home of week 2

“It’s convenient living,” she says.

The harbour views are also present in the master bedroom, which has an ensuite.

Allen’s grandmother’s rocking chair sits beside the window.

Timber shelving that belonged to Allen’s mother is featured, as is a timber dresser that sits in front of a gold-framed wall-hung mirror.

“My granddaughter comes in here and says she feels like a princess,” Lorraine says.

Bedside tables (dubbed by the designer as “the antiques of the future”) were custom made in Sydney to match the family heirloom furnishings.

Lorraine reveals her personal tastes in a wall hanging and other artwork.

“I wanted this room to be a bit French, because I love France,” she says.

A second bedroom serves as guest quarters, and adjoins one of the apartment’s two other bathrooms.

Two remaining bedrooms are used as Lorraine and Allen’s studies wheretheir personal passions are displayed.

Lorraine’s love of English history shows in the titles lining her bookshelves.She is especially fond of a set of two “cupid” pictures on her wall that once hung over her mother’s parents’ bed and bear watermarks from the 1955 flood.

Allen’s domain is known as “the library”.

“I’m just a bibliophile,” he says.Australian history and the Vietnam War are favoured subjects for the book lover and war veteran.

This room also accommodates a special piece: the last mayor’s chair (which Allen had reupholstered) from the chambers of the former Merewether Council.

There are more beautifully-bound books on a custom-made bookcase (complete with handles salvaged from old printing industry typesetting drawers) in the hallway, and a special edition of Antarctic and Arctic photographs on a hall table.

An antique book press is another of Allen’s treasures.

He spent 40 years in the printing industry.

Wonderful pieces of art and memorabilia are placed throughout the house: from the antique diving gear in the main bathroom (“God your spa must be deep” a friend joked to the Fairhalls); to the Pro Hart sculptures in the living areas; a ballerinapainting above the lounge which reflects Lorraine’s joy at getting through a second cancer diagnosis; and a collection of historic black and white photographs of Allen’s father, a former federal minister and MP, the late Sir Allen Fairhall, alongside many luminaries.

It’s an apartment that looks out on so much and holds even more within.

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