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An Art Deco Sydney Apartment With A Cottage Feel

Homes

With its classic interiors and quaint garden, the home of Maddie Brady and Tom Keeley-Reid feels like a country cottage, within walking distance of the beach!

The couple purchased the art deco Randwick apartment last year after an extensive search. Now, their days are spent pottering about in the shared garden, strolling down to the nearby water, and basking in the sun on their custom bench seating.

21st December, 2022

Maddie Brady, project manager at Powerhouse Museum; and Tom Keeley-Reid, associate at BVN Architecture in their Randwick home. Paper lanterns from Wagga Wagga Art Gallery ShopPhotography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Ceramic bowl by Brett Stone. IKEA vase. Cactus from a cactus breeder in Paddington. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Bunnings concrete stool. Hay Mags Soft Modular Sofa. H&M Home vase. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Hay Mags Soft Modular Sofa. H&M Home cushions. IKEA side table and rug. Bunnings concrete stool. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Parker table purchased from Vampt. Glass vase from H&M Home. Chairs saved from the side of the road and gifted by Tom’s mum! Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Alessi egg cups. Ceramic jug from an op shop. Glass vase from H&M Home. Flower sketch by Lea Fernandez. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Parker table purchased from Vampt. Glass vase from H&M Home. Chairs saved from the side of the road and gifted by Tom’s mum. Ceramic bowl by Brett Stone. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Ikea kitchen bench top with natural wax finish. Marble block mortar and pestle from Victoria’s Basement. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Ikea kitchen bench top with natural wax finish. Marble block mortar and pestle from Victoria’s Basement. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Gunter Christmann sketch. Lounge Lovers bed. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Lounge Lovers bed. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Plants in the communal garden. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Looking back towards the kitchen. ‘We had a working bee with our neighbours and revamped this garden bed. Each apartment has its own laundry,’ says Maddie. Photography – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Tess Thyregod

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 21st December 2022

‘It’s very quaint and has the feel of a cute cottage.’ 

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.’

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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