I had grand plans for my shutdown weekends. I would sail through lockdown with sparkling…
This week, Home Stories goes to Midnight (we’ll explain that bit in a second) for a tour of IT professional Rebecca Armstrong’s modern Braddon penthouse.
Around midday on a hot summer Sunday, photographer Cass and I went to Midnight for our latest Home Story. No, not the time—the uber-chic Braddon address housing both the Midnight Hotel and residential apartments. Our destination? Rebecca Armstrong’s eighth-floor penthouse suite.
Rebecca bought her apartment off the plan about two years ago after making a decision based on three things: location, layout and view. Rebecca is a busy IT professional, so being central was a big factor—not just so that she could get to work quickly but also so she was enjoy all that Braddon has to offer within a minute’s walk from her door.
The layout had to tick a couple of boxes too. It had to be a three-bedroom place that could accommodate a roomy office, a bedroom and that spare room you get to just throw things into.
Aside from that, Rebecca was keen on a home that had just the right balance of space and cosiness. Not so modern that it felt sparse but not so tight that it would prevent her from buying any new furniture she liked.
And finally, there was the view requirement. She wanted the outlook to be very Canberra—unobstructed and pretty. So, when the Midnight sales material found its way into her Insta feed, she realised this was the place she would soon call home.
Two years after moving in, Rebecca is more happy than ever with the decision—mostly because she has taken the time to fill her home with pieces she loves. Some of it was trial and error, where finds she brought home were not quite right—but by adjusting one item here or replacing another there, she has brought everything into balance.
“The key for me was being honest with what I like and what made me feel good,” she explains. “The couch, for example, is an unusual shade of tan but I just love how warm and inviting it looks, so from there I chose the table, then the chairs to suit the couch.”
“It was good starting off with one central piece and working it out, and if something didn’t work, rather than trying to match, it I would find a contrasting colour or texture.”
Rebecca spent a lot of her youth living on a farm surrounded by horses—something you might pick up from the timber accents and equestrian décor.
As Rebecca walked Cass and I around her home. I could see how well her original requirements were met. There is a large, sunny office that also houses her favourite bike, a room for storage, and a cosy bedroom with a clever hidden walk-in wardrobe that is accessed via a sliding mirror door.
The dining, living and kitchen are integrated visually but separated functionally, which means Rebecca can entertain all her friends without people breaking off into groups in separate spaces. I’m sure you’ve been at parties where for some reason half the people are in the kitchen and the other half in the bathroom.
Speaking of entertaining, the entire apartment is fitting with in-built speakers in the ceiling, removing the need for free-standing speakers taking up room and making sure tunes are spread evenly (or segregated if needed).
The real pièce-de-resistance, however, is the rooftop terrace. In the middle of the apartment is an internal courtyard that leads to a black metal spiral staircase, which in turn leads to a massive terrace. From up there, Canberra looks very different and I couldn’t help but point like a kid to recognisable icons like Telstra Tower, The Brindabellas and Northbourne Avenue.
Because of the building’s height, there was very little noise on the terrace and this peaceful atmosphere was only made more pleasant by the warm sun. A gentle wind started, however, and began to mess up my hair.
I asked if having a rooftop terrace or garden such as this one is anything like having a convertible car and Cass jumped in, saying, “Yes it’s a lot like this—really lovely to be in the sun and enjoy the breeze but your hair does get messed up. That’s why classy ladies wear scarves—you know, like Grace Kelly.”
There was a moment of silence during which Rebecca disappeared only to return a minute later with two scarves. “There you go Ashley, your hair is safe now.” With the breeze no longer being an issue, we spent more time on the roof chatting about how amazing the sunsets must be and are.
I’m sure Rebecca didn’t have ‘stunning sunsets’ in her list of requirements originally, but it must be one of those added surprises that keeps her falling in love with her home more and more as time goes on. May we all have those moments.
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Photography: Cass Atkinson