Ballarat at home: Damian's visions come to life

DAMIAN Muller first had his idea for his home when he was a teenager attending secondary school.

"I used to ask myself, why don't people live in water tanks. I always thought it would be so much easier to clean gutters if they were at ankle level," he said.

That's what this house includes.

The curved nature of the ceilings means that the gutters run along the bottom of the house, easy to clean out whenever it rains, and still running into their water tanks.

Wings come off the central part of the house. One wing belongs to Damian and his wife Sallie Burke-Muller, and includes a bedroom, bathroom and upstairs gym and courtyard.

The other wing is for the couple's three daughters, and has three bedrooms, a bathroom and upstairs rumpus.

The final wing includes a laundry, workshop for Damian, storage and upstairs office.

Many parts of the house surprise visitors, but the office gets a lot of attention. It has colourful jigsaw pizzas painted on the wall, large sculptures of pencils and many of Damian's mask creations around the walls.

Other unique parts of the house include a colourful bar and downstairs study area that Damian created out of large books.

There are props from shows around the house, with all of the family involved in the theatre in someway.

There are pieces from the Wizard of Oz, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, Ghost from Christmas Yet to Come and others.

"I first started performing on stage as a boy. Then when I was 16 or 17, I began to get asked of I could draw them pictures, and that just led to designing it," Damian said.

"Then I lectured set design for seven years."

Damian has now designed more than 70 productions.

Although Damian designed the exterior, Sallie still had a much of a say in what happened to the interior.

"There are no tiles because I don't like tiles," she said.

"I wanted a kitchen bench where I could sit and read The Age at with no problem: that was my brief.

"The ladies at Spotlight don't believe me when I say that my kitchen bench is bigger than the bench they work from."

Before they moved into the house, they lived in a Victorian weatherboard home on Macarthur Street.

"I had to trust him a lot, what he was doing," Sallie said.

"He built me a to-scale model. It really is his baby."

They moved into the Buninyong home more than 13 years ago.

"Damian came up with the external structure, that allows for lots of light and space," Sallie said.

"We've allowed for lots of areas of escape and our own areas, as well as a big central point to come together."

The couple said the location of the block did not matter, as the wings were interchangeable.

Damian continued to work outside, adding a pizza oven and vegetable garden.

Sallie said her favourite part of the house was the steel star that hung over the kitchen.

"Damian was waiting for the paint to dry so made it in two hours," she said.

"It was a mathematical experiment," Damian said.

They have a piece of art work hanging in the living area that they created as a family, and their dining table includes floorboards from the house Sallie grew up in.