Tamarama Ness – creative, beach lover and all round good chick

Meet Ness, master creator – wizard of food and effortless style in presentation both with her meal creations and fashion street sense. Possibly one of the only people that can pull off sneakers with a runway dress. Mother to two beautiful girls Sophia and Bianaca, wife to Brainiac Timbo and one of the originals to our Aquabumps family.

We caught up with Ness to take a peak in her newly built home in Tamarama and spent the morning shooting the breeze about her loves, life and even got to sit in her new Mustang. She’s one cool chick and we love her…

Tell us a little bit about you Ness. What do you do when you’re not running after your two beautiful girls – projects past and new…

I’m a creator of things. Whether it’s photographs, brands, books or food – I love being a part of the creative journey, whatever form it takes. I’ve worked on photo shoots (food and kids – but not at the same time), corporate design and tech projects in the big smoke, a food blog, a cookbook , was a restaurant pianist for a brief period (we’re talking the 80’s), lots of print design (the 90’s) and have designed all sorts of logos and brands and things. But my best creation is our two girls.


What do you love about living in Tama?

I’ve lived in Tama or close by for most of my 17 years in Sydney. It felt like home the moment I arrived. There’s a great energy in the area, and it feels like being on holidays all year round. It also helps that we have the best neighbours ever. It reminds me of growing up in Perth – where we knew everyone on the street and hung outside to chat. Summer is magnificent – evening swims on a balmy night are the best. Winter is equally beautiful – watching the wild seas and storms roll in is addictive.


Describe your style in 3 words

Creative, eclectic and random!


When it comes to your home – what do you love to surround yourself with. How would you describe the aesthetic of your space/home.

I have an equal love for old crumbling heritage houses, and streamlined modern structures. Our house is new, and the architectural brief was modern Greek island. So there’s a lot of white going on, different textures and strong rectangular spaces. I like clean lines and contemporary design. Equally, if my house resembled an ancient ruin with a moat I’d love that too.

In terms of what’s in my home – it’s a bit like filling a big white box, slowly gathering pieces that we love. We have a beautiful painting in the main living area of our house, by a very talented artist – James Ettelson. It’s very detailed, and I often catch myself staring into the detail and vagueing out – like a form of meditation. It’s called The Life Aquatic, and James painted it whilst living in Tamarama for a short period. In front of James’s painting are some very delicate Bocci white pendant lights, made of porcelain. They look like big shells and were actually modeled on barnacles. Books – we’ve got a lot of them – fiction, non-fiction and cookbooks. I love being surrounded by them – lots of good memories in that bookshelf. Some of my books have been with me on my travels to different cities and countries. They are slightly colour coded – a Virgo OCD thing. I love our Aquabumps pieces – we have a big collection from the early years through to today. I always feel like going for a swim when I look at them. My husband is in one of them which is special. We have some special sculptural ceramic works from my brother Bruce, who has Anchor Ceramics. These sit on our front entry cabinetry, where I can see them everyday. They are beautiful natural colours – terracottas and off whites. It’s like having little houses inside your house. My daughter’s drawings are also dotted throughout our house.


Your top 5 Aquabumps images of the moment.

Choosing 5 is very hard. But if I have to:

Peppermint fresh: Italian beach style at it’s finest. Crystal waters and candy colours. Fresh and cool.

Whitey: Bondi Icebergs – one of my favourite places. So favourite that we got married there. I love the clean black and white lines and the roar of the sea in this piece.

She floats: we bought this recently to complete a little house in our garden. It’s deeply moody and tranquil, and goes perfectly in the very white little A frame room. Perfect to have above a bed.

Magic: I spend many sunrise mornings down at Bondi. And they are most definitely magic. This piece captures that magic so well – stunning colours and a peaceful vibe.

The Pass: I love the vastness of the ocean and shore in this piece.


Photography: Rachel Dray