A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: art deco

TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage branding

Discovering and documenting historic signage has become a hobby of mine. I’m always on the lookout for faded signwriting, vintage advertising and retro posters. With so much redevelopment in Sydney I am finding that many of these treasures from our past are being lost. Even looking back at my Instagram, it’s shocking to see how many of the images I’ve posted don’t exist anymore. These signs were taken on Devonshire Street which is being overhauled thanks to the new light rail route, so I’m just hoping they won’t disappear too. In particular, my love for classic Australian brands with a long heritage are my favourite finds. Even though Tooth’s brewery no longer goes by that name, some old signs are still on display which I’ve discussed before in a previous post about pub art. Bushells is instantly recognisable as it’s a national icon that has been around since 1883. Working in design, I enjoy seeing how these brands have evolved and how these examples remind us of our childhood and the culture of our country.

DEAR DIARY // winter blues

I have a confession and I know I’m going to sound like a typical Sydneysider, but I’m not a fan of winter – AT ALL. It’s only the beginning of the season but I’m already dreaming of warmer climes. While sitting at home drinking endless cups of coffee by the heater, I’m transported to Mykonos having cocktails on the beach. When walking in the rain past this aqua apartment block in Bondi, I’m strolling under the sun among the pastel buildings in Miami. I’ll just have to play out these illusions until I work out a lifestyle where I can travel the world enjoying an endless summer.

HOUSE CALL // moving on

After much deliberation I decided to leave my beloved Art Deco apartment. It served me well for many years and always felt welcoming after a busy day. With no major reasons for moving, it was more of a feeling that I needed to move on and was ready for a change. I am sentimental about leaving but also excited about this new chapter.

Going from apartment living to a house may have new challenges but we’ll soon see how it goes. I have plans to renovate/redecorate but it may take a while. As soon as I’m unpacked (by the way I’m in no rush), I will share my new space. First I need to recover from moving twice! Not ideal but it’s the way things panned out. Here are some things I learnt about moving.

Lesson 1 – Don’t decide to move around Christmas (I was so busy with end of year work/shopping/festivities that I didn’t have time to plan packing).

Lesson 2 – Don’t actually move in January (I had to cut my holidays short to rush home and frantically pack).

Lesson 3 – Don’t move in Summer (It was sweltering hot every single day I had to pack and/or move stuff).

These were extra hurdles all due to my bad timing. Apart from this it’s the usual advice of packing as early as you can, labelling boxes with detailed descriptions and most of all culling so you’re not lugging unwanted items with you to the next place. None of which I did – but I’ve survived!

HOUSE CALL // warehouse wishlist

As you can probably tell I have a love for architecture. Who knows, if I hadn’t become a graphic designer I might have been an architect? I’ve always loved Mid Century Modern design and I still aspire to owning one of those iconic houses one day. Art Deco is another era I adore and my apartment building is testament to this. Looking through all the interior references I’ve collected I’ve worked out that I’m also partial to the bohemian beach shack style.

Polar opposite to all these styles is my love for that urban industrial look. I’d be so happy to take on any of these warehouses to renovate. These factories in the inner west have elements of the period features that I’ve mentioned. My wishlist would be exposed brick, timber rafters and concrete floors. An open plan space with a designated studio would be ideal. The plan was to move beach-side but I could be tempted…

STREETSCAPES // woolloomooloo

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Woolloomooloo is an inner-city area that has undergone major redevelopment in recent years. This has transformed its historic working-class past to a modern harbourside hub with an array of options in the arts, dining and culture. An urban pocket that still retains plenty of character with charming old apartments and warehouses in an eclectic mix of styles. Crossing over different eras in architecture creating an interesting diversity that reflects the heritage of Sydney and its evolution.

HOUSE CALL // joanna, sydney


vintage coat stand – David Met Nicole (sadly closed) // artwork – Warwick Orme // art deco vintage armchairs – Claphams Furniture and Antiques // vintage side table – Vampt Vintage Design // planter – Ikea // cushions – Cloth Fabric


french vintage metal storage boxes – quintessential duckeggBLUE // tissue box – My Island Home // candle – The Little Candle Shop // feathers – found


vintage medical cabinet – David Met Nicole (sadly closed) // brown jar – Aesop // vintage tins, matchbox, enamel plates, compact – found // sugar bowl, creamer, glass bottles – Bondi markets // candle – Moontree

I thought I would show you a few pics of some of my favourite spots from around my own home. Those Art Deco armchairs have a matching three seater lounge and were an amazing find. Years ago I was driving on the way to a friend’s place and went past a vintage store and they caught my eye. Needless to say a quick u-turn and an even quicker purchase only delayed me a little – lucky I have understanding friends! They were originally in a red woven fabric but were worn out and tired. I took them to an amazing upholsterer who fixed all the springs and made new cushions and covered them in this luxurious tan leather.

Looking around I realised nearly all my pieces are pre-loved but I love the look and the stories that come with them. Even in the display cabinet above I have mixed some finds from vintage stores with personal items like those tins and matchbox from my Dad. I was one of those kids who was always going through my parents cupboards hunting for treasures. Actually I still do when I visit them, but Mum doesn’t mind as it helps her de-clutter too.

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