20/07/2024 9:53 PM


Adorn your Feelings

Step inside an unassuming 1920s home filled with colourful, eclectic art

5 min read



Art lawyer, curator and consultant Alana Kushnir explores
the past, present and future of the art world around the clock.

From the street, it’s a fairly unassuming 1920s Californian bungalow. When you enter, however, a floor-to-ceiling glass window looks out onto a generous north-facing garden with a pool and assortment of fruit trees – orange, mandarin, apple, apricot.

The property was once owned by a builder who used high-quality materials in the extension and unusually wide Sydney blue gum timber floors. When we bought the house in 2020, we inherited some chickens and a bunny rabbit!
Alana Kushnir in the dining area of her Melbourne home in front of a Ry David Bradley diptych that matches the ‘Yum’ table by Brother Fearon Fabrication. On the table is Nabilah Nordin’s sculpture Boiled Egg. ‘Halo’ chairs by SBW Australia. An Exhausted Light sculpture in the corner is by Jordan Fleming. Jardan vessels.


It’s very tranquil. There’s lots of natural light thanks to the 21 bifold doors running the entire length of the rear area. It’s so quiet I can hear the birds chirping away in the trees. Sometimes it feels like I could be out on a farm in the middle of nowhere.
The personality of the house comes from the art, furniture and our family. I’m not a ‘beige’ person and love being surrounded by vibrant colours and textures.
Outside, a Driade ‘Roly Poly’ armchair by Faye Toogood from Hub beckons in the shade.


I grew up in the area so I have fond memories of riding to the milk bar and playing at the local park. Never in a million years did I think we would move to such a suburban area. We feel settled and content to live here for many years.

It’s also a great house for entertaining, which we are yet to take full advantage of. I reckon we could throw some killer parties, for adults and kids alike.
Above an ‘Icelandic’ sheepskin armchair and ‘Frill’ table by MakeBelieve, both from CCSS, is a textile-wrapped sculpture by Ivana Taylor from Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert.


My businesses began in 2014 on a kitchen table, and until last year I had never had a dedicated office space. It’s the ultimate luxury and has the most romantic outlook through original leadlight windows onto green vines. There’s ornate Art Deco-style ceiling details and a fireplace.
I spent a long time looking for my desk – the criteria was “large and practical, with a bit of flair”. The ‘Burin’ table by Patricia Urquiola is perfect. However, I prefer meeting clients in their studios, galleries or over lunch (to be frank, I’d rather spend the money saved on better resourcing).
The variety of lighting includes a Gubi ‘Multi Lite’ pendant light and ‘5321’ table lamp in brass, and Jordan Fleming’s Bright Things purple standing lamp. The bulbous glass sculpture on the desk is by Hanna Hansdotter from Steinsland Berliner. Glassware from Maison Balzac.
An Arflex ‘Botolo’ chair by Cini Boeri from Space and a Viccarbe ‘Burin’ oval dining table by Patricia Urquiola from Ajar help to make working from home a joy for Alana.


It’s grown over time. I haven’t set out to fill every blank wall. We buy works where we feel a connection to the artist, their motivations, preoccupations and the way they execute their ideas. At the same time, with my training in art history and curating, our decisions are partly informed by research.
However, I can also be quite spontaneous and I love taking a chance. No medium is off-limits. Recently, I bought a series of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) by artist Refik Anadol that come with corresponding prints.

Last year I bought a hanging sculpture by the artist Sarah Contos made from vintage leather jackets sewn together, which she bought at a flea market in France for about one dollar each. It looks like a voluptuous bat or, some might say, a particular female body part. I say, make of it what you wish.

Joe Hamilton’s installation Untitled (Blue) fills the study wall with Fountain by Michael Pybus. Kartell ‘Mademoiselle’ chair from Space.


I have commissioned Berlin-based artist Rachel de Joode to create a sculpture for the entry vista. It’s a high-resolution print in her digital paint style on thin aluminium and is being fabricated in Australia.

From the front (or the back) it will look 3D, but from the side it will look almost flat. It’s like a reclining Henry Moore, but for the 21st centur
y. It’s being produced here and I’ve enjoyed the process. The ins and outs of unusual types of commissions are second nature to me, as I provide a lot of legal advice on public art commission projects in Australia.

Alana’s devotion to art is also seen in the master bedroom, where the pinks of Summer by Lucy Zaroyko from Discordia Gallery are amplified by rosy bed linen and a Kartell ‘Toobe’ standing lamp from Space. The Muuto ‘Tip’ table lamp from Huset and Kartell ‘Componibili’ silver bedside table from Space offer a neutral bond.
A vase by Kate Rohde is on the ledge beside the ‘Void’ mirror by Joshua Space.


I’m on the board of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), which is a real engine room for cutting-edge contemporary art. We have some incredible exhibitions planned this year.

With my legal and advisory work, I’m diving deeper into the world of art and new technologies, such as AR (augmented reality), AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain/NFTs. The Guest Club – the art advisory membership I started in 2019 – is continuing to grow and I’m passionate about supporting that community on their art journey.

In the hallway, a Kate Rohde sculpture on a ‘Chromatic Fantastic’ console by Danielle Brustman. Ry David Bradley’s AA16 is reflected in the Glas Italia ‘Shimmer’ mirror from 1stdibs.
Zac Segbedzi’s Sauersazobomb dominates the living area on a USM ‘Haller’ sideboard, and the colour continues with a Ligne Roset ‘Plumy’ sofa from Domo and an Edra ‘Cipria’ armchair from Space. ‘Lucha’ pink lamp from Makers’ Mrkt and standing lamp from Didi & Dora. Jardan x Yeend ‘Sugarpill’ vessel on the coffee table.


I’ve always been Venice-obsessed. After I got married, we moved to London and had an extended stay in Venice, where I interned at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. You may have wanted a more realistic answer – but I can always dream, right?


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