Name: Danielle & Lakshan, and Mortimer the Bulldog
Location: Glebe, Inner City, Sydney Australia
Size: a little over 800 square feet + deck and small roof terrace
Years lived in: 5 months
You might be wondering why this house tour looks so familiar. It's because you've got a great memory and are recollecting the home of two folks who've recently entered our 2008 Smallest Coolest Apartment Contest, representing Sydney, Australia in our #7 International category. Danielle, Lakshan and Mortimer the Bulldog were so kind to allow us to revisit their welcoming modern abode in further detail. Come on in, Mortimer is a most courteous of hosts...
My/Our style: Comfortable modern, with a little bit of mid century and a little bit of vintage. We're all about small, simple furniture to fit the quirky shapes of the space, with sleek lines and calming colours.
Inspiration: We are both really drawn to Rose Seidler house, which is a beautiful modern historical home in Australia designed by the renowned architect Harry Seidler for his parents. It has a fantastic sense of style and is a genuine modern classic but is still a functional and 'homey' home. The whole place could be an Apartment Therapy 'Pick the Decade' quiz - it was built in the late 1940s but it could easily be a contemporary house.
Favorite Element: The original floorboards and skirting boards are fantastic, as are the plantation shutters on all the windows. The neighbourhood is also awesome – we have a heritage listed cobblestone lane next to us, one of the original grand houses in Sydney on our street, and the neighbours are all so friendly it's amazing. All within a short stroll to the centre of the city!
Biggest Challenge: Our furniture was too big from the last apartment we lived in, so we have needed to repurchase a lot of pieces since moving here. The other huge challenge is the bedroom upstairs – its only about 6 foot tall at the middle of the room and its all strange angles with 2 dormer windows and a small door to the terrace, so as you can imagine there have been many bruised foreheads up there! It's been tricky to find low furniture that actually fits (theres not one flat wall) and make it feel roomier up there.
What Friends Say: Welcoming, homey, sunny and full of light, open and airy, stylish. The general consensus is that its like a little beach cottage near the city.
Biggest Embarrassment: Our rusty old fridge which is the last thing that needs to be replaced. It works fine but it's ugly… and hence artfully cropped from the shots of the kitchen!
Proudest DIY: We're quite proud of the small water feature outside – it was pretty simple to make but the bubbling water is the loveliest and most relaxing sound, perfect for kicking back out on the deck. I'm also particularly proud of the desk in the sunroom which I restored, it was originally my great grandmothers and it suits the space beautifully. The most useful DIY moment was frosting the lower half of the window in the bathroom as it looks straight out onto the deck!
Biggest Indulgence: The house itself was a big indulgence, but it makes us blissfully happy every day so it is worth every cent of every mortgage payment. Our second biggest indulgence was our bulldog puppy, but he is so damn cute he's worth it.
Best advice: "Yep. Buy it now." From my dad on only his first (and only our second) viewing of the house. Needless to say we took the advice!
Dream source: All the lovely home stores in America that we don't have here! At the moment my Australian dream source is Designer Rugs as I really want one of the Akira Isogawa 'Shoka' rugs. If I was a millionaire I would also go wild in somewhere like Space Furniture or Great Dane.
This is where my budget really comes to light – now that I'm writing it down, its amazing to see so many of the pieces in our house are either Ikea (affordable), second hand (affordable) or found/hand me down (free). Hopefully it goes to show you don't need deep pockets to have a stylish, comfortable home!
Appliances: (purchased with house)
Hardware: Glass knobs were a bargain from 'That Vintage Shop'
Furniture: (listed by room below)
Loungeroom:: Arlid leather lounge from Ikea (was ex floor stock Bargain of the Day)
Barcelona chair from Milan Direct
TV unit from Oz Design Furniture
Small cupboard for crockery is vintage from my great grandmother
Red armchair from the side of the road
Green footstool from St Vincent de Paul (thrift store) $3
Expedit bookshelf from Ikea
Dining: Bjursta dining table and Roger chairs from Ikea
Bedroom: Malm bed & dressers from Ikea
Sunroom: Vintage desk from my great grandmother (via grandmother, then aunt, then mother!)
Eames chair from Matt Blatt
Side table from discount furniture store (bought years ago)
Vintage Fler lounge/fold down guest bed from Ebay
Outdoors: Outdoor table and chairs from Big W
BBQ is a Weber Q
Water feature is from decorative bowl, pebbles and small pump purchased from Flower Power nursery
Accessories: Lounge cushions were from Aldi of all places!
Throw rug on lounge from Freedom
Pillow on bed from Target
Lighting: Lamps on mirror tray and on blue desk are Salt & Pepper
Paint: (as purchased with house)
Rugs and Carpets: Shag rug and floor cushions from Freedom
Simple white rugs upstairs and under dining table from Ikea
Tiles and Stone: (original to house)
Window Treatments: Shutters from Luxaflex
Artwork: Canvas art made by Danielle or family members
Framed art is mainly postcards (which I collect) framed in simple frames from Target
(Thanks, Danielle & Lakshan!)