Interiorssneak peeks

Australian Artist Beach Retreat

by Amy Azzarito

In the ’70s Australian artist Bruce Goold was involved in an art movement called “The Yellow House”, an artist collective in Sydney where the canvas was the house itself and almost every wall, floor and ceiling became part of the gallery. These days Bruce works primarily in lino cuts but his house is still very much influenced by art. The house in located in Palm Beach, the northernmost suburb of Sydney (about an hour from the city center). In the ’50s, the area was a retreat for retired army colonels, then came a wave of creative hippies in the ’70s and today it is a beach retreat for the wealthy.  Every object has a story and most of the furnishings are gifts, thrifted or simply found on the street and the house is in constant flux. Thank you, Bruce! And a big thank you to Ingrid Weir for bringing us Bruce’s home and taking the lovely photos! (You can see Ingrid’s home right here) –Amy

Image above: I retrieved the table from the Palm Beach Surf club when they modernized. The Brancusi style alabaster lamp base is one of a pair from my parents house and has a shade that I printed by inking a leaf and pressing it on rice paper.The bronze framed distressed mirror is from an old wine bar and is good for displaying postcards, gallery invitations etc. and is surmounted by a tableaux of driftwood, fishing net & shells, Japanese woodcuts by Hiroshige & Hokusai.  A wooden champagne crate that contained a 9 litre Veuve Clicquot Salmanazar from Avalon Fine Wines is upended to house a selection of cookbooks. (I ran out of lino when working on an exhibition and cut the left hand corner from the floor, have yet to replace it!)

Image above: I covered a cutting table from a garment factory with Forbo Nairn Jade green linoleum, plain drawers fit beneath it, the industrial chair is from a photographic studio. The Scandinavian String shelving system dates from the 50’s and came from my father’s furniture & decorating store. It is excellent for displaying major art books on the magazine rack with curios on the top shelf. The bamboo screen on the window, also from his store, is cast in resin and imported from America in the ’60s. 



This post is brought to you by How To Decorate, a gorgeous, practical, down-to-earth guide to decorating your home from start to finish – with love, attention and style. Order your copy here.


See more photos after the jump!

Image above: An interesting Canon English stove has a gas rotisserie & grill. A collection of masks & kitchenalia entertain me while I cook.

Image above: An early wooden street sign and a naval hydrographic map of Broken Bay, useful to show overseas visitors where we live. A mobile of raffia ‘fashion-plates’ was brought back from South Africa by our daughter Nancy and adorns the enamel light fixture.

Image above: Construction of Australia’s famous monolith. This came together by chance. I found the blue wooden boat hatch floating in the bay and carried it back, placing it on the verandah. I had been using the orange saw to prune the bougainvillea then rested it in the boat hatch out of harms way. It immediately resembled Ayer’s Rock so I inverted the blade, painted it green to resemble grass and using PVA glue grated a lump of aboriginal red ochre into the shape, drilling through the back to fix it with screws. The boomerang came from a garage sale and compliments the rock’s curve. It hung on the wall for a while until the local framers closed down and offered me some old stock, including the gilt frame which I lifted up & placed it over the boat hatch, a perfect fit. I added the road at the base to fill the gap. A very popular piece with visitors.

Image above: When our daughter Nancy moved to NY I made this ‘Big Apple’ clock so we knew the time there to phone. I had an aluminium pizza tin, drew the apple on the back and cut it out with tin snips, allowing extra to mould the stem and leaves. I drilled the center and added a digital clock movement, setting it to NY time. She has been living there for five years and we still use it.

ingridweirlooking through to studio f

Image above: A selection of brushes and a mirror framed collage by my friend Martin Sharp. To the left is a dentist’s cabinet, the many small drawers most useful to keep tubes of paint, cutting tools and artist’s materials.


Image above: The headboard is made from a pair of Japanese reeded Summer Doors fixed to the wall, from Edo Arts. The pineapple lamps were hand carved in Bali from a design I provided. Bed is covered in ‘ Bamboo ‘, screen printed from a lino cut design.

Image above: Another pair of Summer Doors flank a length of my ‘ Rattan ‘ fabric, the mirror is set in a port-hole like timber foundry pattern, one of a collection I made for Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island, partially stripped kauri pine chest of drawers with marble washstand top.

Image above: The washbasin in the bedroom was installed by a doctor who once used the room for consultations. Fringed woven raffia from Fiji hides the plumbing. ‘ Waratah’ tiles were designed as a frieze for the Festival Market Place, Darling Harbour. The Chinese rosewood cabinet holds a Buddha from Laos and a Burmese lacquerware box.



Image above: The container that holds his cane collection is made from a regular piece of old pipe with some rattan wrapped around it.

bruce goold light. largerJPG

Image above: Mostly used for storage, it has a charming beachcomber look which I keep adding to when I find more fishing floats, flotsam & jetsam washed up in the bay. The old cane couch is covered with my Net & Shell fabric with various faded cushions from times past.

Suggested For You


  • This is the type of home you just want to jump through the photos so you can be there in person to explore all the little details and wonderful objects throughout! So layered and cozy. I especially love the doors hung behind the bed- thanks for sharing!

  • I could, and probably will, look at these pictures over and over, and have ‘pinned’ them withour hesitation. This is a retreat for the soul to look at, thank you so much for sharing your home with us!
    The art installation on the living room wall, with the wood and instruments is stunning, and the rest just defies words for me. I may smile for the rest of the day!

  • It is a very intriguing and personal space. I would also like to investigate and stay awhile!

  • Wow, what a home. So much personality and history intertwined in each room. I found it especially touching that he made a ‘Big Apple’ clock for when his daughter moved to New York so that he would know the time. Plus, those carved pineapple lamps from Bali are delightful.

  • Yes, the real deal of furnishing, decorating and building your home from within and without. Your lino art and fabrics are wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Ah yes, wonderful ! Felt like jumping up into that huge sofa and pouring thru all the books and images that give Bruce his inspiration

  • i want to see bruce and kate in the house! as ms miller says, it’s so bruce! xxxx

  • This is such an adorable and eclectic space. It reminds me of beach meets Brooklyn – beach babe with a hipster influence. Love the masks on the wall too – very personal. Love it all!

  • Hi,
    As an expat. of Australia, now for 15 yrs. l´m looking to fill my life with some nostalgia. The wall art of ´Magpies´ was SO amazing!! Yet, no comment made??
    Please forward the artist´s name and where l can look to see real dimensions and prices.
    Many thanks.

  • Do you have an email contact for Bruce. I wanted to ask him to do a book cover. He did one for me years ago and I loved it.

    Many thanks