Artist Madeline Jovicic's Sydney Apartment Feels Like a European Holiday

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, artist Madeline Jovicic takes us inside her rental apartment in Sydney's Rosebery, which she has transformed into an art-filled paradise reminiscent of a European summer holiday.

With the global pandemic putting a (longer than anticipated) halt on international travel, the hopes of travelling abroad have become a distant dream. However, one step inside Madeline Jovicic’s Sydney rental apartment and the sounds and sensations of a European summer holiday instantly come alive.

The Australian artist’s playful and whimsical painting style - with references to street food, sardines and gelato stands - directly translates into her home’s interiors. Just take her living room as an example. If you picture yourself sitting on her fresh white boucle armchair with her sand-coloured rug, a gallery wall of her own pastel paintings and natural sunlight beaming in through the open glass doors, you could almost be relaxing beachside, indulging in scoops of gelato and sipping on Limoncello. 

Create Madeline's look with our Terracotta Bedding Set and Oatmeal Pillowcases.

But it’s not just her living room that awakens a sense of yesteryear’s holiday. The travel nostalgia overflows into her bedroom fitted with sweet Peach and golden Turmeric linen sheets, an ancient Greek Ionic column-shaped bedside table and her own gelato-inspired painting.

Madeline spends her days in her art studio – the apartment's second bedroom – sketching and painting any ideas that come to mind, while afternoons are spent out on the courtyard – one of her favourite places in the apartment – soaking in the sun with aperitifs in hand. 

Madeline has come a long way in turning her “quite generic” plain white-walled apartment into a holiday fantasy brimming with personality. And while she’s certainly achieved that much-needed warmth and character through decor pieces that bring her a sense of joy, she admits it’s still a work in progress.

Nonetheless, the creative’s humble abode is proof even the smallest of spaces can be transformed into vibrant living, working and entertaining spaces that feel just like a holiday. 

Create Madeline's look with our Rust Throw.

Hi Madeline! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

I make art, specifically in the form of paintings.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

I’m quite an anxious person and the physical act of creating gives me a sense of calm – it’s almost like a form of meditation for me, especially since I’m painting things that make me happy! Being creative honestly brings me so much joy and each piece I create mentally transports me to my own little vacation somewhere on the coast of Italy.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

I had no idea I would become an artist but I always knew I was going to be doing something creative. After high school, I studied branding and fashion design. I then started working a couple of days a week at a small fashion magazine whilst bartending on the side. From there, I moved into marketing and social media management with painting being my side hustle. My artwork then started taking off and I’m now lucky enough to be able to paint full-time.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

Usually, I’m gathering inspiration from meals with family, past travels and manifestations of future travel. Then whenever I’m struck with an idea for a painting, I sketch it down straight away, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

After I’ve done my sketches, I get a rough idea of what kind of colours I want to use in the painting – usually these colours are a palette of blues, pinks and lemon yellows. Then I jump straight into painting on the canvas – I don’t like planning out too much. Sometimes I skip these steps and just paint, letting it evolve as I go. 

Create Madeline's look with our Terracotta Tablecloth and Pink Clay & Turmeric Scalloped Napkins.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your business?

Connecting with other creatives, and listening and learning from them. I find their lessons are priceless. The support of my family and loved ones is also invaluable.

What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?

Finding the motivation to keep going when things don’t go how you’d hoped. Navigating how to turn your passion into a business is all part of the creative industry. I’m often finding myself way out of my comfort zone, which is scary but important for growth. 

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?

Every time someone buys something that I’ve created it’s still so surreal to me. Also to be able to wake up and do something I love every day.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

You can change the path of your career journey. The lessons and skills you learn along the way will ultimately help you succeed in the endeavour you choose to pursue. Also, don’t stress over the little things.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

Not very long, it has only been a few months.

Create Madeline's look with Peach and Turmeric in our Build Your Own Bundle.

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

I fell in love with the neighbourhood, which is an area with lots of creatives, green spaces and cafes, not to mention the Gelato Messina HQ and Gelateria is only a short walk away. Dangerous! 

Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?

We are merely renters, but I can’t wait to renovate one day when I have my own home as the idea greatly excites me. I already have my Pinterest boards at the ready.

What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?

This apartment is a quite generic and modern space, which isn’t my style at all, so my goal has been to fill it with items that bring in some much-needed warmth and character to the space. It’s definitely still a work in progress as I haven’t been here for very long yet, but I like to take my time with adding pieces as I find things I love.

What are your favourite pieces in the home?

I have a few favourite pieces that come to mind. At the top of my list is my big pasta serving bowl I found in an op-shop for the bargain price of $2.00.

Then the cosy boucle chair in my living room, which is perfect for snuggling up with a book

I also have a fossil stone coffee table, which was a lucky find on Facebook Marketplace.

Create Madeline's look with Peach and Turmeric in our Build Your Own Bundle.

Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?

Definitely, I’ve been lusting over the Sarah Ellison Muse Modular lounge for quite some time now – *swoon* – and a couple of the stunning En Gold Limestone Plinths. Oh, and a big gold antique mirror, which I check Marketplace almost every day for.

Which is your favourite room in the house?

It has to be either the courtyard for the afternoon sun and aperitifs or the lounge room, which often acts as an overflow of my art studio for me (apologies to my boyfriend who has to navigate his way around wet paintings, paint palettes and half-drunk cups of tea!).  

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

For me, it’s all about surrounding yourself with objects that make you happy, comfortable and inspired. I love the act of collecting and curating pieces from op-shops to boutiques and even overseas travels (back when that existed, of course). 

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about? 

I have a little something with Bed Threads coming soon, which I’m super excited about, so that’s something to keep an eye out for!

For more from Madeline, follow her on Instagram @madeline_jovicic.

Loved this home tour? Steph inside Jess Tran's Brooklyn loft that's bursting with house plants and creativity.

Discover more of Australia's most beautiful homes in our series, The Makers.

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