Nathan and Jaynie Johnson are the creative couple behind art and design studio Blacklist. Nestled amongst lush, tropical greenery, they live with their three children Willow, Dare and Rocko. Thoughtfully renovated and bathed in natural light, their beachside bungalow is a considered curation of meaningful objects and art that reflects their worldview, philosophies and heart. We spent an afternoon with the family to learn more about their home, art practice and plans for this holiday season.
“We live in quiet Cronulla, where we both grew up. We love it here as it’s quick to the city, but feels worlds away. It’s a small community and you can still go to the shops in your PJs. We wanted to create a space that would allow the home to change with us. It’s mostly a mix of textures and meaningful objects that tell a story or conjure a memory for us. It’s evolutionary and each piece is considered.”
“Nathan spends his day running our design studio and painting. I am currently completing my masters in social work, working in the studio on a variety of projects and running a project called Lucky Mama, which runs retreats for mums who have children living with disabilities but aren’t defined by them. We are also raising three extraordinary tiny humans.”
“We wanted to be able to create our own hours and our own aesthetic, which we have been fortunate enough to do. We have never been huge planners but as I (Jaynie) step a little out of the business in this next season, Nathan has grand plans of continuing to make super limited original works that speak of his experience, worldview, philosophies and heart. We will also pursue projects that are purposeful and aligned with our personal values.”
“We love heading out to Boat Harbour where we can all get on a party wave. We also are real homebodies and love having friends over. Every Friday, we make sure the fridge is stocked and ready to feed people who come by.”
“Most of our family are up north, so we will be road-tripping between here and Tweed Heads. Christmas will be at ours because our kids love Lego, and there’s no way they will want to leave. We go to church on Christmas eve and then come home and have pizza, every year. Then we wrap presents and watch the Melbourne carols. We love the idea of the family all being together as much as possible. We also do themed-gifting for our children; we find this helps manage expectations and shopping, though I tend to go overboard. So we stick with themes such as something you: need, want, can build, can wear, can share, can read.”
“Love is all you need. Everyone is facing a battle you know nothing about. Remembering this helps remind you, when you’re out and about, to be extra kind and patient towards your neighbour, proverbially and literally.”