Living smack-bang in the middle of a city involves striking a delicate balance of pros and cons. Homes tend to be smaller, but who needs the space when the entire city is your playground? Noise can be an issue, but there’s nothing quite like being in the grip of the bustle to really fuel your hustle.
It’s a trade-off that Carly Rogers, Communications & Media Manager for skincare brands Dermalogica and Murad, knows only too well. Since moving to Sydney from Brisbane almost a decade ago, she’s gravitated towards the inner suburbs, and moved into her current Darlinghurst apartment last August with partner Beau and their ragdoll cat Leo (Kardashian West). A compact one-bedroom, what the apartment lacks in size, it more than makes up for in both charm and proximity to the local scene (one of the city’s coolest bars is literally in their back laneway). There’s also the beautiful windows that run the length of an entire wall and look out onto a surprisingly quiet and tree-lined street. The aesthetic is complemented by the couple’s pared-back decorating style that favours a few oversized and dramatic pieces – a modular sofa, some statement-making artworks – over lots of smaller ones.
It seems Rogers might have found the best of both worlds...
Can you tell us a bit about your home and your interiors style?
My style has always been quite low-key and (for lack of a better word) minimal. I’m into natural colours and fibres like linen and jute. I’ve always loved collecting magazines and books, although on the recent move I cut down quite a lot and basically all I have left is Gentlewoman magazine and my favourite photography books; I’ll never let go of Helmut Newton’s Work and Cowboy Kate by Sam Haskins.
Oh, and I love plants. A house isn’t a home until it resembles a jungle.
What are some of the most treasured objects in your home?
We just invested in an amazing piece by our friend, the artist James Tsang. It’s huge, almost 2m x 2m, so it’s the new focal point for our living room and brings so much more depth to the space. We’re obsessed. Other than that, I’m honestly quite cyclical with everything I own and try not to become too attached. If I buy something, something else has to leave.
What do you enjoy most about living in the inner city?
This area has everything you need: endless cafes, my favourite wine bars (Love, Tilly Devine is in our back alley), and there are so many galleries and gardens within walking distance. We actually toyed with the idea of moving to the NSW Central Coast recently to take a break from how hectic the city can be… but obviously we didn’t quite make it!
Are there any downsides?
My bag was stolen out of my car the other day! I moved here nine years ago from Brisbane, and as time goes on, the sheen definitely starts to wear off. Sometimes you get tired of how busy and built-up it is, and how people barely acknowledge each other in the streets. But the beauty of Sydney is that it’s only a short drive to beach, mountains, waterfalls… We’re pretty fortunate.
How do you like to use scent in your home?
I’m obsessed with scent and I always have a candle burning when I’m home. I love that scents can evoke particular memories and spaces in time. I err on the more masculine side of fragrance (not that I subscribe to traditional gender roles in fragrance!). I’ve always loved ouds and woody, spicy scents. And tobacco, Tom Ford started that one for me. I tend to have a different scent for the bathroom (I’m currently obsessed with showering by candlelight), but honestly once I find a scent I love, I’m loyal to it for a long time. I often think that I should find a fresher scent in summer, but I’m always drawn back to heavier ones, regardless of the season.
What time of day do you most enjoy being at home and why?
Sunday afternoons are my favourite, we get the perfect amount of sun in the bedroom so I’ll often chill there with a book.
Last year you embarked on a pretty epic European trip. What were the highlights?
So epic! I couldn’t pick just one. Berlin is a whole other world, it’s so creative and cool, and obviously a huge contrast to Sydney’s ever-slowing nightlife – some of the clubs only close once a week, which is pretty impressive. Paris is (obviously) magical, but hiring a car and driving down Côte d’Azur, stopping at wineries and hidden beaches was pretty special. I flew in solo to Barcelona before meeting friends and spent a fair amount of time wandering around the city to appreciate the Gaudí buildings and drink martinis on rooftops. The Rooftop at the Mandarin Oriental is a must.
From there I went to Copenhagen, which is hands-down the chicest place in the world (everything you’ve heard is true). It’s like walking into a Ganni lookbook. Must-visits include Bevi Bevi for aperol spritzes and buffalo mozzarella, Acne Archive for obvious reasons, and please don’t go to Denmark without going to Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, it’s an hour’s bus ride out of Copenhagen but it’s the most amazing gallery I’ve ever seen. And so much more risque than anything you’d get in Australia. They had a Marina Abramović exhibition on when I was there, complete with two nude people standing in a doorway (to replicate one of her performance pieces from the 70s).
Are there any specific scents that you connect with the places you visited?
I wore L’Insomnuit by Robert Piguet on my entire trip and it still reminds me of Europe.
Can you share any advice for making travel more comfortable, especially long-haul flights?
I’m a big advocate of melatonin for sleep on long-haul flights! I always download my favourite podcasts and a new audiobook prior. A large part of my long-haul ritual focuses on skincare; so many friends ask me why they break out on flights, and a lot of it has to do with keeping your skin sufficiently hydrated. I apply Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque liberally and regularly – it’s clear, so you look completely normal.
Which products from the Lumira range are you most enjoying at the moment?
I’ve always been obsessed with the concept of the travel candles, they’re the perfect size to slip into your luggage and make any Airbnb or hotel feel so much more special. I also love the fact that Lumira has a candle with an oud scent in the range (Arabian Oud)– honestly, I feel like these can be difficult to come across in our market!
Photography by Kath Mclean, Bright Photography
Interview by Michelle Bateman