A Sydney Apartment Is a Cozy, Eclectic, Curated Mid-Century Nest

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corner of living room with white walls, parquet wood floors, olive green velvet armchair, lots of framed art, low white bookshelves with books, plants
Credit: Clare Maxwell

Clare Maxwell has owned this apartment for five years, and shares it with her cat, and thanks to the current cost of living, a flatmate renting a second bedroom: I’m a single lady, living the independent life in Sydney’s inner west. I work as a creative director by day, and move the objects around in my home by night. I try to stay true to the character of the 1960s building and the eclectic neighbourhood. My home is in a humble red brick walk-up, but with some love and care it’s become my oasis.

Credit: Clare Maxwell

People say my home is the spatial version of me! Probably because of its warm autumnal colour palette and ginger cat — they both match my fashion aesthetic. My home also has objects and art that I’ve collected over the years. I went to art school at COFA, so there are works created by my friends from college — including a portrait of me. My grandmothers were both artists, so there are works by them — a favourite being an oil painting of some Surry Hills terraces my Nana painted. And I love to travel and collect things — a boab nut from far north Australia, indigenous artworks, mother of pearl from Thursday Island, framed postcards from New York City, mid-century pottery from markets in Byron Bay. It’s all meaningful to me.

Describe your home’s style in five words or fewer: A cosy, eclectic, curated mid-century nest.

Credit: Clare Maxwell

Completely optional budget questions: If you rent, what is your rent per month? Or share how much it cost to furnish or design your space? I put in a new kitchen and bathroom when I moved in. Budget was $50k AUD. Since then I’ve bought secondhand and DIY’d my way.

What is your favorite room and why? The living room, because it has my gorgeous chiswell teak sideboard.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I just bought a mid-century Australian-made hardwood desk from Marketplace. It fits perfectly into the aesthetic of my small bedroom and gives me a spot to work from home.

Credit: Clare Maxwell

Any advice for creating a home you love? Know your colour palette; it provides guardrails for your choices!

Mix art styles — drawings, paintings, prints.

Credit: Clare Maxwell

Sometimes you have to try an item in a space to realise it’s not right! For that reason, be prepared to resell always!

Thanks, Clare!

This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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