I remember so well the feeling when I moved into my first home. I lived with my Mum until I was 27 (true story – don’t hold it against me!) so by the time I moved out properly, it was well overdue. I made up for lost time by nesting like a crazy person, doing ridiculous things like planting a vegie patch within a week of moving in. I was just SO EXCITED to have a home to call my own.
There is something of that sweet, wide-eyed enthusiasm about this lovely Sydney apartment. It belongs to young couple Elli Walsh, an artist, art writer and gallery assistant at Arthouse Gallery, and her partner Cameron Walsh, who works at Universal Music and runs The Sound of Vinyl.
Elli and Cameron spent AGES apartment hunting before securing this sweet two bedroom flat in a 1960’s block in Sydney’s Fairlight. ‘It was at a crazy time, when Sydney properties were selling before they even hit the market’ recalls Cameron. The pair had seen and loved this apartment, but it was priced way above their budget, so they moved on. Five weeks later, it was still for sale – which Cameron says ‘was an eternity in the property market at that time’ – so they made a ridiculous offer, and to their surprise, it was accepted. The place wasn’t in the best state, but they were keen to renovate, so it was perfect.
After taking possession, Elli and Cameron undertook a few key renovations. They laid new floorboards, painted throughout and updated the kitchen. They took great pleasure in sourcing materials, appliances and design details from various suppliers across Australia – keeping to a very modest budget, of course.
Elli and Cameron have decorated the place with such a meticulous attention to detail, sourcing a beautiful collection of vintage and contemporary furniture, light fittings and other details. Their secondhand lounge set is definitely a favourite – it was purchased for next to nothing on eBay, from an elderly couple who had owned it since the sixties! Originally, it was a mud brown synthetic fabric, but Elli and Cameron have given these classic piece a contemporary update by re-upholstering in natural linen.
As an artist and art gallery assistant, Elli has also accumulated an impressive collection of fine art in recent years, which is proudly on display in her home. ‘We adore all of our artwork, but a standout is definitely the resin wall sculpture by Sydney artist Fraser Anderson that we commissioned in 2014 for our 4-year wedding anniversary’ says Cameron. ‘It’s such a treat to wake up beneath it every day!’
Elli and Cameron’s apartment is a joyful and much loved first home. Nestled amongst lush treetops in a small block of just 6 apartments, this little lovenest has such a friendly, relaxed feel. It’s bright, airy and meticulously clean and tidy – in part due to Elli’s self confessed ’obsessive-compulsive tidiness’! It’s also ever-changing. ‘Elli is perpetually changing our interiors!’ says Cameron. ‘We have lots of art and special objects that we try to display without crossing the fine line into ‘clutter’.
For Elli and Cameron, Fairlight is a totally idyllic spot for their first home together. ‘We’re just a short walk from multiple beaches, and a ferry away from the city’ Cameron says. Lately, evenings after work have been spent floating in the ocean watching the sunset, while picnics, walks and falling asleep on the sand under a beach umbrella constitute most weekends. The apartment is, in Cam’s words, like ‘a beach shack without the sand’.
Main bedroom. Yellow Diva plywood chair from Workshopped, ink paintings by Elli Walsh, and Moroccan Azilal rug purchased from France. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Lounge room details. ‘La Faille’ paining by Gilou Brillant, face screenprint by Elli Walsh, Wirely plant stand, re-upholstered 1960s lounge from eBay and Muskhane Smartie cushion from Pulp Creative Paper. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Lounge room. Ute Design ‘Handle’ magazine rack from Arko Furniture, Saba ‘A Song for You’ table from Café Culture + Insitu, Chinese School painting, and vintage Hopi Kachina wall hanging/rug from Etsy. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The Fairlight apartment of Elli and Cameron Walsh. Above – lounge room. 1960s reupholstered lounge set, vintage ‘butterfly’ coffee table, and Norman Copenhagen ‘Ikono’ pendant lamp. ‘War on war’ painting by Marty Baptist. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Spare bedroom. Face screenprint by Elli, doll photograph by Simon Yotsuya & Kishin Shinoyama, and vintage cane rocker from Gumtree. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Hallway. Pinch pots by Elli’s mum, painting by Indigenous artist Josie Petrick Kemarre, and stoneware vase and small painting by Elli. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Kitchen. Tom Dixon ‘Tower’ salt and pepper grinders and leather stools by acciaio Netherlands. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining table details. Felt mat from Kido Store, stump tray from Lime Lifestyle in Fairlight and pinch pot by Elli’s mum. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Main bedroom. Yellow Diva plywood chair from Workshopped, LuckyBoySunday cushion from Kido Store, ink painting by Elli Walsh and Moroccan Azilal rug purchased from France. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Lounge room. Vintage record cabinet, ‘War on war’ painting by Marty Baptist, Pro–Ject turntable from Sydney Hi Fi, vintage KEF speakers, and ‘Blindspot’ neon artwork by Donna Richie. Re-upholstered 1960s lounge chair, and stone lenticular photograph by Kai Wasikowski. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining area. Vintage extension table and wool rug from Bayliss. The power silkscreen by Graham Kuo and Schneid Eikon Pendant Lamp from Connox. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Cameron and Elli Wash on the balcony of their Fairlight apartment. Photo – Eve Wilson. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.