Jordana Johnson, film and TV producer and director, and Charlie Ford, film and TV director and photographer, are living the dream Sydney life in their beautiful Spanish mission apartment located just steps from the beach.
The couple and co-founders of film production company Sweater Weather first discovered the apartment in late 2020 when looking to move further out and be closer to nature. Instead, they found everything they were looking for in the heart of Tamarama: a Spanish mission apartment that looks out to a shared leafy backyard on one side, and ocean views on the other!
‘When we entered the apartment for the first time, we absolutely loved the little European front balcony overlooking the ocean, but it was when we walked through and saw the main bedroom overlooking the boulder and garden that we were sold,’ says Charlie. ‘You can see other houses in the gully, the hills, and the ocean, which sometimes if you squint, makes it feel like you could be in Mexico, California, or in Europe somewhere overlooking the Mediterranean.’
The leafy backyard is seemingly carved from sandstone and located directly below the couple’s living room balcony. Residents in the building utilise this communal space year-round, but especially over Sydney’s 2021 lockdowns where time outdoors was otherwise restricted. ‘We got to know all of our neighbours and found it’s such a lovely community to be a part of… It’s the first time either of us have known all of our neighbours in years,’ says Charlie. ‘We love that communal aspect of it, so does our dog Bibi, who spends most of her days going in and out of everyone’s apartments.’
The apartment is smaller than Jordana and Charlie’s previous homes, so they’ve carefully furnished and styled it, so as not to overwhelm the arched windows and twisted interior columns. ‘I guess we’d describe it as warm, considered, inspiring, fun and functional. We didn’t want it to be too perfect or too ‘one style’, like mid-century or contemporary,’ says Charlie.
On every surface are works from the couple’s personal art collection, including paintings and ceramics by friends and Charlie’s late grandfather, Sam Shub. ‘Once he retired, he painted every day for 30 years in his home studio in Melbourne,’ says Charlie. ‘Now that he’s passed away, it’s really special to have these parts of him in my life and a constant reminder of the joy in creating for creating’s sake.’
Charlie has also taken the opportunity to display his own photographic works in the apartment as part of his recent debut solo show, Moods of Wonderland. ‘The show of 21 medium format film images was all captured in our neighbourhood during lockdown, so it felt right to exhibit them in the space that they were created in,’ Charlie says. ‘It was really special to share the works with our friends, strangers and neighbours by welcoming them into our intimate space for two weeks.’
Above all, Jordana and Charlie hope their apartment is comfortable, welcoming, and a place where guests feel at home.
‘Things can get scratched and dented and it just adds to their character, so there are no white couches or fragile rugs or furnishings that could cause us stress,’ Charlie says. ‘We want it just to feel like a space you want to be inside of for hours, and feel inspired to create within.’