A VISUAL LIFE | Creative Direction + Design

Tag: vintage

TYPE-RIGHTER // vintage pub art

Pubs in Australia are part of the suburban landscape and iconic to our culture. It’s a shame that so many are disappearing and being redeveloped into high rise apartment blocks due to the land size and good locations. Luckily there are some that are bought and revamped but it’s a fine balance of keeping the heritage while bringing them to the modern age. The architectural styles of the buildings can vary like Federation or Art Deco but I also find the signage used at the time interesting.

Vintage posters and beer branded signs were commonly displayed because the breweries had major influence over pubs by controlling the choice of beers they sold. Tooth & Co dominated in Sydney and eventually bought out Resch’s, which led to them owning the majority of city pubs. Tooth’s branding is still seen around such as this painted mural at Terminus Hotel in Pyrmont. Posters advertising beer brands were also popular and can still be spotted in older areas like The Rocks. I particularly like this Victoria Bitter one at the Royal Hotel in Bondi as the surfer represents the beach area and the graphic style is reflective of the era.

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STREETSCAPES // industrial pyrmont

Pyrmont was home to the Eora people but soon became an industrial hub as Sydney grew as a colony. Originally established as a sandstone quarry until more industries were introduced such as a sugar refinery. During this expansion many warehouses were built to house these businesses. In the 1800’s, the suburb was also densely populated due to the local workers living in the lovely terraces you can still see today.

Darling Island Bond & Free Store is a beautiful brick structure that has fallen into disrepair. This site began as the Australian Thermite Company Pty Ltd and was roughly built in the early 1900’s. Thermite was a metal oxide mix used for welding, commonly on trains and rail tracks in that period. It changed occupants a couple of decades later and you can still see the faded signage with the painted lettering for Bond & Free Store.

Arrow Marine building was designed by Sydney Harbour Trust’s Chief Engineer, H D Walsh, who changed the face of the harbour waterfront at the time. It was built in 1917, at the same time as the adjacent wharves and was used as a dockside garage and facility for the workmen. This significant building is important as it shows early 20th century design as well as being functional. It is also the only known surviving wharf structure of its type in Sydney with the original timber gable.

In the last decade this area has had major redevelopment with high rise apartment blocks changing the historic landscape. Luckily there are still some traces of this rich history and while some sites have heritage protection, my biggest fear is that more buildings like these will be lost in the future.

WEEKEND WRAP // vinyl dreams

Being a creative I keep adding my plans to a growing checklist of future projects and business concepts. While I’ve always liked the idea of a book shop/café, it’s my love of music and pubs which makes a record store/bar the ultimate dream. Since there’s so many other things in the pipeline this has been just a pipe dream. Mojo Record Bar has done this perfectly, an underground bar located in the heart of Sydney that has been open since 2012. It has a cool vibe and even cooler playlist with great drinks and food. At the entrance there’s a retro record store with racks of new and pre-loved vinyl records and bar stools to sit and drink while browsing.

I’m getting nostalgic here but this place takes me back to the days of spending hours at music stores with friends. I grew up on cult movies like Empire Records wanting to be Liv Tyler so much that I even wore a mini kilt, fluffy sweater and boots (which I still have as I can’t part with them!). Then it was High Fidelity where I wanted to hang with the guys at Championship Vinyl and date John Cusack (who I still want to date!). Since neither of these film plots are happening in my real life, I’ll live out these fantasies at Mojo while I get to work on the rest of my list.

STREETSCAPES // train of thought

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I love the Blue Mountains and I go there regularly to visit family and friends. After moving out of my apartment, I stayed with my parents before I could move into my new house. It was nice living back where I grew up and it gave me a different outlook. When you’re young you can’t wait to leave the familiar and explore a whole new world.

Even though I was busy packing and organising my next move I did enjoy returning to my hometown. Years ago I had grown tired of my surrounds but now I saw it in a new light. An appreciation for the little things like the quiet atmosphere and getting back to nature.

I relished sitting on the intercity train (which I loved since it felt like a Wes Anderson film), reading a book while admiring the adorable historic stations along the way. The commute to the city gave me time to think of the next phase of my life – literally a train of thought.

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!

TYPE-RIGHTER // retro meets exotic

Stanbuli is a modern Turkish restaurant in Enmore established by the Porteno team and chef Ibrahim Kasif. Delicious food is obviously the focus but the architecture and history that abounds in this space is intriguing. Classic interiors with beautiful details such as lights, signs and eclectic photos salvaged from ancient marketplaces in Istanbul.

However it’s the juxtaposition of the famous exterior that adds even more interest. The heritage-listed pastel facade shows the shop was previously the Marie-Louise Salon. Locals say it was left in a time warp with hair products, newspapers and hand written appointment cards. The former owners were George and Nola Mezher, who later opened a soup kitchen in Pitt Street for the homeless after they won the lottery. Their philosophy was that everyone should have a great dining experience and their old salon also pays homage to food.

In this age where so many historic places are being lost to developers, it’s a relief this iconic spot has been left intact and lovingly restored. The vintage typography of the former salon signage complements the retro lines and colours of the shopfront. While the current restaurant logo on the door hints at the exotic fusion that awaits inside.

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