Newly built apartments sadly have a reputation for often being a little uninspiring, so when interior designer Jono Fleming set out apartment hunting in inner-city Sydney, he began by researching multi-residential projects by architecture firms he admired. ‘I admittedly was looking specifically at ‘designer’ apartments,’ Jono says. ‘I wanted to know I was investing in quality, and the firms I was familiar with would come with this guarantee.’
Jono’s strategy worked, leading him to discover a new project by SJB in Waterloo. ‘I had never seen a new build with so much character, but also blank enough for me to bring my own aesthetic in,’ he says. Even though the building was entirely new, the apartments contained design elements normally only found in decades old homes. ‘Beautiful detailed architraves, herringbone floors, and an exposed painted brick wall made the entire space feel like it had some history to it,’ says Jono. ‘It was the attention to detail and the way the apartments were finished that really drew me in.’
Since purchasing the property in 2015, Jono’s home has evolved into a richly layered, character-filled space. To offset the neutral palette of the apartment bones, Jono has introduced colour through art, accessories and furniture, particularly in the living room. The hero of this space is of course the army green sofa by HK Living from House Of Orange, which is surrounded by an evolving gallery wall and the ‘world’s healthiest devil’s ivy.’ ‘This plant just keeps growing and softens the entire space,’ Jono says. ‘Contrasted against the bricks and the industrial black paned windows, the ivy has become my favourite thing in the entire home. I have no idea what I’m going to do if I were to ever move.’
The nature of Jono’s work as a designer and stylist means he’s constantly sourcing new props for styling, many of which inevitably end up in his personal collection. While previously these items were scattered across the apartment, he’s now installed a wall of shelves in the study, where all his new acquisitions and styling props are organised by colour.
Jono’s apartment shows that finding your own home styling aesthetic can take time, even for the professionals! ‘It was originally a very, dare I say, ‘scandi’ vibe with lots of neutrals, pops of blush and a reindeer hide’, he recalls. These days, Jono calls himself a ‘curated maximalist’ with a space that’s a much better reflection of his personality and style.
Check out Jono’s amazing podcast, House Of Style, featuring conversations with prominent Australian design figures hosted alongside stylist Kerri Ann Jones…. including an episode featuring me (Lucy!)