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A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Homes

Many interior designers we know tend to err on the side of minimalism – not Jono Fleming! Since moving into his Waterloo apartment in 2015, this Sydney designer has been steadily creating an art and plant-filled haven reflective of his vibrant personality.

Jono’s apartment was newly built when he moved in, allowing him to place his own stamp on the interiors. He chose this building because it was designed by revered Australian design firm SJB, who had instilled a sense of history and character into the space.

1st April, 2020

Jono Fleming’s Waterloo apartment, featuring  the ‘world’s healthiest devil’s ivy!’ Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artworks from top to bottom: French Print by Bonnie Gray; Jardin Majorelle YSL Love 1986;  Snake Face by Neil McCann. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sofa by HK Living from House of Orange; throw by Ferm Living from Designstuff; graphic cushion by LRNCE; wide cushion by Jardan; square cushion from H&M home; vase by Jonathan Adler for H&M Home. Artworks (from left to right): . Twinkles by Kara Rosenlund; Course & Flow by Lisa Madigan; Howqua Track by Kara Rosenlund; French Print by Bonnie Gray; Jardin Majorelle YSL Love 1986; Snake Face, by Neil McCann; Midnight Margaritas by Xander Holliday; Florence Uzi by Magnus Gjoen; Cabazon Dinosaur by Jacqui Turk; Station by Kyle Murrell. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sofa by HK Living from House of Orange; throw by Ferm Living from Designstuff; graphic cushion by LRNCE; wide cushion by Jardan; square cushion from H&M home; vase by Jonathan Adler for H&M Home. Artworks (from left to right): Twinkles by Kara Rosenlund; Course & Flow by Lisa Madigan; Howqua Track by Kara Rosenlund; French Print by Bonnie Gray; Jardin Majorelle YSL Love 1986; Snake Face, by Neil McCann; Midnight Margaritas by Xander Holliday; Florence Uzi by Magnus Gjoen; Cabazon Dinosaur by Jacqui Turk; Station by Kyle Murrell. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bar cart from West Elm. Nordic Landscape artwork from Life Interiors. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Vase by Becker Minty. Florals from My Violet. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Jono purchased an apartment in this building due to the quality design by SJB. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork by George Byrne. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Bed throw by Slowdown Studios from Jardan. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Vase by Memor. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Etched print wallpaper from Anthropologie; pillowcases by Hotel Magique and Jardan; lamp by HK Living from House of Orange. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

‘It was the attention to detail and the way the apartments were finished that really drew me in,’ says Jono of his apartment. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Jono’s lush inner-city, outdoor space! Toro Lounge Chair from Blu Dot.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Even though this building was brand new when Jono purchased in 2015, it featured design elements normally only found in decades old homes – like this distinctive external brickwork.  Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

The interior designer, stylist  and podcast host himself, Jono Fleming! Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 1st April 2020

‘I had never seen a new build with so much character, but also blank enough for me to bring my own aesthetic in.’ – Jono Fleming

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!) 

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First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

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