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A Sweet Art Deco Family Apartment In Bellevue Hill

Homes

There’s a European feel to the home of Nicole Nelius – an art deco apartment in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill.

The artist and her husband Christopher Nelius (director of films like Girls Can’t Surf and co-founder of global wildlife fund The Lion’s Share) lives here with their two sons Remy (5) and August (2), surrounded by artworks, books and secondhand finds. 

With numerous parks and beaches on their doorstep, it’s the ultimate Eastern Suburbs apartment!

2nd February, 2022

Artwork on left wall: Melon on Blue photo print by Nicole Nelius. Artwork on gallery wall from left to right: Purple fruit bowl collage by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, painting by Gabrielle Penfold, painting by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, beach umbrella painting by Tiffany Wollman, fruit painting by Studio Pihan, vintage original matisse poster from French flea market, tree painting by Aleksandra LeGreca, collage by Nicole Nelius, poppies painting found on Etsy, small nashi pears painting by Anh Nguyen, small painting by Lauren Jones, painting by Remy Nelius. Pendant light from Dowel Jones. Joe sofa from MCM House. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Melon on Red photo print by Nicole Nelius. Vintage dining table from Lunatiques. Antique dining chairs, 100 year-old family heirlooms. “This is my favourite angle of our place,” says Nicole. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Artwork on wall from left to right: Vintage original matisse poster from French flea market, tree painting by Aleksandra LeGreca, collage by Nicole Nelius, poppies painting found on Etsy, small nashi pears painting by Anh Nguyen, small painting by Lauren Jones, painting by Remy Nelius. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Artwork on left wall: Melon on Blue photo print by Nicole Nelius. Artwork on gallery wall from left to right: Purple fruit bowl collage by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, painting by Gabrielle Penfold, painting by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, beach umbrella painting by Tiffany Wollman, fruit painting by Studio Pihan, vintage original matisse poster from French flea market, tree painting by Aleksandra LeGreca, collage by Nicole Nelius, poppies painting found on Etsy, small nashi pears painting by Anh Nguyen, small painting by Lauren Jones, painting by Remy Nelius. Pendant light from Dowel Jones. Joe sofa from MCM House. Wilfred chair by Jardan. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Vase by Alana Wilson. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Artwork on left wall: Melon on Blue photo print by Nicole Nelius. Artwork on gallery wall from left to right: Purple fruit bowl collage by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, painting by Gabrielle Penfold, painting by Peggi Kroll-Roberts, beach umbrella painting by Tiffany Wollman, fruit painting by Studio Pihan, vintage original matisse poster from French flea market, tree painting by Aleksandra LeGreca, collage by Nicole Nelius, poppies painting found on Etsy, small nashi pears painting by Anh Nguyen. Pendant light from Dowel Jones. Wilfred chair by JardanPhoto – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Rug sourced from a trip to Marrakech. Banks Lantern 70 pendant light from Society Inc. “We love the archway feature in our home, it feels very European,” says Nicole. “I imagine it with a big, draped striped curtain one day, like a doorway on the Italian Riviera.” Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

The Kantha quilt on the bed was a vintage find. The sun wire sculpture is by Ryder Jones. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Vase with flower by Alana Wilson. Framed painting by Lucy Roleff. Classica lamp in Rosa by Oscar Picollo. Painting on wall Remigio by Nicole Nelius. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Mirror from Life Interiors. Vase with flower by Alana Wilson. Framed painting by Lucy Roleff. Classica lamp in Rosa by Oscar Picollo. Painting on wall Remigio by Nicole Nelius. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

“We love our galley kitchen,” says Nicole. All ceramics are thrift store finds and the framed lithograph pages are from a vintage Italian book on botany. The brass rail, hooks and clips are from The Society Inc. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Artwork above the bed by Remy Nelius. Bed linen from Milou Milou. Face the Foliage print by Justina Blakeney. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Celestial Fruit painting by Nicole Nelius. Vintage painting from Etsy. Framed painting by Sam Michelle. Blue Shell painting by Nicole Nelius. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Vessel by Alana Wilson. Artwork bought in Mexico City. Painting by Remy Nelius. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Wooden artwork on far wall by Tiffany Wollman. Felt artwork by Rachel Castle. Bed linen from Milou Milou. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 2nd February 2022

‘Every corner is truly lived-in and each room constantly in flux.’ – Nicole Nelius

It took a year of searching and a buyer’s agent to locate artist Nicole Nelius and film director Christopher Nelius’ perfect home, but they finally found it in this Bellevue Hill art deco apartment. 

The apartment is large for inner-eastern Sydney, containing three bedrooms across a 90 square metre floor plan. The couple’s sons Remy (5) and August (2) share a bedroom, while the third is a rotating study, bedroom, and place to retreat. ‘We have a daybed in there that we love to have our morning coffee and curl up with a book on,’ says Nicole. 

The space had been beautifully renovated by the previous owner, introducing a new kitchen and fresh canvas for the family to build on. ‘She also added height to the doorways leading to the kitchen and the living areas, which give the entire space a larger, airier feel,’ says Nicole. ‘We have changed all the fittings to brass, to soften the space and align with the era of the home.’

The family’s eclectic styling is made up of heirlooms and artworks collected over many years, anchored by key pieces of contemporary furniture. And while the walls remain white, nearly every piece of furniture and decor here injects a pop of colour! ‘Even our bedding is double-sided to maximise colour options!’ says Nicole. ‘I don’t need bold, but I do love colour.’

Ever-changing natural light also serves as its own unique feature of the space. ‘Throughout the day the light plays on the walls in really magical, fleeting ways. I could wall-watch the day away,’ says Nicole. 

Nicole and Christopher love living in the inner East of Sydney, close to parks, beaches, and their children’s activities. In just a few minutes’ walk they can find themselves enjoying ocean view, or exploring the urban rainforest that is Cooper Park. 

‘It has a very European apartment feel as well. Every corner is truly lived-in and each room constantly in flux,’ says Nicole of her home. ‘You may not see the Lego on the floors right now, but I assure you that it is everywhere!’

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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