Surf’s always up at this epitome of Aussie digs. By Lucy Feagins.
Ozzie Wright and Mylee Grace Fitzgerald’s Newport home
A distinctly “Australian” home is always hard to pinpoint, but that of pro surfer and artist Ozzie Wright and his partner, singer Mylee Grace Fitzgerald, is the closest we can imagine. Perched high above secluded Bungan Beach, on Sydney’s northern beaches, and with generous proportions and a studio space for Ozzie’s growing art practice, it’s the perfect pad for this creative young family.
Ozzie and Mylee purchased their rambling old 1930s beach house years ago. They found the place in somewhat unconventional circumstances – by answering a random cold call from a local real estate agent asking if they were looking to buy.
“At the time we weren’t looking to buy at all, but Ozzie asked on a whim if the agent had any properties with a view of the ocean that weren’t millions of dollars,” explains Mylee. It turns out, he did. The pair looked at it that day and instantly hatched a plan to make it theirs.
From the street, you would never guess the magic that lies beyond this home’s modest frontage – an uninterrupted view of local surf spot Bungan Beach, one of the only beaches in the area with no vehicular access. In fact, when the family first moved in, this spectacular view was restricted by a dividing wall in the main living space. “Ozzie and a friend hacked the wall down with kitchen knives the second we moved in,” says Mylee.
After living for a short period with exposed beams and hanging wires, professionals were called in to finish the job. Apart from this, the pair has made very few structural changes to the home. “We love the original 1930s feel with all its quirks and charm,” says Mylee.
Now parents to Rocky, 5, and Goldie, 12 weeks, Ozzie and Mylee are fun, easygoing people, and their home reflects their relaxed way of life. Ozzie’s artwork crams the walls, alongside a colourful mishmash of vintage furniture salvaged from the roadside or passed on from family and friends. “The living spaces are large, with plenty of cosy spots to daydream, and pens and paints are rarely put away, to encourage spontaneous creativity,” according to Mylee.
When asked what they love most about living here, it’s not surprising that Mylee and Ozzie’s affection for this place revolves around the ocean. “The best thing is definitely the view,” says Mylee. “It’s incredibly calming to stare out to the horizon, plus we can always see when it’s the best time for surfing.”
This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on April 5, 2014 as "Ozzie Wright and Mylee Grace Fitzgerald’s Newport home".
A free press is one you pay for. Now is the time to subscribe.
Letters & Editorial