The apartment of Jess Lillico and Sean Fennessy is almost devastatingly sleek, while somehow remaining entirely down-to-earth and liveable. Between Jess’ styling credentials and Sean’s exacting eye – this apartment is the ideal blend of design and comfort.
Over the past five years, the couple have transformed the ‘bad faux-Tuscan 90s’ vibes they inherited when purchasing the home, through intensive renovation in the kitchen and bathroom, and repainting the space. While the pair ‘never planned to live in an apartment’, Sean explains that the late 60s red brick place suits their lifestyle: where there is no need mow the lawn, but ample opportunity to make the space feel like home.
Sean and Jess removed walls, and introduced new lighting to bring the apartment to life. Sean explains ‘we both work in the interiors world, and have seen our fair share of beautiful homes.’ While this was initially overwhelming, the couple have consolidated their extensive know-how to reach a point that Sean describes as ‘finally living in a space that reflects us.’
The apartment is filled with furniture and artwork inspired by shoots the creative couple have worked on, and friends they have worked with. Sean highlights, ‘the Daniel Emma chair is always a talking point, and was part of a trade for some photography we did for them many years ago.’ Other trades include herringbone floors from Storey, the long floating bench from Melbourne Table Company, and stunning artworks by Sanne Mestrom and Emily Ferretti. Other cherished items include the dining chairs, which Jess spotted on the side of the road and lovingly restored.
Sean highlights the ‘afternoon light and warmth’ as a favourite element of their home. Soft shards of sunlight flood the bench seat beneath the window – a perfect breakfast spot. Sean explains ‘it’s so simple, but in an apartment every extra bit of seating and storage makes a difference.’
If you peer closely in one of the photos (which we highly recommend doing, so many delicious details), there is a copy of Teju Cole’s book ‘Blind Spot’ sitting on this shelf. In this text, the photographer and writer explains ‘I am intrigued by the continuity of places, by the singing line that connects them all.’ A fitting sentiment, too, for a home that mirrors the precise aesthetic of two of Australia’s most talented image makers.