Here’s the thing. MOSTLY, when we contact someone requesting to photograph their home, this is met with both excitement and terror in equal proportions. Don’t get me wrong, I totally get it – sharing one’s personal space with the whole wide world via the internet is a big deal, and not to be taken lightly! However, Mylee really and truly had no such hang ups. When we first made contact to hook up this shoot, newest family member Goldie was just 2 weeks old…(!) – no biggie, Mylee was totally happy to have us, and scheduled our shoot for just 3 weeks later!
On the day of our visit, the chilled-outness reached record levels. Super smart Rocky was home from school with an ear infection, but he was so chatty and delightfully good company. Mylee was the loveliest, smiliest and most relaxed mother of a 5-week-old I have ever come across, and Ozzie was just the nicest dude, casually strumming away on his guitar whilst we dashed about photographing his house and his family. Goldie slept through pretty much the whole thing, and was so silent Sean and I even forgot she was there at one point. I don’t know what their secret is (Surfing? Proximity to salt water?) but whatever it is, I want some!
Ozzie and Mylee purchased their gorgeous rambling old 1930’s house, on a busy main road in Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches four years ago. They found the place in somewhat unconventional circumstances – by answering a completely random cold call from a local real estate agent, on their landline, asking if they were looking to buy. ‘At the time we weren’t looking to buy at all, and nearly hung up the phone, but Ozzie asked on a whim if the agent had any properties with a view of the ocean that weren’t millions of dollars’ explains Mylee, matter of factly. ‘He told us he had just the one, we looked at it that day, and instantly tried to work out how it could be ours’. Amazing.
Though the home itself was built in the 30’s, in the 90’s previous owners added the front lounge room with enormous windows, which makes the most of the view. From the street you would never guess the MAGIC that lies beyond the house – namely, an uninterrupted view of beautiful Bungun Beach, one of the only beaches in the area with no vehicular access. SO special.
When Mylee and Ozzie first moved in, the main living space was divided into two rooms. ‘Ozzie and our friend Cowboy hacked the wall down with kitchen knives the second we moved in’ says Mylee! After living with exposed beams and hanging wires for a little while, Mylee and Ozzie called on a professional to finish the job. They say there are still a few structural changes they’d like to make, but they’re not in too much of a hurry -‘we love the original 1930’s feel with all it’s quirks and charm’ says Mylee.
The home has a distinctly breezy, relaxed vibe, which perfectly reflects the personalities of this super cool family. Art work crams the walls, alongside a beautiful mish mash of vintage furniture salvaged from the roadside or passed on from family and friends. ‘The living spaces are large with plenty of cozy spots to day dream’ says Mylee… ‘and pens and paints are rarely put away, to encourage spontaneous creativity’.
However, when asked what they love most about living here, it’s not surprising that Mylee and Ozzie’s affection for this place really revolves around the ocean. ‘The best thing is definitely the view’ says Mylee. ‘It’s incredibly calming to stare out to the horizon, plus we can always see when it’s the best time for surfing’.
HUGE thanks to Mylee and Ozzie for sharing their family love nest with us, and for being such ace rolemodels for a simple, relaxed and super creative way of life! For more about this amazing duo, you can check out Ozzie’s art, and his surfboard label, Vampirate Surfboards, and also check out Mylee Grace and the Milkshakes, and Mylee’s vintage clothing shop Arcade vintage boutique, which she co-owns with her friend Natalia Feehan. Phew…!
Exterior / back garden overlooking the beach! The chairs on the left are 1970’s butterfly chairs, and the colourful couch in the distance was hand painted by Ozzie. The umbrella is by a Basil Bangs, and the cloud print on it was designed by Ozzie’s brother in law, Jonathan Zawada. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The beautiful, relaxed beachside home of Ozzie Wright, Mylee Grace Fitzgerald and their sweet little family! This room was an addition in the 80’s or 90’s, and has a spectacular view of the beach below. ‘It’s by far the best room in the house as it looks out to the majestic and secluded Bungan beach’ says Mylee! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Another view of that light-filled loungeroom. The coffee table previously belonged to Mylee’s great grandfather – it used to have taller legs but she says ‘they recently have had the chop, and now it’s the perfect size to sit around with floor cushions, friends and food!’. Pony Rider cushions, bright green school chairs and a cluster of bananas! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Loungeroom looking back from the windows. A gorgeous mish mash of retro / antique furniture pieces found in council clean ups and antique shops, many of which have been re-worked or pre-loved by Mylee and Ozzie’s friends and family. Painting top left by Ozzie. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Loungeroom detail. Painting by Alex Knost. Customised urn (in fireplace) by Ozzie. The tiger is a flea market find. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Family portrait! Mylee holds little Goldie (just a few weeks old at the time of our visit!). Gorgeous, chatty Rocky was home with an ear infection when we popped in, but wore his school uniform nonetheless. Ozzie is the most awesome, blissfully chilled out person I believe I have ever come into contact with. Artwork top left painted by Ozzie whilst Mylee was in early labour with Goldie. The rug on the day bed was found in Peru. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The original 1930’s kitchen is the heart of the home. ‘Ozzie slapped some legs on the centre wooden table to make it the perfect hight for extra bench space and big cook offs’ says Mylee. The original 30’s AGA stove on the right had been connected to the gas system before Mylee and Ozzie moved in, by Mylee has plans to get it converted into a wood fire oven! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Ozzie’s studio. ‘Ozzie’s away so frequently on surf trips, that when he’s home he rarely leaves the house!’ says Mylee. Home, therefore, is the perfect place to work from. Ozzie made this work desk out of scrap bits of wood, and his entire phone book is written on the top. ‘This was his only way to look up contacts until very recently, when he inherited his first mobile phone – yes I’m serious.’ says Mylee! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
The hallway is completely covered in artworks, mainly by Ozzie and talented creative friends. All of the works above are by Ozzie except the small green print by Harry Holliday. Two of these works are part of his collection of collaborations with kids! Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Ozzie’s studio. Antique shark flag above door, and one of Ozzie’s art works to the right. The pink surfboard is one of Ozzie’s ‘Vampirate surfboards’, and the other board is Mylee’s Christmas present from Ozzie – a ‘gato heroi’. On top of the bookshelf is part of Ozzie and Mylee’s 1950’s / 60’s National Geographic collection. Vintage indian saris on the couch. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Rocky’s room. ‘Star Wars and lego is his current obsession’ says Mylee. The artwork on the right is by Ozzie – a portrait of Mylee pregnant with Rocky. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Original 1930’s bathroom! ‘I love the original green tiles in our bathroom and the deep ceramic bath with a fish head spout’ says Mylee. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.
Master bedroom detail. ‘Ozzie made this ‘anti bad vibe shield’ out of wool and wood’ explains Mylee. ‘He completed it in one day, and couldn’t walk afterwards, as each weave represents a squat!’. Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.