It’s been more than six months since I moved from Perth to Canberra, but in that time I’ve ended up spending more time in Perth than in Canberra, for one reason or another. Now for the first time I’m actually going to be in Canberra for a decent stint, with no trips back to Perth planned for the immediate future! So this seemed like a good time to share some photos from our little home here. Little is definitely the word, as we’re in a tiny one bedroom apartment here. It was a bit of an adjustment after our not-huge-but-very-comfortable 3 bedroom home in Perth, but I’ve quite enjoyed the challenges it’s thrown up. I find the more restrictions you have – and here we had space and financial restrictions – the more creative you need to be, and sometimes you come up with ideas you never would have had otherwise. Within about three days of being here I had put my stamp on our little space and made it feel like our home.
We chose this apartment partly because of its location (it’s in Lyneham, which is a nice green area, and walking distance from a couple of good bars and shops), because it had a little outdoor area (yay!), and because of its aspect – it faces east but has lots of windows on the north side so it’s lovely and sunny, which makes such a difference. It’s also a brand new apartment, which in the absence of a beautiful old house (which are few and far between in Canberra) is kind of nice.
Apart from the bathroom and bedroom there is just one room, with the kitchen running down one wall. It’s a small space, and only a rental, but with a few little touches we’ve managed to make it our own.
I began the leaf wall when I first moved here and started going for daily walks around the neighbourhood. I was so amazed (and still am) by how beautiful and green it is here and most days I collect a bit of greenery or a feather on my walk and add it to the wall. I really miss having a garden so I find as many ways as I can to bring bits of greenery indoors. The beautiful woven basket is one of my most prized possessions! Last year I became really interested in the work of indigenous Australian basket weavers and James gave me this piece for Christmas, which is from the National Gallery. The red fan is from an amazing shop in Berlin called Manufactum.
I really love our table from Tressel Table Co., which doubles as a workspace. The only furniture we brought over from Perth was our bed – everything else went into storage and we picked up just the necessities over here. The table is the one piece that was a bit special (although not expensive, as tables go) and is something we plan to keep and hopefully use as a desk down the track. The little tray above is by Oelwein; the salt dish is from Funkis; the coasters are by Filzfelt; the pepper mill was bought in Turkey and the little bottles are from Mr Sparrow.
I picked up this 1950s-style sideboard and the chair at Mugga Lane Recycling Centre for $20 for the lot! The sideboard came with doors that were locked…and no key. After trying every trick in the book to get them open, James eventually ended up ripping them off and the result is these open shelves, which I actually much prefer. The few pieces of art on top of the sideboard are favourites brought over from Perth, including a watercolour of Kafka by our friend Anne. We’re not allowed to put hooks up in our walls here (ah, the joys of renting!), so tabletop displays are the way to go…everything we have on the walls is up there with non-damaging sticky stuff. The books and the lamp also came over from Perth; the wooden deer is from an amazing vintage shop called Grandpa’s Shed in Fitzroy Falls; the fluro orange magnetic sticks are by Daniel:Emma (from Mr Sparrow); the little wooden houses are from BLANK; the vase was a Christmas present from my mum from Venn.
Our sofa and coffee table were cheap pieces James picked up as soon as he got here. The sofa converts to a bed, which is handy, but it’s an ugly red vinyl, so we keep it covered with a mix of bright, patterned throws and cushions. The blue and yellow vintage sari throw is from Prismera Design and the red patterned one is from Bali. The cushions are from various places – my favourites are the yellow velvet penny round cushion from Castle, the little square one made by Eko using nani IRO fabric, and the medium square one by Imogen Heath.
The fun thing about moving here and leaving all our stuff in storage was that it gave me the opportunity to scour all the local op shops and salvage yards for a new mish mash of plates, glasses and mugs! My favourite find was a pair of 1960s Swedish serving bowls (that’s one holding the fruit), which I picked up at an op shop for a song. The yellow and white candle holder/vase is from Venn; the little house incense burner is from Mr Sparrow; I wrote a DIY on making the dipped kitchen utensils back here; the envelope above is where I pop little bits of memorabilia from each month; the soft toys were take home gifts from Eko’s boys’ first birthday.
Our bedroom is only small but nice and light and bright. The bunting was a housewarming gift from Angy, who I met through Mr Sparrow; I wrote a DIY on making the paper wreath back here; the velvet cushions are by Kip & Co and were a sweet gift from Jelena when she bought Mr Sparrow.