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Studio 6, 1-7 Unwins Bridge Rd
St Peters NSW 2044
Australia

+61 414 808 205

LUMIRA is a luxury scented candle and fragrance house founded by Almira Armstrong in Sydney, Australia. LUMIRA fragrances are your luxury lifestyle essentials. Copyright 2018 Atelier Lumira.

Journal

Filtering by Category: AT HOME WITH

At Home With Phoebe Ghorayeb

Almira Armstrong

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When a model and a fashion photographer move in together, you’d expect their home to be nothing less than picture-perfect. And in the case of Phoebe Ghorayeb and her husband Georges Antoni, you’d be absolutely spot on. Georges has called this North Bondi apartment home for the past decade, while Phoebe says she “wormed my way in about seven years ago”. Then, eight months ago, baby Valentina came along. “Since having her, she really makes our place feel like home.”

Valentina’s arrival has also necessitated a few more practical changes: a glass-topped coffee table in the living room has been replaced by a plush velvet ottoman, and a seating area in the bedroom has been converted into a baby change table and storage. “Our final big change will be on the balcony. Our outdoor dining table and chairs could potentially double up as a child’s climbing wall so it’s time to get rid of them and leave the space open for Valentina to run around, ride her bike or play a spot of mini golf. Much more appropriate for fearless and inquisitive babies.” 

One of the clear advantages of living with a top photographer is having a never-ending supply of art to adorn each wall, and the couple recently updated all the pictures in their living room and hallway. “The photos on our back living room wall are all art or fashion images taken by Georges, and on the opposite wall are photos of our family and friends on our wedding day,” Phoebe explains. “In the hallway we have Georges’ holiday or documentary images on one side, and on the opposite side are three huge 2m-high photos from one of his personal shoots. It’s a real mish-mash but each area of our home evokes a different feeling depending on the photos.”

With the artwork as a focal point, and views from the balcony straight over Bondi beach, the rest of the interior has been kept simple, soft and very chic. Given Phoebe’s love of entertaining (chronicled in her foodie website Model Appetite), it’s the ideal setting to relax with friends.

How would you describe your interiors style?

I’m a bit of a tidy freak. Everything has a place and must remain in said place. I don’t do well with clutter and disorder, unless it’s for artistic purposes. I love minimal amounts of furniture and fuss but I still want the pieces themselves to be bold and striking with a few soft touches. 

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What is your favourite thing in your home?

I really love our fiddle leaf plant. It’s quite new so still looks fresh and vibrant (long may it last). I think greenery is an important component to making a place feel homely.

What time of day do you most enjoy being there?

Late afternoon. We get really beautiful sunsets over Bondi. The sky lights up pink and orange and we have a great view overlooking both Bondi and the beach. I find it a really peaceful time of day. It’s also when Valentina wakes up from her afternoon nap and if I’ve ticked everything off on my to-do list for the day, I get to spend a couple of hours just being mum. It’s also countdown to Georges being on his way home. 

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What are some of the most treasured objects in your home?

I can’t say I have many treasured objects in our home. There’s not much that I would miss should I have to let it go. I’m not a very materialistic person, for me it’s more about experiences, time with people I care about and treasured memories. However, the group photo taken on our wedding day has pride of place on our mantelpiece. It’s such a happy photo and really captures the energy and love we were surrounded with on that day. 

The photos on our back living room wall are all art or fashion images taken by Georges, and on the opposite wall are photos of our family and friends on our wedding day.

How do you like to use scent in your home?

I love to light candles when we host dinner parties. I remember my mum always doing it and I thought it was such a grown-up thing to do. It seemed so fancy and elegant and I guess that’s just stayed with me into my adult life. Not only do they smell amazing but they add a touch of glam. 

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Do you gravitate towards any particular notes or fragrances for the home?

I prefer spicy, woody fragrances for the home. I find florals can be quite overpowering and I prefer the subtlety of more earthy notes. 

Your website Model Appetite is devoted to your love of food. What’s your favourite thing to cook at home?

I love baking! Although sadly, it’s not much of a regular activity as it usually requires inordinate amounts of sugar, flour and chocolate. All the good stuff! When I’m not knee-deep in dough, I love cooking really simple, flavourful meals. I’m not much of a throw-it-together et voila kind of cook, I much prefer to follow a recipe. 

As a model with family on the other side of the world, you’ve travelled a lot. What have been some of your most memorable trips?

Mine and Georges’ babymoon to Sicily. We flew into Palermo, hired a car and spent two and a half weeks road-tripping around the island. It was such a freeing experience, stopping off wherever we fancied, following our noses to some amazing restaurants and soaking up the last holiday for a while as just two. I also can’t forget our wedding. Two weeks in Italy followed by a two-week cruise around the Mediterranean with our family. Cruising is my new favourite way to holiday. Highly recommend it!

Which products from the Lumira range are you most enjoying and why?

I absolutely love the perfume oils. They are the ideal throw-in-your bag product and I travel with them everywhere. At the moment I’m wearing Persian Rose. It’s floral but without being super sweet so it encapsulates both my girly side and my attempt-at-being-cool side. I have one in my handbag at all times (it’s great for covering up last-minute baby vomit mishaps). I also have one in my toiletry bag which is always packed and ready to go for visits to the Gold Coast or our holidays abroad. 

Written by Michelle Bateman


At Home With Jerico Tracy

Almira Armstrong

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Sydney-based curator and gallerist Jerico Tracy has made a career out of art, but it’s equally central to her life when she’s off-duty. As the founder of Jerico Contemporary, she runs a gallery space in the inner-city suburb of Woolloomooloo, works with both emerging and established artists, and advises individuals and companies on how to go about building their own art collections. (Her best advice to aspiring collectors: just start. “Buy one piece that you love and start building your collection around that work, no matter how small. You should consider each piece you purchase with the intention of building a collection in mind. This doesn’t mean that each piece has to be the same medium or subject matter, merely that you should consider that they will coexist in your home.”)

Her own apartment – which she shares with fiancé Andrew Spence and their pet rabbit Nyima – is a testament to this philosophy. Paintings, photography and sculpture all coexist beautifully, and their coherent outlook instils a sense of calm, while also giving the eye plenty to enjoy.  

How have you approached your interior style?

Our interior style is quite pared-back and minimal, as our home is really a place to unwind. We seem to have an ever-growing art collection so we like to keep a neutral palette for all the furnishings and décor, consisting primarily of white, taupe and black, paired with natural accents. We like to use natural materials as much as possible and strongly believe in sustainability, so almost everything in our home is antique, vintage or made from recycled timber.

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What time of day do you most enjoy being there and why?

I love the early evening at home. Our lounge room is filled with golden light as the sun goes down; there is no better place to be.

When you’re surrounded by art each day, how do you choose which pieces to have in your own home?

My art collection at home is primarily made up of artists who are friends, or who I have worked with previously. It’s an intimate space, so I like to be surround by works that are consistent with our minimal aesthetic. Art collections spanning various mediums are always more interesting, so in our home we have a balance of photographs, paintings, etching, drawings, sculptures, wood-carvings and ceramics.

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My home is absolutely a place for relaxation and pleasure. I spent a lot of late nights and weekends working at the gallery, so when I get to be home it feels like an indulgence. A time when I can light a candle, read my book and relax with a glass of wine.

How do you like to use scent in your home? 

I like to keep fresh flowers and candles in our home to make it feel loved. Every evening, almost ritualistically I light a candle in the lounge room and another in the bathroom. I like to keep the same scent consistent throughout our home, so that the entire apartment is harmonious, and the notes aren’t working against each other.

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Do you change scent seasonally?

Yes, in the cooler climate I drift towards musk and woody fragrances, they seem to evoke a cozy, intimate atmosphere. I tend to gravitate towards fresh scents like citrus and floral notes, particularly gardenias, in the summer months. I am obsessed with Lumira’s La Primavera candle because it perfectly combines my love of floral and citrus notes and reminds me of summer days on the Italian coast. The sheer act of lighting a candle instantly makes a room feel warm and welcoming. 

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You’ve travelled to some amazing art shows in the past 12 months. What have been your most memorable trips and sights?

Art Basel in Hong Kong is always a favourite trip of mine because so many artists and friends that live all over the world travel to Hong Kong for the art fair. The entire city transforms into a bustling art centre for the month of March, and there are so many amazing exhibitions in the local galleries and studios, in addition to the fair.

 Art Basel Hong Kong

Art Basel Hong Kong

How do you like to bring mementos or souvenirs of your travel into your home?

I love bringing decorative pieces back from our travels, primarily from local marketplaces and villages. We have limited space in our home, so we often bring back smaller pieces like baskets, vases or ceramics. I also collect gold charms for my bracelet on my travels.

Are there any specific scents that you connect with these places or experiences?

Scents often remind me of particular place, people or moments in time. I was raised on the beach, so for me the scent of the ocean will always have a special place in my heart and remind me of home.

Aside from art, what do you feel passionately about right now?

The environment, primarily the plastic pollution. Nine million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, and it is truly heartbreaking.

Photography by Kath Mclean, Bright Photography
Interview by Michelle Bateman

 

 

At Home With Carly Rogers

Almira Armstrong

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

 Terrat, Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Terrat, Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

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!

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Photography by Kath Mclean, Bright Photography
Interview by Michelle Bateman