We’re fortunate at est to be able to spend many of our days interviewing designers, architects and other creative individuals, and sometimes even peeking into their homes. Interestingly, when asked about their interior influences, architects and designers don’t cite their peers – they’re inspired by the homes of other ‘types’ of creatives – of artists, musicians, filmmakers and so on.
We were reminded of this cross-discipline curiosity when chatting with the delightful Andrea Sullivan recently. An artist working primarily in oil on linen, watercolour and handmade paper, Sullivan’s creativity shines through in her Sydney home, where colour, pattern and texture vie for your attention yet never overwhelm the overall aesthetic. It’s clear that this is a home that celebrates both contemporary design and the highs of the midcentury masters, lovingly collected over many years and locations.
In partnership with Space Furniture, we spoke with Andrea about her interior inspiration, particularly loved furniture and design objects and what makes a house a home.
How does your artistic practice influence your decisions around your space and interior style?
Andrea Sullivan: I’m inspired by the natural world in my artistic practices but have an equal love for design which increasingly informs my art. I primarily focus on colour and form in my artmaking. I find that my interior style draws upon the same principles. I endeavour to create spaces that are colourful, warm, textured and happy. I have lived in five countries and traveled quite extensively. My life experiences and adventures have informed my art and interior style.
What changes did you make to the original home when you moved in?
Andrea Sullivan: The house was built in 1964 and had not changed much over the years. Lots of wallpapers and shag carpets but you could clearly see that it was once a much loved family home. Before we moved in, we had the house painted inside and out. Laid timber flooring throughout and addressed three of the four outdoor spaces.
Tell us about some of your favourite pieces in the home. What makes them special?
Andrea Sullivan: The ‘Tufty Time’ sofa is a definite favourite. It’s the anchor piece for the living room. I love to play around with possible arrangements in the space. I am fortunate enough to have quite a large living area which allows for many different configurations. I have three colours in my ‘Tufty Time’ so that adds to its playfulness and fun.
‘Button’ side table which sits near the Tufty Time sofa in the living room. I love its glossy vermillion orange base with the matte Carrara marble top. It’s a perfect juxtaposition. It has a beautiful little detailed rim and its as cute as a button! It makes me smile.
The ‘Dandelion’ pendant light that hangs above my dining table. It’s such a fun and energetic piece. I love the repetition of the circles exploding out from the centre. It’s quite sculptural in its form and scale. It also reminds me of my childhood….running to catch a dandelion to make a wish.
‘Container Table’ is my outdoor dining table. It’s a strong, robust circular table and a wonderful alternative to the usual wooden table for the outdoors. I love that it has a centre column that you fill up with water or sand to stabilise it and that it has no legs to worry about, therefore making it easy to place different types of chairs around it.
Why did you choose these particular pieces?
Andrea Sullivan: I chose these particular pieces for their simplicity of form and sculptural design. I love MCM design and often the pieces speak to me of this era. The ‘Tufty Time’ sofa for example was informed by the Chesterfield sofa and the 1970s ‘Soriana’ sofa by Afra & Tobias Scarpa. The ‘Soriana’ is my all time favourite sofa. I also love design that is a little offbeat, quirky and fun.
Who or what inspires your interior style?
Andrea Sullivan: So many things inspire me. I love mid century modern (MCM) architecture and design. I’ve had a few trips to Palm Springs to visit MCM homes. Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘Fallingwater’ home in Pennsylvania and Philip Johnson’s ‘Glass House’ in Connecticut were hugely inspiring too.
Patricia Urquiola is a favourite contemporary designer. I seem to love everything that she designs. I adore the work of Dimore Studio for their eclectic, colourful and perfect fusion of the old and new. They create such decadent and luxurious spaces. My favourite time periods for design and art is from the 50-70s coupled with contemporary art and design of today.
What makes a house a home to you?
Andrea Sullivan: A home nurtures us and it evolves and changes as we do. It houses the energy of the people who live it. The furniture and objects we choose to place in the home all contribute to its overall energy and flow. It’s where my children and I live but it’s also my creative place, my retreat from the world, my happy and safe place. It’s definitely where my heart is and where I often feel most inspired.