The Sydney apartment of artist Paul Davies and his wife Sarah who works in publicity. The chandelier was wedding gift, black and white abstract painting is by Paul Davies (acrylic on canvas, 2007), painting on right hand side is also by Paul Davies, entitled ‘Home in Blue Forest’ (acrylic on linen 2014). Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Dining room looking through to kitchen and bedroom. Artwork on wall, ‘Palette Mosaic’ by Paul Davies (acrylic and resin on canvas). Dining table – vintage sewing machine table base. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Living room details. Painting on left – ‘Hillside’ by Tim Summerton, 2010. Painting top right – ‘Home Built’ by Paul Davies, 2014. Painting bottom left -‘Villa Savoye 30.1.13 free plan’ made by Paul Davies during a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts Paris, awarded by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Painted bronze sculpture on bookshelf is by Morgan Shimeld, entitled ‘Converge’, 2012. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Portrait of Paul in his Surry Hills studio, located just a short distance from his home. Artwork behind is ‘Home and Pool’ by Paul, for an upcoming solo exhibition at Art District 13 Gallery, Delhi. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
After sourcing and shooting so many homes week in, week out, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that artists always create the most interesting / photogenic spaces! Regardless of size or budget, there is something about the home of an artist which always captures the imagination. We were lucky to meet Sydney painter Paul Davies on a recent trip to Sydney, and to document his beautiful little apartment in Centennial Park before he and wife Sarah jetted off to the USA for a year of adventure!
After looking for a year and a half, Paul and Sarah bought their one bedroom apartment in December 2011, and spent two months undertaking basic renovations before moving in in February 2012. In such a tiny space, the pair were keen to keep the finishes classic and restrained – walls were painted a crisp white, the timber floors stained a rich deep brown and both the kitchen and bathroom were replaced. ‘We decided to stick to the art deco theme of the building, and chose white walls to display our eclectic art collection’ says Paul.
Paul and Sarah’s apartment proves a theory I have long held, which is that bold and even quite large scale artworks are surprisingly well suited to small spaces, often making rooms feel even bigger / grander than they would with bare walls. Though Paul and Sarah’s living room is modest in size, this room comfortably holds five incredible large paintings, a handful of smaller framed works and an impressive chandelier! Far from overwhelming the room, these brave inclusions really make the space. At 183 x 152 cm, the powerful ‘Snake VII‘ by Rhys Lee is a key focal point for this space, and commands attention. Paul’s own works, inspired by mid century architecture and intricately layered using handcut stencils are another highlight of the space.
One particularly treasured piece is a beautiful painting by Andy Taylor which hangs in the couples’ bedroom. ‘All the art we collect is special to us, however our family and friends gave Sarah and I an Andy Taylor painting as a wedding gift!’ says Paul. ‘Andy is one of our favourite artists, and the work reminds us of all the important people in our life’.
It’s a bit sneaky sharing this home now, because as I mentioned, Paul and Sarah have just recently made the big move to the USA, where Paul is working hard to establish an international profile for his work. Rest assured they’ve held onto their much loved little apartment, so no doubt they’ll settle right back in when they do return in 2015!