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A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

Homes

A few months ago we brought you the curated maximalist home of interior stylist Jono Fleming… Today, it’s his parent’s turn!

Tracy and Peter Fleming moved into this Neutral Bay penthouse in 2018, following extensive renovations by Jono in collaboration with Strutt Studios. Despite restrictions on structural changes, the team transformed the formerly dated apartment, creating a home inspired by ‘90s New York penthouses.  And the rooftop with views across Sydney Harbour is just the cherry on top!

8th July, 2020

The lounge room. Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ wallpaper from Elliott Clarke. ‘Huggy’ armchair by Sarah Ellison. ‘Zaza’ sofa by King Living. Samsung ‘Frame’ television. Cushions and armchair by Jardan. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ wallpaper from Elliott Clarke. Light from Douglas and Bec. Samsung ‘Frame’ television. Jan Vogelpoel vase from Becker Minty. Teo Oval Serving Bowl by L’Objet from Becker Minty. ‘Huggy’ armchair by Sarah Ellison. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Jan Vogelpoel vase from Becker Minty. Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ wallpaper from Elliott Clarke. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Skateboard by Magnus Gjoen. Vessel on side-table by Milly Dent. Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ wallpaper from Elliott Clarke. Light from Douglas and Bec. Samsung ‘Frame’ television. Jan Vogelpoel vase and ‘Teo Oval’ serving bowl by L’Objet from Becker Minty. ‘Huggy’ chair by Sarah Ellison. ‘Zaza’ sofa by King Living. Samsung ‘Frame’ television. Cushions and armchair by Jardan. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Skateboard by Magnus Gjoen. Vessel on side-table by Milly Dent. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Chairs by Racer from Bludot. ‘Mist’ vase by Jardan. ‘Classique’ dining table from Globewest. Art by Magnus Gjoen. Sconce by Cedar and Moss. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Chairs by Racer from Bludot. ‘Mist’ vase by Jardan. ‘Classique’ dining table from Globewest. Art by Magnus Gjoen. Sconce by Cedar and Moss. Tiles by Academy Tiles. ZIP Water tap. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Tiles by Academy Tiles. ZIP Water tap. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Side table and chairs by West Elm. Gold bowl by Aerin from Becker Minty. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Side table and chairs by West Elm. Gold bowl by Aerin from Becker Minty. Chairs by Racer from Bludot. ‘Mist’ vase by Jardan. ‘Classique’ dining table from Globewest. Art by Magnus Gjoen. Sconce by Cedar and Moss. Kitchen tiles by Academy Tiles. ZIP Water taps. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The Judgement’ by Nunzio Miano. Anthropologie wallpaper. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sconce by Cedar and Moss. HAY vase. King Living bed and Jardan bedding. Anthropologie wallpaper. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sconce by Cedar and Moss. HAY vase. King Living bed and Jardan bedding. Anthropologie wallpaper. ‘The Judgement’ by Nunzio Miano. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The rooftop terrace has some seriously mind-blowing Sydney Harbour views! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Where you want to be on New Year’s Eve! Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 8th July 2020

Tracy and Peter Fleming spent considerable time searching for the perfect spot to retire, and they found it in this Neutral Bay penthouse.

The couple loved the apartment’s size (enough to turn a third bedroom into a walk-in wardrobe for Tracy’s shoes…  #goals !) and of course its views across Sydney Harbour from the outset, but considerable work was required to update the dated interiors. Luckily for Tracy and Peter, their son Jono Fleming is an interior designer, and together with Strutt Studios, he came on board to transform the entire place!

Jono describes the apartment at the time of purchasing as a state of disarray. ‘A product of many years of cosmetic renovations, it had old ripped carpets, layers of wallpaper peeling, and cheap renovations that had dated,’ he says. Ordinarily, the designer would approach a project of this nature by knocking out walls and opening up the space, but a combination of low ceilings, budget limitations and body corporate restrictions meant a plan B needed pursuing. 

In the end, the apartment’s staircase ended up influencing the entire spatial design scheme, calling for fluid curves and organic lines to be incorporated throughout. Jono and Strutt Studios came up with the idea to curve off the ends of structural walls, enabling them to feel more intentional rather than an obstacle in the space. ‘The inclusion of these repeating curves connects each room and also brings a sense of comfort and creativity,’ says Jono. 

The interiors had been subject to many cosmetic updates over the years, from a large raised marble platform in the living space, to an ‘80s gold and black bathroom, and a glossy teal kitchen. Given these mismatched details, Jono and Strutt Studios decided the best solution was to strip these back entirely and start from scratch. Jono describes his vision for the space as ‘a bit quirky – something of a ‘90s New York penthouse filled with art and colour.’ The colour scheme was largely derived from the peachy Kelly Wearstler ‘Graffito’ wallpaper, with soft curves in the furniture choices adding to the retro aesthetic. The choice of statement sconces also plays into this scheme, selected in lieu of wall art and pendants due to the low ceilings. ‘The navy kitchen with the patterned tile was another way to add that artistic aesthetic to the home,’ says Jono. 

One can’t talk about this home without mentioning the amazing rooftop overlooking Sydney Harbour… I mean!? This previously completely blank outdoor space was updated with potted hardy succulents and an outdoor kitchen to form the perfect entertainers haven…’especially come New Years Eve!’ adds Jono. 

The opportunity to collaborate with Strutt Studios was a highlight of this project for Jono, but nothing compares to seeing the enjoyment his parents get from the apartment. ‘It was a very personal project… To see my parents loving the space is all I could ask for!’

Visit Jono Fleming’s website and listen to his podcast House Of Style, featuring conversations with prominent Australian design figures. You can see more Strutt Studios projects on their website, and revisit our feature on founder Sophie Bowers’ home here

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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