Walking into the Williamsburg home of Apples Ryan is like stepping inside a fantastical jungle utopia. Ethnic textiles and art cover every surface, mixed with smatterings of children’s toys, all housed under a canopy of greenery. It makes for quite an arresting sight. She calls it “organised chaos” – we call it “beyond”.
You can tell a lot of love has gone into this large loft Apples shares with her two sons and husband. Having moved to New York from Sydney two years ago, much of their possessions were shipped over to recreate their Bondi oasis in Brooklyn. “Sometimes I dream of minimalism,” laughs Apples. “One day when I have a holiday house with nothing but a mattress on the floor and an espresso maker!” But for now, this is where it’s at, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
As Apples takes us through her stack of old Better Homes & Gardens magazines, also shipped from Australia, we realise she’s not lying. “I’m a hoarder! I can’t let go of anything!” We feel your pain. But for Apples, it’s also a nostalgia thing. “There are lots of memories and lots of happy times in my clothes. There’s more satisfaction knowing you’re the only one with that piece, especially if it only cost $4.99!” From humble beginnings working at Puff n’ Stuff vintage store in Bondi, her now extensive collection, especially in the denim department, is totally swoon-worthy. Her vintage obsession led her to a career in fashion, first as ksubi’s denim designer, and now as the creative consultant for their new American offshoot.
One of the things that strikes us about Apples is her completely natural face. Juxtaposed with the high volume of products in her bathroom, we are baffled. “It’s weird because I’m not a makeup girl. It’s not because I don’t want to, it’s because I don’t know how to put it on!” Fragrances and oils line the shelves, all begging to be tried on. Along with all the other elements in this home, we can tell this is a serious collection. She confesses, “I am a sucker for packaging. I love going into the department stores and looking at everything. I’ll try anything!”
Having two boys that need to get to school means the morning routine is done on the fly. “I brush my teeth, put on some face oil and deodorant and it’s out the door. I don’t brush my hair because it takes so much effort! Sometimes I make my husband brush my hair because my arm gets sore! Can I say that? So usually I tuck it in and deal with it later. Brushing my hair is a real luxury!”
Apples does pilates three times a week, but otherwise that’s it. “Pilates is great for lazy people like me,” she muses, but we have to disagree. She is definitely one of the most babe’n mums we’ve ever met, and that nonchalance oozes out her makeup free pores. Food means everything in moderation, especially with kids around. As we talk about the green juice trend over Vegemite toast, we wish we were in child-filled homes more often. “The whole thing is borderline embarrassing now, especially in New York! A Juice Press bottle is almost like a designer handbag!”
As we get ready to head back out into the freezing New York air, we can’t help but want to stay and hibernate among the collection of cozy rugs, blankets and books. It’s no wonder this family never wants to leave home. With one last spritz of Frederic Malle’s new fragrance, we are practically begging to be adopted. But Apples is busy planning her next collecting adventure – she’s off to Mexico for Christmas, where many more rugs, throws and pillows await. Can we come in your suitcase, please?
Photographed by Soraya Zaman
Words by Lucinda-Rose Constable