This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Inside The Jaw-Dropping Palm Beach Weekender Of Fashion Designer, Heidi Middleton

In Print

The colourful, personality-filled houses of creative people are our bread and butter at TDF. But even we need inspiration sometimes!

A new book by Australian photographer and writer Robyn Lea is exactly what we had in mind. In A Room of Her Own Robyn seeks out female theatre directors, photographers, artists, philosophers and more to suss out the enviable creative spaces they live and work in. From the hills of Tuscany to the hallowed apartments of New York, these twenty women have some seriously covetable working-from-home locations!

The Australian dispatch is courtesy of fashion designer Heidi Middleton (of Sass & Bide acclaim) – from her palatial Palm Beach home. Read an extract below, and peruse the images of her villa-like abode!

30th March, 2021
Robyn Lea
Tuesday 30th March 2021

Internationally acclaimed Australian fashion designer Heidi Middleton was only three years old when she moved with her parents and elder brother to the rural outskirts of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane. Until that point, the family had lived in the conservative enclave of Sydney’s North Shore. ‘My parents are both quite free-spirited, and I think they felt a bit claustrophobic in the city and needed to break free and go on an adventure.’

After studying Commercial Art at Queensland College of Art, then working in advertising as an art director, Heidi joined forces with a local friend, Sarah-Jane Clarke, and started making clothes. They set their sights on a global platform. The first stop was London, where they sold jeans at the Portobello Market. Then in 1999, when their visas were due to expire, they returned to Australia and launched what was to become a cult label: Sass & Bide. Within ten years it had become an international fashion empire.

By 2011, Heidi and Sarah-Jane were ready for a change. They sold the controlling share of their company and stayed on as creative consultants until the remaining share of the business was sold in 2014, and then stepped out of it altogether. Now free to travel, Heidi and her family moved to France for a twelve-month sabbatical. They settled into a light-filled Parisian apartment in the eighth arrondissement and Heidi found a studio in the north-western neighbourhood of Clignancourt, where she reignited her love of painting, drawing, collage and ceramics.

Back in Sydney, Heidi’s lovingly incubated creative concept, ArtClub, was born. The online-only atelier offers rare vintage garments for sale along with Heidi’s paintings and original clothing designs. The antithesis of fast fashion, each new piece is created from remnant fabric that she saves from landfill, and is designed to be handed down through generations. They are sewn in Heidi’s atelier by local collaborators, each of whom signs and numbers the garments like limited-edition artworks before they are mailed to customers.

ArtClub is located in Surry Hills, in the heart of the city and the company has a wonderful buzz and energy. Heidi continues to adjust her life to find the right rhythm and flow, and by living with an open heart and expressing her inner world through art, fashion, poetry and interiors, she has become an inspiring example to like-minded women around the world.

Heidi manages ArtClub from her atelier in Surry Hills in the heart of Sydney and escapes on weekends and holidays to her amazing house in Palm Beach – which looks more like a villa in the Mediterranean than coastal New South Wales.

This extract was shortened for digital re-publication.

‘A Room of Her Own’ is out now from Thames & Hudson. Buy a copy here!

Similar Stories

Homes

An Ultra Stylish Rented Family Home, That Brings A Little NYC Glam to Melbourne

Interior designer Tali Roth has updated her late grandmother's Caulfield North home with treasures sourced over many years.

Homes

The Ultimate Melbourne Penthouse Of Bruce + Chyka Keebaugh

The maximalist inner city apartment of power couple Bruce + Chyka Keebaugh – co-founders of The Big Group!

Homes

A Fashion Designer’s Crisp And Fresh California Bungalow

The stylish Brunswick Californian bungalow of Andy Paltos, co-founder and designer of Rolla’s Jeans, and Kasia Zachwieja.

This Week

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras
1.58

One Room Wonders

Before + After: An Arty + Eclectic Kids Bedroom Transformation

See how we transformed a simple space into a fun and colourful kids bedroom (in just one week!) with Surround by Laminex.
Lucy Feagins
  4 hours ago

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Similar Stories

Homes

An Ultra Stylish Rented Family Home, That Brings A Little NYC Glam to Melbourne

Interior designer Tali Roth has updated her late grandmother's Caulfield North home with treasures sourced over many years.

Homes

The Ultimate Melbourne Penthouse Of Bruce + Chyka Keebaugh

The maximalist inner city apartment of power couple Bruce + Chyka Keebaugh – co-founders of The Big Group!

Homes

A Fashion Designer’s Crisp And Fresh California Bungalow

The stylish Brunswick Californian bungalow of Andy Paltos, co-founder and designer of Rolla’s Jeans, and Kasia Zachwieja.

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