Sweet Digs Australia: Inside The Art Deco Home Of The Founder Of Nonna’s Grocer

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 Art Deco three-bedroom home of Madeleine Hoy, the founder and co-owner of Nonna's Grocer.
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.
If you know Nonna's Grocer, the design studio that specialises in quirky fruit and vegetable-shaped candles, then it should be no surprise that the home of its founder and co-owner, Madeleine Hoy, is just as unique as her designs.
Hoy and her partner purchased this three-bedroom home in Mangerton, Wollongong a year and a half ago for $800,000. With a fairly simple floorplan, this home invites creativity, community and peace.
The first thing that catches our eye, and heart, is the house's 1950s Art Deco architecture — and it's an incredibly special element of the home for Hoy, as well. "I love the natural Art Deco atmosphere that my home has," she tells Refinery29 Australia. "The facade itself is so striking, so I really love just eating my dinner in the garden, and having the facade as a really beautiful backdrop."
With its curved walls, tiled floors and original scalloped details on the fireplace, ceilings and wall sconces, it's the quintessential Art Deco cottage house of our dreams. Surrounding the house is a courtyard and outdoor dining area, and a tranquil, leafy garden that Hoy and her partner redesigned themselves. This outdoor space is sheltered by the kind of exotic trees and shrubs you often find near the ocean, and the lower garden beds overflow with green produce that Hoy regularly snips to include in her home-cooked meals.
Inside the house, Hoy showcases her blended style by bringing edgy, modern elements to a selection of vintage finds, creating a humble yet cohesive interior. In her living room, she gestures to the vibrant blue, modern, block-style seat by FEARON — a design and fabric company based out of Byron Bay, where Hoy is from — which sits next to the vintage wooden sideboard passed down from her partner's grandparents.
"We've got lots of vintage antique furniture that kind of contrasts nicely with some of the fun new designs that we've invested in together," Hoy says of this combination of styles. What's clear is that nothing in her home has been randomly chosen or is without meaning, demonstrating a curated approach that instead of feeling forced, feels incredibly warm and natural.
"[Our] style is very much just a collection of things we've gathered along the seven years that we've been together," Hoy notes, reemphasising that their lives are reflected in every little detail — from the little wooden bird that hangs on their wall, to the photograph in the dining room, which was taken by one of her close friends and gifted to her as a 30th birthday present.
"I'm constantly looking for an array of references to draw on for my work," she says as she wanders the space between her study and the rest of the house. And with so much of her home sparking such special stories and interesting conversations, we're sure there's no shortage of inspiration to be found here. "I really love the eclectic nature that's in my home," she muses, leaning back in the 1960s secondhand chair she bought off Gumtree in her gorgeous breakfast morning room, admiring her surroundings — as she should!
If there's anything that Hoy would change, it would be that the house isn't flooded with as much light as she'd like, as well as the bathroom, which isn't designed to her personal taste. Hoy looks around the bathroom, speaking of her visions of light green and brown tiles to achieve a more natural look.
But in the same way she's redesigned her garden, upholstered her vintage armchairs and rearranged an antique table she picked up in Thirroul, Hoy knows how to get her hands dirty and turn the dreams she has for design into reality — so we can't wait to watch on as she continues to build this space out into her dream home.
Get the look of Madeleine Hoy's home below:
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from Living