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Daily Telegraph

30 September 2006

Travel and friends have shaped the inner-west apartment of TV actress Amy Mathews, reports Catherine Nikas-Boulos. Photos Bob Barker.

She was born in Melbourne and spent some formative years in the US city of Philadelphia, but Home And Away actress Amy Mathews calls Sydney's inner-west home. "I can barely hear the planes," she laughs. "The Government put some strong windows in this apartment in the '70s and that drowns out the noise. I have lived in the area since I moved out of home. I used to live on the main drag in Newtown; that got a bit noisy so I needed to move on, but I have never strayed from the inner-west."

Amy says her interior style doesn't follow a particular theme, but her home is filled with items that speak to her on an emotional level.

"Do I even have a style? You could say it's a little haphazard. I think a style is created by picking up pieces you like here and there," she says.

"I love vintage shopping from the markets (Balmain and Blue Mountains are favourites), and a lot of the stuff I have is influenced by the places I've travelled to. And most of the artwork, such as vases and paintings, are from friends, as opposed to shopping for art, which I don't profess to have a great knowledge of."



I don't have a big bookshelf so I keep having to cull the books. I have heaps of plays and books about acting technique, but I also love novels. One of my favourites is Toni Morrison's Jazz. My boyfriend and I went to Thailand recently, and both being actors, we took turns at reading it to each other in accent.

Buddhist prayer bell

My mother is half-Japanese and we travelled to Japan for the first time last October. It was an amazing trip and it was incredible meeting all these relatives I had never met before. This was one of my souvenirs - it makes the most amazing sound. I think it's used to wake up the gods. In Japan you usually see them on the altars of people's homes.


My mum handmade this for me. It's so nice to receive a beautiful hand-stitched gift that you can be covered in and surrounded by. She always puts a hallmark on them too. This is very sentimental to me and she designed it with my personality in mind.


I got this at Vinnies when I was moving out of home for the first time. It's a beautiful '60s retro couch with studs at the bottom and only cost $80. It was a bit dirty, but my mother covered it in red velour. I've had it about seven years and it's still in good condition, though it might need new foam soon.


I did a show called Loves Bytes for Fox 8 and at the end of the shoot the props were for sale. This was a decorative item used in the filming of a sex scene. It was a daunting shoot and I took this to remind me of that time. If I can do that I can do anything.


My first love painted this for me for my birthday when I was 17. I love that it's abstract. I get a sense of him in it, I don't know if I can explain the painting literally. I guess I experience it on an emotional level.

Thai cushions

I spent five weeks in Thailand and when I got back I had all these great ideas about designing the house I want to live in. Now when I have dinner parties everyone sits around on the floor. If guests haven't been here before I tell them they will be sitting on the floor, so they don't turn up in low-rider jeans.

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