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An Artist’s Art Deco Apartment With Incredible Views Of Bondi Beach!

Homes

If you’ve ever been to Bondi Beach, you’ve likely looked up at the apartments directly opposite, and wondered  who lives there, and wakes up to *that* view every morning. Daimon Downey and Georgia Gorman are two of these lucky people, as the occupants of an apartment located above a restaurant and a surf shop. Does it get any more ‘Sydney’ than that?!

This apartment has been Daimon’s home for over 10 years, and the place you’ll often find him creating art while looking out at the expansive ocean views. The colour-filled space is a reflection of his current work, and to some extent, the chaos and energy of his former lives as a DJ, restaurateur and member of the iconic 2000s band Sneaky Sound System (!)

24th June, 2020

The coffee table used to be a dance podium (!) salvaged from the former Bondy’s nightclub that Daimon co-owned. Upside-down hat light shade from Édouard Loubet’s hotel in the French countryside, Le Bastide De Capelongue. Marcel Breuer chairs and MCM House couch and sideboard. Yep, that’s a Versace cushion! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

MCM House couch. Artwork by Fiona White. Daimon did the painting on the right himself when he was 16! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Daimon with his art. The most sunny pair of yellow jeans, purchased from ‘a secret location in Capri’. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Artwork by Daimon. MCM House couch. Cushions from Nazar Rug Galleries in Paddington. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

A view over Bondi beach. We could get used to this…! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

‘I pointed out this frog bowl in a gallery in Melbourne when I was seven, then it was sent to me by a family friend the next birthday… It’s amazing it has survived!’ says Daimon. The vase and sculpture were made by Daimon. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Daimon in his natural habitat. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

‘The Black on Black two panel painting is by Brett Chan who was a superstar in the professional skateboard world but is now a brilliant future-primitive artist and music producer!’ says Daimon. Italian armchair by Arflex. Abstract panel by Beni Single, a professional rollerblader! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Ceramic cockatoo from The Antique Centre Surry Hills. Wood sculpture from Surry Hills Market. Polka dot vases by Daimon. Books from MONA and Gertrude and Alice. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Cockatoo statue from The Antique Centre Surry Hills. Greek bust collage artwork by Daimon. Small works by Pornthep Chipfong… an Indonesian artist that Daimon sourced with Charlie Hinckfuss at an art fair they put on in 2010. Italian blown glass light from Francalia. Ceramic vases were part of a collection Daimon made for his nightclub Bondy’s. Side board MCM House. Carved wood sculpture from Surry Hills Market. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Art collected from Daimon’s past shows. Vase by Daimon. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Vintage and new Le Creuset pots and pans, which Daimon is totally addicted to! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Smeg fridge. Vase on fridge by Rose Metzner. MCM House table. Bowl from Frattelli Fresh homewares shop. Table vase by Daimon. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

One-off Modernica LA Chair hand painted by Mary Shackman. Disco ball from from former night club, Bondy’s. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Test prints for his Matteo Collection. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Daimon’s sketches up close. Most of his artwork is painted with Dulux paints, as well as the walls of his home. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

A look at the studio. Studio tables from Lemon Tree Restaurant which Daimon co-owned. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 24th June 2020

‘Colour is very important to me, both in the house, in my work, what I wear, and where I go.’ – Daimon Downey

Before Daimon Downey moved into this Bondi Beach apartment, he spent years visiting the property when it was previously occupied by his friend, art dealer Tim Klingender. Daimon was always taken with the home, including its ornate plaster ceilings in every room and of course THOSE incredible beach views. So when Tim decided to move on, Daimon jumped at the opportunity to move in. ‘After 10 years they moved to Byron to breed, and my pleas to take over when they left were answered and here we are!’ Daimon says. He and his fiance Georgia Gorman now rent the property from a dear friend who owns the whole building, and lives on the top floor. 

The classic art deco apartment is one of two positioned above a restaurant and a surf shop. The space is home to the couple and their two cats, as well as Daimon’s art studio, allowing him the freedom to paint in a sunny home studio with an ‘in-your-face ocean view.’ as he describes it. ‘I will never get sick of working at home as long as the sea’s horizon is in my sights,’ Daimon says. 

With its pastel walls and unexpected details, stepping into this home is like stepping into one of Daimon’s paintings. ‘Colour is very important to me both in the house, in my work, what I wear, and where I go,’ he says. Countless artworks by Daimon and other artists hang on the walls, serving as the main focal point of every room. ‘Some call it maximalist, but I still think there’s room to collect more. It’s unmistakably ours – loads of colour and an eclectic collection of memories as things.’

The couple haven’t had to do too much to make this home their own. ‘We stripped back the floorboards to reveal the true colour of stunning red jarrah, and popped some Dulux up on the walls to give it some love and life. The rest was here to begin,’ says Daimon. ‘She’s an old beauty that just needed a little Botox and that’s it!’ 

Prior to establishing his art practice, Daimon was a DJ, a founding member of the band Sneaky Sound System, and the owner of various restaurants. While his day-to-day life is now a quieter existence, the iconic location of his home ensures Daimon is never far from the action! 

Prints of Daimon’s work are available to purchase via his website. Stay tuned for his next exhibition planned for October this year in Paddington!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net