Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Places & Faces, Trends & Finds

Karen McCartney’s Sydney Favourites

The 2013 Coco Republic Design School Speaker Series is delighted to introduce Interiors Editor extraordinaire, Karen McCartney, sharing her Sydney Favourites:

Kepos Street Kitchen – Kepos Street, Redfern

This relative newcomer is one of the best places I have eaten in along time. A simple interior of timber, white metal and stripy banquettes conveys a no-nonsense comfort but it is the food that way over-delivers on its promise. We ate our way through numerous dishes from a cauliflower salad (more delicious than it sounds), falafels, stuffed dates; squid ink risotto and baked Atlantic salmon. This place gets a hand on heart recommendation.

Home Furnishings on Consignment (HFOC)  – Doody Street Alexandria

Scott and Charles are the go to guys for high-end furniture at pre-loved prices. Yes, this is up-market recycling at its very best. Fancy an Italian sofa in perfect condition but don’t to pay full retail? Then check out their ever-changing range of stock. Ex-showroom displays sit beside perfect items that their owners have decided to move on. From small ceramics to large furniture items HFOC never disappoints.

Yellow Bungalow – Bondi Road, Bondi

I worked very closely with Brad when we were launching the body+soul website and when we both moved on he embraced his passion for Danish design, found a little ex-barber shop in Bondi Road and set up shop – complete with state-of-the-art coffee machine.  He has a small, curated collection of beautiful items in terms of furniture, ceramics and cushions – and at least you know that if you don’t find anything you want you can at least have a quality coffee.

 Longrain – Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills

My very best friend from school came to visit Sydney for the first time at Christmas and we wracked our brains as to where to take her that showed the city at it very best. What Longrain doesn’t have in terms of a view it makes up for with the food, wine and staff. Of course we ordered too much, of course we ate it all, dessert included and, of course my friend loved it.

 Mitchell Road Antique and Design Centre – Alexandria

When I was a student in London I used to have a market stall at Camden Market. I love a jumble sale, a car boot sale, and the rummaging potential of an antique market. That is where Mitchell Road Antiques comes into play. Just down the road from bread & circus, this emporium of vintage finds delivers for the dedicated fossicker. You can lose yourself for hours amongst vintage glass, French metal chairs and tin toys. But I always end up at Brian Hoy’s stand with his wonderful, mannered taste and ability to combine the grand gesture with the subtlest of detail. My last visit resulted in buying a beautiful country bowl for $30. 

Bread & Circus – Fountain Street, Alexandria

I was introduced to this place when it first started opened by Trudi Jenkins – then editor of delicious magazine – and someone who knows a thing or two about food. I loved it from the get go. It has a pleasingly chaotic air with excellent food of the wholesome, organic variety.  Seasonal smoothies and a poached chicken sandwich box with heaps of inventive salads is my stock standard order. And I order it a lot.

The Society – Stewart Street, Paddington

Sibella Court’s shop, ‘The Society’ is her style made real and available – so if you love the bowerbird aesthetic this is the place for you.  I am particularly drawn there at Christmas time and some of my best, and most loved, decorations come from The Society.  I can clearly recall all the things I have bought over the years and they are the quirky touches that make a home: the bunch of rust coloured feathers, the three rogue ebony chess pieces and the strange, slightly creepy plaster hands. Need I go on?

Koskela – Dunning Street, Roseberry

I am a big fan of the ambitious retail and restaurant project that is Koskela and Kitchen by Mike. It is the place to while away an afternoon – lunch followed by some stylish shopping, rounded off with coffee and cake. Koskela is filled with wonderful, inspiring home wares, contemporary collectable craft and the best range of beautiful utility you will see in Sydney.  Once you’ve managed to find a  parking spot stay put as long as you can.

Karen McCarthy