusing separately on our own areas of expertise (design and flowers).

What goes on in the room?
We cosy up on the couch in winter, watch a movie, have a glass of red, read a book, do a little design or illustration work and hang out with family & friends. Then in summer, open up the windows and enjoy the sunshine and the hustle and bustle of the café life that is just a few steps away in our street.

Favourite piece in the room and why?
So hard to choose! Perhaps my ceramic ‘Floating Stone’ by Scottish artist Lotte Globb. As I just love her approach to art, we visited her studio on the top tip of Scotland, overlooking the ocean, when we were living there over six years ago. She creates these ‘floating stones’ – each one unique, and goes on several-day-long solo hikes around the highlands, documenting her journey and eating a simply divine diet of cheese, oatcakes, whisky and water! She then leaves her floating stones on a loch and photographs them, leaving them to be at one with nature and perhaps be discovered by a passer by one day. The floating stone is hanging perched upon my ‘sea crown’ that I collected on a Scottish beach. The two seem to go so well together, and remind me of the rugged, dramatic landscape that makes everyone want to drink whisky to keep warm!

Anything on your wish list that you would love to add to the space?
If I owned the house, I’d hand paint the Art Deco features already in the room, creating a wonderfully colourful (yet appropriately subtle) artwork to admire on the ceiling. Picture a colourful Mexican fiesta!

Describe the room in three words
Maximalist (but minimal for me!), luscious-oasis & eclectically-vibrant.

Why do you love this room?
I love the light, the calming greenery, and the way you can open all the doors in Summer, or close them in winter – but still see through the glass. I also love the detail in the ceiling and our recently purchased (on sale!) brown leather couch and ottoman. This room, connected to the dining / kitchen area and also the entrance hall, is the room we spend the most time in.

What’s one lovely memory you have whilst being in the room?
Dancing into the early hours of the morning on New Years Eve with our friends. Love a good lounge room dance floor!

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This entry was published on October 1, 2015 at 8:00 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Room 71 – Miriam McWilliam’s lounge room (Melbourne, Australia)

  1. This looks amazing!


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