Lucifer lives in the lap of luxury, in a penthouse apartment on the shore of the Swan River, with views to sell your soul for. Melody Angel (or Mel, as she prefers to be called) has a much more modest lifestyle. Her appreciation for beauty is the equal, if not superior, to Lucifer's, but an angel has higher priorities than an opulent home.
Welcome to Mel's place.
Her house is actually a small duplex, hidden in an inner city suburb of Perth. Close to the river, shops and public transport, it's the one place in Perth where she can be herself. Hidden behind lace curtains and the obligatory suburban lawn is a very ordinary abode – but it's comfortable.
Surrounded by houses owned by ordinary humans, she does her own cooking and cleaning, rarely using the little hatchback parked neatly in her carport, beside the well-hidden front door.
The house is old for Perth – built in the 1950s and not changed much since, except as necessity requires it. The windows, doors, floorboards, kitchen and bathroom are over sixty years old. The only “new” things are the carpet, furniture and appliances – which are hardly the latest. Her sofas are made of wool and timber, and more than thirty years have passed since they were first built. Her television, microwave and air conditioning unit are remarkable only in that they still work, given their advanced age. Mel has no need to modernise when what she has is functional.
As for decorator touches…no, she's hardly modern in that respect, either. Her sofas sport hand-crocheted antimacassars and she can name the lady who made them, too.
Her house is tiny, but it's all she needs. One bedroom for guests and one she keeps for her own, the lemon yellow bathroom is so small there isn't even space for a bathtub. When the morning sun streams through that east-facing window, sparking rainbows on her shower curtain and setting the wall tiles on fire in glowing gold, Mel doesn't mind its size at all. She's an angel – small joys are enough to make her day.
Her kitchen is a step out of the 1950s, with very little changed since then. The microwave and fridge are newer, but only because the fridge's predecessor perished decades before. The honey-coloured timber cabinets are the same as the doors to all the rooms – more than half a century old and still strong.
Mel didn't buy the place for the history – it's in a pleasant location, high on a hill, but without the views that some of the more expensive mansions in the suburb can boast.
Being the nature-conscious angel she is, Mel doesn't own a dryer – all her laundry is line-dried outside in her tiny backyard. Not averse to adopting the occasional stray or sheltering the neighbours' pets in poor weather, her house has the atmosphere of an oasis, for it's her little, loving home. Other angels visit to rest and recharge – for the peace in her place is palpable.
Her only hope is that no demon – least of all the CEO of the HELL Corporation, Luce of the luxury penthouse apartment – ever gets her address to disturb her peace.
If you missed Lucifer's luxury lair last week, you can see it here.
On a personal (and historical!) note, this was my first house when I was 18. The landlady and original owner died while I was her tenant – fortunately, not in the house. When I moved out, the house was purchased by someone else and extensively renovated so that it bears little resemblance to the tiny place I lived in. I chose this for Mel for the same reason I chose it for me – the location and the house itself were sufficient for a young woman on her own, living on a modest income.