European Antiques and Beachy Whites Blend in This Spirited Sydney Home
The squiggly headboard is just the beginning.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:57 AM
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Bed Threads founder Genevieve Rosen-Biller takes us inside the homes of Australia’s top designers and creatives.
Sydney-based interior architect Phoebe Nicol might be one of Australia’s busiest design talents. In addition to running her eponymous studio, Nicol oversees The Vault, an online antique marketplace that sells vintage furniture sourced from around the world. But with a CV peppered with award-winning projects (and a self-curated trove of unique objects to decorate them with), it is perhaps Nicol’s home that is her greatest piece of work.
The narrow, two-story home sits in the heart of Kings Cross and offers a master class in thoughtful, layered, and intelligent home design. Mixing museum-quality accents with modern comforts, Nicol’s personal collection of art and old-world treasures is situated against a backdrop of warm woods and white soft furnishings in a way that feels surprisingly modern. Italian marble, Breuer Cesca chairs, and French 1940s Art Deco lamps punctuate the space, and subtle pops of dark ochre run throughout. As Nicol told us herself, “Choosing my favorite item in the house is almost impossible.” (For us, too.)
How would you describe what you do for a living?
I seek to create spaces led by emotion rather than by any one style. Houses should be timeless yet current. It is also important that each project be appropriate for the client. All of my interiors have an underlying structure and order that is basically modern, then it’s simply a matter of overlaying it with custom furnishings.
How did you know this was the space for you?
It appealed to me because it was a terrace—narrow but still a terrace. Everything else on the market I could afford at the time was an apartment. I loved the fact that I had a front door and I could just walk out onto the street; that won me over. This particular row of terraces has such appeal; they are all original workers’ cottages. Plus, I love the area!
What was the thought process behind how you styled the space?
Our house is very small (and full)! We have a lot of beautiful furniture pieces and art. I guess my palette is restricted to enable that. Because the space is so small, I went with white on white. The voice is in the furnishings and the art—they speak for themselves.
You have an incredible art collection; where did your appreciation begin?
I’ve been interested in art and design since I was around 10 years old. I was aware of it from very early on. I grew up with an expressive and extremely creative mother, who is an interior designer. So decorating and collecting is in my blood. I’ve been exposed to fabulous objects and artwork from a young age.
Read the full interview on Bed Threads.