If there’s one thing that most city apartment-dwellers learn over the years, it’s that you have to give a little to get a little. Even the most beautiful of spaces come with quirks and challenges, but those are just part of the joy of living in an older building in a bustling city. Nicolette and Tom know a thing or two about living with a difficult but beautiful space, and they’ve managed to turn what could have been a difficult space to work with into a warm, welcoming home.
Photographer and documentary filmmaker Nicolette Johnson shares her Brisbane home with her fiance, Tom Dawson, who is studying IT networking. They came across this sunny apartment two years ago and loved the area (just a short walk from Tom’s school, as well as the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Art Gallery, the science museum and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre). The home is filled with great art deco-era details and, because it’s a corner apartment, comes with stunning curved windows and walls. While all these details (crown molding, polished hardwood floors, original hardware) sold the apartment for Tom and Nicolette, they also had to work around some small and difficult layout challenges and a few rooms that are just big enough for a few pieces of furniture. But quirks aside, Nicolette and Tom love their space and feel like they’ve created a calm, private sanctuary away from busy city life. Between their shared love of travel collections and expert thrift-shop finds, they’ve managed to not just fill their home with beautiful things, but find a way to balance their desires for comfort and function with a creative and inspiring space. The space is still a work in progress, but Nicolette loves that. “Both of us are on a very tight budget and have been for the majority of our relationship, but we have managed to slowly pick up some great pieces here and there for a relatively insignificant amount of money. I think that’s how great collections are formed, slowly and deliberately.” I couldn’t agree more and am so thrilled to share a peek inside their sunny home today. xo, grace
Photographs by Nicolette Johnson