an eclectic Australian apartment filled with humor

Kristy Chambers lives in in New Farm, Australia, a suburb of Brisbane. The apartment overlooks the Brisbane River and is brimming with character, which according to Kristy, means it’s old, cold and in need of painting and the floor is sinking in the middle. It’s so sloped that Kristy says that when she first moved in, she felt like she was living on a boat. But she is one for making the best of things and she’s filled her home with things that make her laugh – like the giant plastic flamingos she bought in Las Vegas or the bright pink cuckoo clock she found at a shop in Melbourne. Kristy’s day job is as a nurse, working in drug and alcohol detox. She’s also a non-fiction writer. Her first book, ‘Get Well Soon! My (Un)Brilliant Career as a Nurse‘ was published in August 2012, and as Kristy explains, “It was a good way for me to make lemons into lemonade. Nursing can be pretty brutal sometimes and writing has always been my favorite thing to do.” Kristy’s website is launching next week. Sign up to be notified when it goes live). Thanks, Kristy! And a big thank you to Joanne Thies for the lovely photographs! –Amy

Image above: The first thing that you are visually assaulted by when you open the door to my apartment is the bright pink cuckoo clock and the 1950s table that I snagged from a vintage store about 15 years ago. Wherever I go, the table goes. Wherever the cuckoo clock goes, my boyfriend does not. He thinks it’s hideous, but I don’t take style advice from a guy who wears vertical stripes.

Image above: My apartment overlooks the Brisbane River and this is the table where I write, eat and daydream while looking out the window. The Michael Jackson Russian dolls on the window ledge I got in Prague. The littlest one of him as a Jackson Five kid is brown, and his skin gets lighter as they go along. It’s like a documentary.


See more of Kristy’s Australian apartment after the jump!

Image above: My kitchen is old and crummy, and for some bizarre reason there is a soap dish by the sink. I bought the plates from the sale section of the Liberty department store in London. They’re portraits of dead royalty.

Image above: Foreground, cuckoo clock of my dreams! Background, kitchen of my nightmares.

Image above: My boyfriend and I agree on one thing- that dog cup is awesome! He bought it for me in Montreal.

Image above: My sumo painting was inspired by a holiday in Japan, where I attempted to snowboard, then realised that I wasn’t at all interested in being strapped to an ironing board and throwing myself down an icy mountain. So I stayed indoors, drinking hot chocolate and watched the sumo tournament on TV. It was all in Japanese, so I nicknamed the sumos by their faces, ‘Mean Guy’ and ‘Sad man’ were in the final. ‘Sad Man’ won, which was brilliant, because he was my favourite. The painting is of him. He’s actually from Mongolia and his real name is Dagvadorj Dolgorsurengiin, but he’ll always be ‘Sad Man’ to me. The little dog statues were a birthday gift from my best friend. I have a thing about dogs wearing cones, so she made little paper cones for them to wear.

Image above: So many of my favorite things were given to me as presents by my friends, like the Vincent Gallo cushion. What happened to him, by the way? He sort of disappeared after ‘Brown Bunny’, as well he should.

Image above: An assortment of priceless artworks and random paraphernalia on the shelves of my bedroom, or as my mother calls it, “Oh, Kristy…”

Image above:  I buy really tacky snow globes when I travel, the crappier the better. Some of these are so old that the water is evaporating. HEARTBREAKING.

Image above: I have a long, enduring love for Bill Murray. I like funny things, and he is hilarious. This chair was nothing special before Bill turned up.

Image above: My living room, complete with gold pouf, comfortable couch, a couple of my dog portraits (one with cone, another sporting a sombrero, of course) and a few books…

Image above: Yet another dog cushion. I really need to get a pet. Or move.

Image above:  I love books! I am thrilled that I had the chance to have one published last year. Books sandwiched between a dismembered Daschund just feels right in my apartment.

Image above: The living room and kitchen overlook the river while my bedroom has huge windows with a great view of New Farm and beyond. I can live with the sloping floor, peeling paint and unfathomable placement of soap dishes and light fittings because of the views from both sides of my apartment. There’s very little closet space, so I use a rack to hang my clothes.

Image above:  The painting above my bed says, ‘If Jesus loved me I would not feel this way,’ which is my response to people saying, ‘Smile! Jesus loves you!’ when I’m in a bad mood. I bought the Ace Hotel blanket from the Ace Hotel in Portland. It’s a Pendleton and warm as toast.

Image above: These are some of the first paintings I did. I was going through a bit of a ‘I hate men’ stage, obviously. The coiled lamp is missing a bulb, but trust me, it looks great when it’s working.

Image above: This white tiger fabric painting cost $20 from a store in Portland. As is my wont, I had a bitch of a time getting it back to Australia, jamming it into my suitcase at the last minute and cracking the frame.

Image above: I went on an Etsy buying rampage when I first discovered it. This plate is from ‘trixiedelicious’ in New Zealand. What fresh hell is this, indeed. They decorate vintage plates with memorable sayings and profanity. I appreciate their work.

Image above: My sister-in-law is crafty, in the good-at-making-things sense of the word. She found this little table, painted it and made a mosaic top for it. I love sitting out here on my balcony, drinking tea and listening to drunk people scream along to Bon Jovi songs while the ‘party boats’ sail down the river on Friday and Saturday night.

Image above: My ‘studio’. As you can see, I have a very sophisticated writing technique. I scribble all over pieces of paper, then try to make sense of them later.

Image above: Here I am in my natural habitat, surrounded by trinkets, vintage furniture, bizarre art and face deep into a cup of coffee.

  1. Dana says:

    love this apartment!! I had to rush out (ok, well on-line) and find that Bill Murray pillow….here’s the link for my fellow impulse buyers:

  2. Shannon says:

    Anyone that needs more Bill Murray can find the pillow (I have it as a canvas) on – they also replaceface Kanye, Bowie, Bruce Lee… many many more

  3. Anne says:

    I love that flamingo!!

  4. chambanana says:

    Love your house! I wish we were neighbors… Hihi

  5. rr says:

    Eclectic. And it caught my eye. The apartment’s like my cupboard top shelf; the only place where I can ‘hang’ my mundane drawings and ‘display’ my trinkets. Can’t wait to get a place of my own. And I’d love to be friends with Kristy! The humor and ‘style’.

  6. Gwendolyn says:

    I just printed a pic of “What Fresh Hell Is This” and put it my cubical, thank you soooo much for the morning laugh!

  7. Bonnie says:

    Wild and wonderful!

  8. Melanie C. says:

    You are delightful and so is your home! I feel inspired to find my own whimsy and display it. Thanks!

  9. Ruth says:

    Well I thought this place was a drag; I’m sorry; it has so much potential too. A few things caught my eye but over all no balance within the unbalance, if that even makes any sense.

  10. T.J. Sullivan says:

    “What fresh hell is this” is a famous quote from Dorothy Parker, usually said when her phone or doorbell rang but sometimes just when a stranger entered the room.

  11. Natalie says:

    So so funny…. And I need every single pillow in my life!!

  12. shari says:

    This gal is a gas! Love it…

  13. heidi says:

    love your sense of humor and your cool apartment.

  14. colin says:

    love the humor and the apartment. it so great to be surrounded by every thing you love.

  15. Wow this is one of the best I have read and the apartment is really great.

  16. Gail Walker says:

    Most fun post ever! Must have my own Bill Murray cushion, searching the internet for an image to hijack an print on fabric…………

  17. shashi says:

    Sorry to be a wet blanket but to me this home feels random and a bit juvenile. Nothing wrong with cute collectibles and souvenirs, but they might “pop” even more against the backdrop of some grown-up furniture, accessories and window coverings, however minimal. Add some cohesiveness, and it will be fabulous!

  18. Amberly says:

    So hilarious! I was laughing out loud the whole way through. I LOVE that cuckoo clock and your kitchen table and chairs. Your home is awesome, Kristy, thanks for sharing and making the tour so fun!

  19. nina says:

    very nice ! thanks for sharing ! wonderful apartment!

  20. Sara L. says:

    Loved this so much! I laughed out loud several times, sometimes because of writing (“Oh, Kristy.”) and sometimes because there is a freaking Bill Murray pillow omg. Fantastic! Oh, and anyone who has Kurt Vonnegut and David Sedaris on the same bookshelf is someone I know I would like.

  21. beatriz says:

    we (me and my dog) loved the apartment, the owner, the colors, the humor, the pink clock, everything – but we think the owner needs a real dog. urgently.

  22. eva says:

    hahahaha this is the best! I’ll have to share it now. People must see, THEY MUST!

  23. craig says:

    i love the apartment and the soap dish and bill murray,
    if you get tired of dogs (quite unlikely) you could try armadillos
    they are very cute and quite hard wearing

  24. Sing it with me now: ’cause she’s got – PERSONALITY…
    I L O V E this super cute, super fun home and have already developed a small crush on the owner. Awesome Sneak Peek!

  25. Christina says:

    Brilliant. Love the quirk. Kristy is hilarious! My sister and I both have yearned for that Bill Murray print and the day I noticed you can get it in pillow form my eyes bugged out like a cartoon. REALLY glad someone has taken advantage of that! I wonder if that can get by the boyfriend without major eye rolling… I mean everybody likes Bill Murray.

  26. Suzanne says:

    Brilliant…love your style Kristy…and your artwork. Thanks

  27. Marissa says:

    Not going to lie, I just bought the Bill Murray Pillow. I couldn’t help myself. Love your place! I think pillow pets are a much easier and cost-effective way of snuggling with an animal…

  28. Awesome! I love your taste!

  29. SELINA says:

    The RAAAAA cushion from Freddy Alphabet now does international shipping. Just email your country to and they will sort it out.

  30. Geslina says:

    “what fresh hell is this?” Not sure where the phrase originated, but it was in the movie with Guy Pearce, that EXCELLENT Australian western, The Proposition. The sheriff character says it, mostly to himself, while gazing out into the hot landscape of colonial australia.

  31. narelle says:

    Funny & talented. Wonderful sneaky peek!

  32. Sharryne says:

    Love your sense of humor Kristy. Where did you get the coiled lamp…it’s fab!

  33. Mel says:

    Where did you get your pink flamingos? They look great!

  34. This space has so much character. The pink clock is adorable and the entire apartment makes you want to sit down, drink it all in, and laugh a lot. Sometimes the most important bit in designing a space is knowing that it is 100% you. Awesome!


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