Location: Sydney’s Northern Beaches
Size: 557 sq. ft.
Years lived in: 5
Sam’s laid back, suburban, Northern Beach Sydney, Australia apartment seems a whole lot larger than it’s listed 557 sq. ft. size, thanks to her smart use of color throughout her home. It’s a shining example of making a space a home with patience, as Sam notes her furnishings were accumulated over a span of 15 years. Curated high and low pieces define the happy medley of playful shapes and splashes of color, clearly communicating the cheerful personality of the person who calls this space home.
My/Our style: Simple, fresh, playful and evolving.
Inspiration: My parents – I’ve been blessed with two very creative artist/illustrators with great taste.
Favorite Element: The morning and afternoon light that fills it.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge was re-designing the floor plan to make better use of the space. The major changes were the removal of a wall between the living room and kitchen, and the re-designing of the bathroom.
What Friends Say: The first thing new visitors consistently say is “I love the floor”. And they’re also surprised how spacious it feels.
Biggest Embarrassment: The outside.
Proudest DIY: The whole place has been a DIY project, but the kitchen/laundry was probably the biggest challenge. A lot of time was spent working out the best new plan for this space in order to keep cupboards below bench height and the fridge completely out of view.
Biggest Indulgence: The Oblong sofa by Jasper Morrison. I lived here for at least three years before committing to a sofa. It was incredibly hard to find one suitable and small enough, so when I finally did, I didn’t think twice!
Best advice: Don’t be in a hurry. Let things evolve as you discover your needs. And choose items (big and small) that you can see yourself living with for years to come.
Dream source: Secondhand furniture stores in Copenhagen, Ikea, Dinosaur Designs, my parents cupboards.
Other Inspiration: Charles & Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Eero Aarnio, Poul & Hanne Kjaerholm, The Standard Hotel – West Hollywood, Scandinavian design.
Appliances: Smeg gas oven, Fisher & Paykel fridge, Bosch washer
Hardware: Door hardware is original. Kitchen/bathroom is Caroma and Vola.
Furniture: Furniture has accumulated over the past fifteen years and includes; Oblong sofa by Jasper Morrison, dining table is a Superellipse Table by Piet Hein and Bruno Mathsson, Lovely Rita shelf by Ron Arad above my bed, Kartell bedside table, Eames Wire Base tables, various Eames chairs/stools, red Up chair by Gaetano Pesce, Verner Panton white chairs on the balcony, Ikea shelving and desk.
Accessories: Books, gifts, toys, finds from travels, collected shells, cushions(mostly made by me using Marimekko fabrics), various bowls/plates/vases by Dinosaur Designs.
Items from my family home – the fruit bowl was a wedding gift to my parents in the 50s, the Arabia “Sunflower” plate is from my childhood, the bathroom mirror was used by my parents in illustrations during the 50s and 60s
My own work – I’m an art director/designer and there’re traces of that everywhere!
Lighting: Ikea, Louis Poulsen, Tom Dixon
Rugs and Carpets: Flokati and sheepskin rugs
Tiles and Stone: Glass mosaics that were purchased for next to nothing at auction
Window Treatments: Venetion blinds in the bedroom and office, Ikea curtain over the sliding door to the balcony, opaque film adhered to the kitchen windows
Artwork: Includes work by my parents, Dick Watkins, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gary Baseman
Paint: Taubmans Winter Dawn 8 (Dusty Dawn). All the walls and ceiling are painted the same warm white. This particular shade was picked to match the white of the Ikea kitchen cabinetry and bed.
Flooring: Seagrass matting, glass mosaic tiles, Astro Turf
(Image credits: reader Sam; reader Sam; Gregory Han)