Ceramist Ariane Mueller-Menendez shows us her home favourites

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Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to talented Adelaide Hills resident Ari Mueller-Menendez.

The German born ceramist has been working with clay for two-and-a-half years, after a friend thoughtfully gifted her a ceramics course.

“I’m just that kind of person who talks about it and never does it,” she says.

“(My friend) got me a hand-building course as a birthday present and we both went. She hated it and I just loved it and kept going.”

Stocking a range of wares in Malvern store Tinker and taking custom orders, Ari finds inspiration from her surroundings – which is not hard to imagine given the incredible dome home she lives in.

“I’m inspired by anything earthy. I’m very much outdoors, I love being in the garden or having all the windows and doors open,” she says.

“I like things that are fairly muted and natural-looking, not perfect.

“I definitely don’t like to create stuff that looks like it could be made in a factory. I don’t want to aspire to that, there’s a part of you that wants it to look very well made but that’s where it ends.”

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The part-time midwife has been living in the Adelaide Hills for almost two-and-a-half years, along with husband Ryan and their two children.

“This was actually the second house we looked at in the Hills. I found it and sent it to Ryan and he said it looked interesting,” she says.

“So, we came down the driveway, the very bumpy driveway, and I just looked at him and said, ‘this is it’ and we hadn’t gotten out of the car yet.”

Previously owned by an artist and ceramist who installed the amazing skirting designs in the living room, Ari says the quirkiness of the home constantly inspires her and frequently draws complements from visitors.

“It’s just so unique and special that you never really get bored at home. It’s very inviting and comforting – it feels like someone cuddling you,” she says.

“We only have one bathroom so a lot of people would say, ‘oh, what a downside’ but I love it; I only have to clean one bathroom! I have more time for other stuff – why would you not like that?”

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Age 35

Work life

Midwife and potter.

Career highlights

As a midwife, I’d definitely have to say supporting women throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond – it’s an absolute honour to witness the birth of a new little human and be there for the woman and her family.

In my ceramic life, I remember the moment someone bought two of my breakfast bowls as a wedding present – I felt so humbled and honoured that someone thought my pottery was special enough for this.

I’ve lived in my home for …

Two years.

My home is a …

Yellow and blue dome house in the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

I live with …

My husband Ryan, sons Noah (8) and Flynn (5), our dog Rosie, our cat Lilly, Shaun our sheep (she’s a girl but the boys named her) and our chicken Peanut.

I love my home because …

It is so comforting … it’s a total “great vibe-home” and I often refer to it as one big hug – that’s what it feels like living here.

But I still need to …

Have insulation installed under the house and change our windows to double glazing – winter is pretty freezing here.

My decorating style is …

A definite mix of old and new. I favour neutrals and warm wooden tones and love a good thrift find along with plenty of indoor plants.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Recent purchase

A gorgeous cotton throw by “salty-aura”.

I collect …

Baskets, plants and all kinds of handmade ceramics.

Favourite part of your home

Definitely the living room with its big wooden feature wall but also the beautiful garden and my little pottery studio.

Home favourites

● The big birch tree that’s almost tickling your nose when sitting out on the deck

● Seeing green trees and plants out of every single window

● My pottery wheel and kiln

In my garden I have …

Native and deciduous trees, ferns, fruit trees, roses, camellias, herbs and vegetables – to name just a few!

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

When I get home at night …

I love to open all windows and doors and let the breeze come through the house. When the boys are in bed, I love lighting some candles and enjoy the warm and cosy atmosphere.

At weekends I like to …

Hang out in our garden with my little family and our animals.

My first car was …

A little Renault Clio.

I like to listen to …

Gregory Alan Isakov is my favourite at the moment.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

At the moment I am reading …

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton.

Favourite film

Anything by Woody Allen.

Clean freak or messy bessie?

I’d say definitely tidy – I need a tidy and organised space to feel relaxed.

On my wish list is …

A new tattoo.

When I’m home I like to cook …

I’m not much of a cook – my husband is the chef in this house! I bake a good cake, though.

Fav cafe/restaurant/bar

LOT 100 is a new favourite in this house — great food (their pizza is delicious), fabulous wine (I’m a big fan of anything Vinteloper come up with), and I love that you can bring the kids and there’s enough room for them to run around.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Favourite drink?

Wine, oh and coffee.

When I was a child I wanted to be …

An archaeologist.

Favourite childhood memory

I grew up in country Germany and remember walking through the village to midnight church service with my nana on Christmas Eve. It had just snowed and I loved the squeaky noise my footsteps made in the fresh snow.

If I could change career now I would be …

A full-time potter!

Favourite SA holiday spot or activity

Exploring the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

Dream holiday destination

Northern Scandinavia to see the northern lights … and Bora Bora – to stay in one of those over-water bungalows one day.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Favourite sports team

I’m so not a sports person … I’d have no idea!

Something you want to achieve in the next 10 years?

Become a full time potter for sure!

My neighbours are …

Priscilla and Eric – absolute gems. The boys visit them regularly on their own and never fail to come back with a treat.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

Ari Mueller-Menendez, ceramist and midwife, at her dome home. Photo: Nick Clayton.

I couldn’t live without …

My family.

If I could afford it I would live …

Right here but maybe be surrounded by a few more acres of land.

Home means …

A place where I can completely let go and be myself.

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