Welcome to Sweet Digs Australia, where we take a look inside the sometimes small, sometimes spacious, and always unique homes of women and gender-diverse people across the country. This week, we tour the Redfern sharehouse of young Sydney creatives and best friends, Abbey and Mikey.
At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
Buried in the heart of Redfern in a small but mighty sharehouse that's bursting with creativity, colour and good vibes, we meet best friends and former colleagues, Abbey and Mikey.
Since meeting at university almost a decade ago and, more recently, working together on the same community radio show after graduation, Abbey and Mikey have found the ideal housemate in each other. "If you see someone every single day for five years, you're destined to become housemates and soulmates," Mikey laughs. "We knew it was gonna work before we even did this," Abbey confirms.
Their home, where they pay $1,150 a week, is a three-bedroom place with an open-plan kitchen and living area, as well as a lovely little outdoor garden space. In Redfern, they've found themselves in the heart of a thriving, artistic community that has really embraced them — so much so that their street even has its own WhatsApp chat. Talk about neighbourly.
As we start our tour, Abbey's front room is up first. "When my friends come in, they say it feels a bit like a set of some kind of like early naughties movie — and that's exactly what I was going for," Abbey says. Describing her style as 'quirky grandma', Abbey's room is a retro shrine to rare secondhand treasures, like the vintage wooden sideboard that houses her iconic boot collection. It's also a place Abbey dedicates to her love of music, with her record player and portraits of legendary women of '70s rock (who she likes to think are watching over her when she's in her space).
In Mikey's room, we see a stark contrast to Abbey's, where minimalism leads the decor, "which is a euphemism that I use for the word lazy," Mikey admits. But despite the lack of art and extra detail in this space, Mikey still pays homage to his own personal style. His pride and joy are the mid-century side tables he scored on Gumtree after endless scouring, as well as a vase he got from his mum and a gorgeous Dusen Dusen sheet set.
On the way down the hall to the kitchen and living room, we check out the concealed laundry and the peach-coloured toilet room and main bathroom, which both Mikey and Abbey feel is the calmest and prettiest space in their whole house. So much so, it's apparently always their guests' favourite room.
Whilst both Abbey and Mikey have distinct and individual styles in their own rooms, they've found a way to make their eclectic blend of decor completely coherent in their shared spaces. The back of the house is the main hub, with a combined kitchen, dining and living room. In the modern, green-themed kitchen, we see more of Abbey and Mikey's combined aesthetics.
"It really complimented the furniture that you and I both brought to the table as well," Abbey remarks of the light-filled, contemporary space. "You can see ... Abbey's more grandma aesthetic and you also see my love of, like, space-age," Mikey says. And despite how different these styles are, the pair make it work — and work well.
Like their kitchen, the living room is full of both their personalities, which is fitting, since it's where they spend most of their time. This room houses Abbey's all-time favourite possession: a green vintage Chesterfield leather couch, which acts as the centrepiece of the room, where everything else gravitates around it. Dotted around the living area are the "overflowing river of trinkets", gallery wall art and other personal decor items, all of which combine to tell a story about Abbey and Mikey's creative, community-filled, fun-loving joint lives.
As our tour comes to an end, Abbey and Mikey lead us out to the light-filled backyard. Acting as both a place of peace as well as for entertaining guests, this final stretch of their home pulls everything together. "This place has taught me so much about what I would want in my dream home one day...I want a green kitchen for the rest of my life," Abbey says. "And I wanna be able to put nails in the wall [for my art] in my next home," Mikey concludes, smiling. And we can't wait to tour those homes one day too.
Get the look of Abbey and Mikey's home below: