Retro-Inspired Wallpaper Shines in a Singer-Songwriter’s 1930s Sydney Apartment

published Oct 9, 2023

Retro-Inspired Wallpaper Shines in a Singer-Songwriter’s 1930s Sydney Apartment

published Oct 9, 2023
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Singer-songwriter Georgia Mooney first took note of the age of this apartment for sale. “I think the first thing I noticed was that the block of flats was, at least by Australian standards, pretty old, which is always a big plus for me,” she explains of the building, which she says dates back to the 1930s. Mooney is an ARIA-winning musician who has toured all over the world with the band All Our Exes Live In Texas. Recently she released her debut solo album, “Full of Moon,” which is described as a “striking indie-folk-pop album.”

The building Mooney’s cozy 560-square-foot apartment is located in was advertised as Art Deco style, and she says that’s reflected in the high ceilings, deco cornices, and wide door jambs. “Older places always have more character to me, and I like the idea that many lives have been lived within the walls. I also liked that there were just four flats in the building and it had a lovely shady shared backyard — perfect for socializing during lockdown, which we were only just beginning to understand might go on for a while.” 

"Don’t be afraid to wallpaper!! It can feel like a thing of the past, but there are so many beautiful companies making incredible wallpaper these days. It is the quickest and simplest way to make a room feel beautifully decorated. Start with the wallpaper and then place the furniture. Don’t be afraid to put artwork over wallpaper too to break up the pattern. It will look beautiful instantly!"

“At the beginning of the pandemic, there were all these dire predictions that property values would fall dramatically, which was something people trying to buy their first home (like me) were secretly thrilled to hear! Ironically, the pandemic made the dream of getting a place of my own seem like an actual possibility,” Mooney explains about her home search. “So I began trawling through the real estate adverts and dragging my mum (a bit of an architecture expert) around to viewings. There was very little within my budget, and my heart was broken once when I lost an auction for another place I liked. This apartment appeared suddenly like a rare gem and I leapt at it.”

“It has a sunny kitchen — you always end up spending a lot of time in the kitchen, after all — with nice outlooks from the windows because it is on the top floor. So I often get to see beautiful sunsets from the kitchen table. And it had the distinct potential of a really cozy feel, despite being painted all white and styled, of course, in shades of gray and beige,” she writes.

“An older apartment building like this one lends itself well to vintage interior decorating,” she begins. “I immediately could see the potential it had to be decorated beautifully! The rooms are generously sized, the black and white tiles in the kitchen and hallway are a dream, and the high ceilings, pretty cornices, and large windows make it a pretty special, serene place. The building is also surrounded by trees, with a primary school across the road, so all day I hear birds chirping and children playing. It’s magic.”



  • Bathroom and hall — Porter’s Paints
  • Living room — Porter’s Paints “Mojito”
  • Bedroom — Porter’s “Provence Blue (1/2 strength)”
  • Doors, door jambs, and window frames — Porter’s “Himalayan Salt (1/2 strength)”


  • China cabinet (Scottish) — Facebook Marketplace
  • Ceramic butterfly wall vases — My mother’s 




  • Pendant light shade — A gift from Your Display Gallery, Greenwich 
  • Mid-century desk — My paternal grandfather’s 
  • Antique dining chair — My aunt and uncle’s 
  • Small chest of drawers — My mother’s 
  • Antique dresser with mirror — Brady’s Used Furniture, Dulwich Hill
  • Bedside chest of drawers — Found on street
  • Bed — Temple & Webster
  • Blanket box — My maternal grandmother’s 
  • Bookcase — Mid-Mountains Vintage, Boue Mountains 
  • Hat and umbrella stand — Eastern Flair, Newtown
  • Paintings and bric-a-brac — Various op-shops, antique shops, and gifts from family and friends
  • Jewellery, hair accessories, and bags — Vintage shops and gifts from family and friends

Thanks, Georgia!

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