Maddie Brady, project manager at Powerhouse Museum; and Tom Keeley-Reid, associate at BVN Architecture, spent six months searching for a Sydney apartment within walking distance of the beach.
Maddie was reluctant to buy an apartment without a balcony, but after another unsuccessful auction, Tom convinced her to take a look at this Randwick property for sale. While the apartment didn’t have a balcony, it was one of only four in a building with a generous communal garden.
‘We fell in love with the warm light and deco features… The large garden was a huge bonus and something we could never have afforded in a house,’ says Maddie.
Little is known about the history of the Randwick apartment building, although it’s estimated to have been built in 1937.
‘There is a unique art deco cornicing design in each room; the glass front door and no shared walls with the other flats allows light into the apartment from every aspect; and each apartment has a cute little laundry outside,’ says Maddie. ‘It’s very quaint and has the feel of a cute cottage.’
Since moving in, Maddie and Tom have repainted the entire flat in Dulux Lexicon Quarter and removed heavy wooden shutters to emphasise its large windows. ‘Some people think Lexicon Quarter can be a bit cold but it has been perfect for our place as the warmth of the floors works in tandem with the cool white,’ says Maddie.
The personality of the home comes from its original 1930s features, and the couple’s furniture, combining investment pieces with hard rubbish finds. Their existing Hay sofa and Parker dining table were a perfect fit for the space, complemented by a new bench seat custom designed and built by So Watt.
On any given day, you’ll likely find Tom working from the sunlit second bedroom, and Maddie tending to the garden with their neighbour Sharon.
‘It is extremely quiet with sea breezes,’ says Maddie. ‘You’d never know you’re in Sydney.’