Two years ago, when Sarah Davison of Ara Design moved into this apartment on the top floor of a 1920s Spanish Mission-style building overlooking Sydney’s Tamarama beach, she knew she wanted to create a light-filled home that paid homage to both the Pacific Ocean and the apartment’s existing Spanish Mission architectural features. The most challenging part of the project was creating a new bathroom and kitchen that would sit comfortably within the existing barley twist columns, decorative ceilings and stained glass windows. She’s managed to create a serene and relaxing space. But in case you worry that it’s too calming, Sarah’s sister, brother-in-law and 2-year-old niece, Violet, live in the apartment downstairs, so there are plenty of play dates, communal dinners and laughter! Thanks, Sarah! And thanks to Prue Roscoe for the lovely images! — Amy A.
Image above: Interiors to me should be very personal. I like an eclectic, yet cohesive mix of furnishings. The throw pillows are made from sarong fabric that I bought on my annual trip to Bali. The antique bronze French lantern was a lucky find at a local antique store. Roses are my favorite flower and really seem to suit this room. The walls and ceiling, painted in Dulux “Natural White,” have a luminous quality.
Image above: A vintage faux bamboo entry table with old green glass bottle and captain’s mirror. Glass is very beautiful in the strong, clear light we have here in Sydney. I love the curved form of old bottles, too, and the way they soften a space.
The rest of the sneak peek continues after the jump . . .
Image above: The theme of bamboo is picked up from the screen in the vintage bamboo chair. Bamboo works well in this apartment. It’s tropical, feminine and a little bit exotic.
Image above: I bought the gorgeous hand-painted Chinoiserie screen in LA on a whim. It fits the wall perfectly and gives a lovely sense of freshness and depth to the room.
Image above: I like to have some black elements in a room to add a little contrast, glamour and depth. The large cut-screen photograph is by famous Australian photographer Bill Henson. It’s moody and very evocative. Also here is the Harry Bertoia “large diamond” armchair. One of my favorite chairs and so comfortable! Its sculptural form sits incredibly well with the vintage furnishings and the decorative architectural features. The platinum-glazed “Bishop” sidetable is by India Mahdavi. Casual roller blinds in split bamboo suit the beachside location.
Image above: The dining table is a replica Sticotti. Chairs are Series 7, Fritz Hansen. Painting, “Oyster Leases, America’s Bay,” is by a favorite Australian artist, Joshua Yeldham.
Image above: The kitchen was inspired by a wall of original white glass tiles with decorative black listello border. I removed a wall to create an eat-in kitchen.
Image above: The back door leads to a sun-filled deck and garden/BBQ area.
Image above: Fresh greens and citrus yellows combine well with the black and white color scheme and add a summery, tropical, very “Sydney” vibe.
Image above: The bedroom and sunroom have a wonderful view of the ocean through the arched windows. A restful color palette of warm whites and soft, peachy-beige linen complemented by the travertine and terracotta flooring is a great foil to the deep blue of the Pacific outside. The bedlinen is “Society,” and the hand-embroidered linen bedspread was bought in Morocco.
Image above: Unlined linen curtains hang softly in the sunroom. A pale green French table sits on a floor of unglazed Moroccan terracotta tiles. The daybed was custom made, and the cushions are covered in vintage sarong fabric from Indonesia.
Image above: Framed black coral on an antique Japanese dressing table.
Image above: The bathroom is one of my favorite places in the apartment! We had “Stucco lustro” plaster hand-applied to the walls to get a great visual texture. The shower floor and walls are tiled in glazed hand-made Moroccan tiles.
Image above: We used a vintage bronze Chinese blind hook as a hand towel holder and accented the tub with an antique bronze temple lantern hanging over the bathtub.