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Art imitates life for blooming beautiful couple.

The Property Addict / Luxury Lifestyle

Oct 19 2016

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The artwork of Sydney artist Alesandro Ljubicic is unmistakable. Thick smears of luminescent oils burst from the canvas in colourful bouquets, great blooming portraits that breathe life and love straight into the viewer's face. It should therefore come as no surprise, really, that the home of Alesandro, and his fiance Monika Radulovic, feels exactly the same: bright, unusual, and full of joy. DSCF3034 Set among the waterfront homes of Botany, the two story top level apartment is the first buy for Alessandro and Monika, who both previously were living with their parents. It is a veritable gallery of quirk and curiosity, with the beautiful and weird knick-knacks mingling to somehow meld a rather impressive whole. (It must be Alesandro's clever artist's eye that manages to match a wire chandelier with a marble table - and make it work.) So, why Botany? "It chose us, really." starts Alesandro. "We were looking in Waterloo and Elizabeth Bay, but everything was so expensive. So we decided to get an investment property in the Western Suburbs, and then sell it off. A few days later we were at a dinner and friends were talking about how they had bought this brand new place off the plan in Botany...and something triggered inside me." DSCF3079 Knowing nothing of the suburb, Alesandro following his gut instinct regardless and searched for properties in Botany that Friday night. He found their soon-to-be apartment amongst the options and it was love at first sight for both himself and Monika. After persistent calls to the property's agent, they managed to meet with him that coming Sunday, and before they knew it, they had made an offer. "Buying it was the best thing we have done," says Alesandro, "...other than buying our cat, Paris." Paris looks at him, and closes her eyes with an unimpressed sigh from her spot on the couch. Freshly turned 30, Alesandro is the owner of The Sydney Art Store, a fine art supply shop in Waterloo. This is a man who lives and breathes his art - a former student of the renowned National Art School, talented Alesandro won a $3,000 grant in his early days as a student. Unlike most of his peers, who would be dreaming of summer vacations abroad, Alesandro instead used his prize money to found an online store of the finest art supplies available. DSCF3013 "At the time I was struggling being a student and affording art supplies," explains Alesandro. "So I rang my favourite art supply company and told them I was opening an online art store and asked if I could get wholesale. They agreed, and suddenly I had an online business." Following its immediate success, Alesandro and his brave parents - who mortgaged their house! - opened a bricks-and-mortar extension of the online shop, and The Sydney Art Store was born. It stocks luxury international paint brands, canvases & supplies, Alesandro has even started manufacturing his own range of supplies. DSCF3009 It is fair to say that Alesandro has a keen eye for beauty - and meeting his stunning fiancà © Monika, you can see that she is no exception. Officially crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2015, 25-year-old Monika has an impressive array of talents that supercede simply being drop dead gorgeous (which she is). She has an honours degree in Psychology, is fluent in English, Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian; and looking around her home - has a damn good eye for interiors, too. "Every single piece in our home has a story," smiles Monika. " Both Alesandro and I came straight from our parents home, so everything was new. We wanted each piece to be special so we took our time, waiting to find the perfect piece that added something special." To be honest, "Ë?special' doesn't even begin to cover the artistic flair of this modern apartment. The walls are a veritable gallery of up-and-coming Australian artists, boasting bright offerings from Giles Alexander, Alan Jones. Jasper Knight and Oliver Rasik - all, incidentally, customers of Alesandro's art shop. DSCF3020 But even more special again are Alesandro's eponymous artworks, loving tokens to his fiance: a fuchsia splashed portrait of a little pug dog, and a sprawling portrait of Monika's beauty-queen face emerging from his signature floral bloom. As we catch their powder-puff kitten Paris staring mournfully up at the pug portrait with her little blue eyes, we ask - er, who is the dog? "The painting of the dog is a pug I fell in love with at a pet shop," says Monika. "but if I was to ever buy a dog it would be a rescue...so he painted a picture of him instead!" Adorable. Stepping backwards out the front door, the quirky entranceway gives a wink of what's to come inside: rust-red painted corrugated iron glows against a pop of lurid green ferns, and colourful mat that cheerfully greets, "Ë?HELLO!' Hello indeed! The ornaments and general mood of the home seems to keep greeting you once inside - hello from the laughing Buddha carved statues, hello from the gold and silver honeycomb mirror, and a big hello from their hallway of impossibly chic black and white happy snaps of themselves and their families. Coincidentally, both the couple were born in war-torn Bosnia, moving to Australia as young children, and say that both of their close-knit clans are eagerly anticipating their upcoming nuptials. "Our wedding is in 2018 with no set date or location locked in," says an excited Monika. "We are both lucky enough to have incredible families who are totally supportive, so it will be something very special." When asked about the influences on her interior aesthetic, Monika is quick to refer to the sense of easy happiness that pervades the home - "Everything in our home evokes positive energy. Colour, light, love, beauty and happiness." From the bright yellow industrial stools to the funky lucite dining table setting, hot pink pillows and sparkly artworks, this is a home that exudes entertaining, music, and laughter. One of the most fetching pieces of the home, however, is a silver canvas that suspends fluorescent yellow lettering spelling out: "I'll love you to the moon and back." And, after just a brief time with this beautiful couple - inside, and out - this is certainly one case of art imitating life. DSCF3041 [gallery size="medium" ids="4221,4222,4223,4224,4225,4226,4227,4228,4230,4231,4232,4233,4234,4235,4236,4237"]  

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