Australian Homes

Garth Allan

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 16th January 2013

The Darling Point apartment of homewares / furniture buyer Garth Allan. ‘Our living room has a bit of a ‘supper club’ feel’ says Garth.  ‘The deer head came to us from the neighbours. We painted the fireplace black and just filled it up with wood. The zebra print hide and the zigzag lamps give the space a bit of a graphic punch’.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living room details.  Painting on left by German artist Murray Zimiles.  ‘This piece adds some drama to the living room – there is something dark about it, I find it’s a real conversation starter’ says Garth.  Photos – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Hallway reading spot.  ‘Here is my tribute to the lovely Kate Moss (the early years) by Roderick bunter. The daybed we inherited from a friend in a real state of disrepair – but with a bit of love and a lick of paint it came up good as new!’ says Garth.  Photo – Phu Tang. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Garth Allan in his Darling Point apartment.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

I try to keep things varied around here in the house department – you know, rambling country property one week, cute ‘n crafty city pad the next.  What I always struggle to find, though, is more masculine interiors, so it was great to cross paths with Garth Allan recently, and document his stylish Sydney apartment!

Garth’s is one of a handful of generously proportioned apartments housed in an enormous Victorian Tudor mansion in Sydney’s Darling Point.  The home itself has incredible bones of course – soaring ceilings, bucket loads of natural light and period features throughout, such as the incredible detailed stained glass windows.  To this Garth has brought a tight edit of his favourite finds, from carefully sourced artworks, to salvaged vintage gems. ‘Our living room has a bit of a supper club feel’ says Garth.  ‘The deer head came to us from the neighbours. The zebra print hide and the zigzag lamps give the space a bit of a graphic punch’.

Garth is a retail buyer – he sources designer fashion and homewares for online retailer BrandsExclusive (before than he spent many years as a senior buyer st David Jones).  But after so many years seeing countless new products for the home, in his own home, Garth is measured with his decorating approach.  He isn’t one for excess decorative fluff – this is a guy who covets and buys key pieces, or restores antique finds, rather than fill his home with too many trinkets.

Above all, it’s the unique sense of history and character here that Garth loves most about this home.  ‘I really love the size and feeling of space in the rooms – it’s a feeling that I think is missing from more modern apartments’ says Garth. ‘While I understand the whole movement to open plan living, I also really love that each room in my home stands on its own. I also love that I’m completely surrounded by trees – I’m only 5 minutes from the centre of Sydney, but really I could be anywhere, it’s just so peaceful.’

Big thanks to Garth for sharing his home with us today!

‘This is probably my favourite area of the house’ says Garth of the light-filled sitting area at the front of his apartment. ‘It feels spacious and light all throughout the entire day’.  Chairs are salvaged, re-upholstered in brown linen.  Table in foreground from livingExclusive.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Dining room. ‘This would have to be my favourite artwork in the house I think’ says Garth. ‘I love the contrast between the background and the dancing figures’.  Dining chairs – a vintage find.  Lamp – from livingExclusive.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom details.  Photos – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom window.  ‘My bedroom gets the perfect amount of natural light, and all I can see from the window is trees’ says Garth.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Building exterior.   ‘The house itself was one of the first properties on the street, and was built by the same people who built St. Marks Church in Darling Point, so there is a real sense of history and character to it’ says Garth.  Photo – Phu Tang.  Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 16th January 2013


  • Helen Morley 4 years ago

    I agree Lucy I love the masculine sensibilities here, pared down but so perfectly right for this stunning apartment. I also love the way in which its not just been a matter of expense – just good taste and a brilliant sense of what will be right for the space and the occupants. inspirational!

  • Barbara 4 years ago

    What an absoulutly stunning apartment. All the natural light flooding through the beautiful windows…..perfect!

  • Sim B 4 years ago

    This home seems to have a beautiful (almost overwhelming!) sense of calm going on…Couldn’t resist saying ‘good morning deer’ as I sipped my tea. Thanks!

  • Isabelle Kessedjian 4 years ago

    Superbe ! J’adore!!!!!!

  • Lulu 4 years ago

    Please, no more dead animals either on walls or floors.

  • Jane 4 years ago

    This place has a great feeling of peace and sophistication. It is not minimal, but uses a minimum of objects in a very effective way. Love seeing furniture that might be considered out of style by some, given a stylish new life with inspired re-upholstery or paint finishes. Lots of inspiration here. Thank you!

  • Gaz 4 years ago

    Love the exterior shot. What a beautiful home. The windows are gorgeous too and I like the fact he has pared back possessions to give a sense of calm.

  • lexi 4 years ago

    Oh Garth you big dirty spunk, so nice to see a familiar face. Gorgeous shots. x

  • Kate 4 years ago

    Love it, stunning, but please, please- no more taxidermy or hide rugs!

  • findlovekeep 4 years ago

    What a beautiful home! The natural light streaming through those beautiful big windows looks lovely. And that zigzag lamp … stunning!

  • msd 4 years ago

    This is a great space, the windows are particularly fabulous but design-wise it’s one of the weaker homes posted here. Sorry, it just seems so cliched and design mag circa 2009 … wood in fireplace? check! animal head on wall? check…

  • jen 4 years ago

    Who is the artist who painted the dancing figures?

  • Vivid 4 years ago

    I do hope those objects on the mantelpiece are not tusks.

  • ES 4 years ago

    Lucy I’m quite shocked to see animal hides/heads/ivory, given the reaction last time. I ordinarily LOVE the Design Files but this really turns me off.

  • sarah 4 years ago

    Understated and beautiful…the natural light and greenery provides wonderful atomosphere.

  • Georgie 4 years ago

    What an ubber cool place to live!

  • Margie 4 years ago

    love to see the work of Brisbane artist Rod Bunter. A blast from my past…

  • Bridie 4 years ago

    Love the home and all the light, especially the bedroom details – anyone (Garth?) know where the bedside table is from?? I’m in a desperate search for one just like it!

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