Today’s colourful space belongs to interior designer Dominique Brammah and her partner Ashley Ryan, who is studying physiotherapy. Dominique and Ashley rent their sweet two bedroom apartment in Bondi, Sydney, and have been here only since March this year. Despite having moved in less than 6 months ago, as is evident in these pics, Dominique already has the place looking ship shape! Bright and cheerful, the decor perfectly complements Dominique’s sunny temperament – she is the sweetest lass, and was such delightful company during our shoot!
Day to day, Dominique works at respected Sydney design firm Arent and Pyke, and though she doesn’t have quite the same budget as some of her amazing clients, she’s has pulled together the prettiest space with the perfect balance of investment pieces and second hand finds. Amongst salvaged treasures from op shops and Mitchell Road Antiques, Dominique’s most impressive bargain is her dining table for two! Constructed from a black steel table base picked up at St Vinnies, and a piece of carrara marble cut to size by a stonemason, it’s the perfect treatment for this tiny dining room.
Prior to moving here, Dominique had been living with friends in a big, beautiful share house just around the corner. When she and Ash decided to move out together, they found themselves on a somewhat depressing hunt for a decent and affordable apartment in Bondi! ‘Boy did we see some doozies’ recalls Dominique, recounting the long list of ‘dark, sad, underground, tiny, stuffy’ apartments they viewed before scoring this one! ‘Although our place does have its quirks, it is bright, with lots of natural light, white walls and timber floorboards’ says Dominique, who was willing to compromise on some things, but not on natural light. The location was also a major drawcard – ‘it’s well located, in the crap part of Bondi – not the romantic part where everyone is good looking and the beach is just a hop skip and a green smoothie away from your doorstep!’ Dominique says! Before signing the lease, she had already measured up the space and drawn up a furniture plan to work out what she needed to buy and where everything was going to go. Now that’s why an interior designer makes an excellent partner / housemate!
Before moving in, Dominique also exploited a few of her interior design trade connections, and bought her very first ‘grown up’ piece of furniture – the beautiful Joe sofa from MCM House. She is also the biggest advocate for investing in Australian art, having saved her pennies to acquire much loved artworks over the years by local painters including Jen Tyers, Rachel Castle and Laura Jones. ‘My Rachel Castle is a pretty special piece’ says Dominique. ‘It was purchased from Rachel’s first painting show at Koskela in 2012, and shortly after I started work at A&P. I begged the lovely chap at Koskela to let me pay it off in instalments and God love him, he must have known how much I wanted it and said yes. It really represents the enlightenment I felt at the time having found my dream job (vomit, but it’s true)’.
Amongst other precious treasures are the photographs over the sofa, taken by Dominique’s dear friend, Sydney photographer Luisa Brimble. ‘She traded these for some dollars towards her recently launched Alphabet Family Journal‘ recalls Dominique, who then gifted them to Ashley for their first anniversary. ‘The one of Bondi, for me, is about our first summer together. I love that big sky’ says Dominique.
When asked to describe her personal aesthetic, Dominique is thoughtful. ‘This is actually something we are asked about at work a lot – the idea of personal style’ she says. ‘People struggle to trust their gut instinct and say a lot things like “but how will I know if it will work? Will it go? etc”. But I have this general idea that if you love something passionately, if you have to have it, then it will work with everything else you already own and will own down the track’ she explains. ‘I don’t like the stuffery and the toffery of interior decoration. I like clean palettes, fresh tones, and the joy of patterns and prints. It is easy to really go for it in interior design. It is much harder practising restraint!’
To learn a little more about delightful Dominique, check out some of the projects she works on at amazing Arent&Pyke, and she also co-edits Arent&Pyke’s excellent In Out Blog (well worth a look!), and when she’s not FLAT OUT with all of that, she has a bit of a freelance floral habit which you can check out over here! What a clever cookie.