Australian artist Daimon Downey’s colourful apartment is part of a grand Art Deco building on Bondi Beach. After spending 10 years on the road as a singer with Sneaky Sound System and touring with Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams, Downey left the band in 2009 to return to his first love, art. The result is a home that is unpretentious and fun…
I love that he hasn’t been afraid to extend his art to his furniture and that he hasn’t been precious. The once brown piano that belonged to a friend has been transformed with household paint.
At the piano sits a fabulous yellow painted chair etched with the letters RIP.
Born in South Africa Downey grew up in New South Wales before moving to Sydney to study art. He then got got distracted with music, touring for years until he tired of the lifestyle and felt the need to settle down. The flat previously belonged to an art collector friend of his and Downey says what attracted him to it were the spacious rooms and the large kitchen that is big enough to eat in.
Downey’s paintings hang on the kitchen walls and again there is a bare lightbulb suspended from chains, this time in yellow. The red wall is embossed painted tin.
The pot trivets are by Tomek Archer and are an artwork in themselves. The arched blue sculpture on top of the cupboards is by Downey.
Again the chairs are painted, this time simply with pink and red daubs.
The dining room leads into the living area…
On the vintage Parker sideboard sits a champagne bottle painted by Jenny Kee, an Australian fashion designer. The kangaroo is from Downey’s childhood and the cockatoo is from the Sydney Antiques Centre. The two paintings propped on the sideboard are by Downey and he says, “The one on the right is a portrait of my Mum, painted from my heart.”
Beneath the sideboard is a sculpture by Downey, made for his first solo exhibition. The exhibition practically sold out which he says is one of his proudest achievements in his career.
The small blue sculpture on the kitchen cupboard top is now repeated big time! The Arflex leather armchair and floor cushion are by Mario Marenco and the blanket on the cushion was crocheted by Downey’s mum.
The bay window enjoys views out over the ocean.
The painting above the bed is by Brett Chan and the bedside cabinet is painted by Downey.
And that’s it, folks! I’ll leave you with a little Sneaky Sound System! Enjoy…
words: CAND JUSKUS, DAIMON DOWNEY
images: Felix Forest with styling by Jason Grant