Margot Keep’s apartment
Darnley Hall, Elizabeth Bay NSW
Darnley Hall is a seven-storey apartment block comprising 13 apartments, designed in 1924 by architects Sir Charles Rosenthal & Harry Cooper Day and completed in 1925. Each apartment boasts panoramic views across the harbour towards Sydney Heads. Darnley Hall was considered to be a very advanced building in its day, with ‘every modern convenience’ including an electric lift, hot water services and a ‘Kernorator’, an American device for the disposal of garbage by a slow combustion fire.
From the mid-1950s, apartment 9 was the residence of Edward Francis Keep and his wife Betty, a notable Australian fashion journalist, fashion editor at The Australian Women’s Weekly from 1947 until 1972. When the Keeps' daughter Margot inherited the apartment on her mother’s death in 1993, the apartment was refurbished by well-known Sydney interior designer, Leslie Walford and then refreshed again by Walford in 2005. Walford’s long-term partner Dickie Keep was Margot’s brother. Walford’s scheme created a sense of airy luxury in its use of wallpapers, floor coverings, curtains and upholstery to cover both new and existing French and English antique furniture. But Margot Keep was keen to add her own influence through 'a good flow of colour'. Soon after decoration was completed she said: "yellow is such a happy colour, clear and sunny - and pink is so successful with food and people. It's a very personal choice."
These photographs were taken after Margot Keep’s death in late 2006 but prior to the sale of the apartment and its contents in February and March 2007.
Betsy Brennan, 'Golden delicious', Vogue Apartments, Grennwich NSW, 1995/96, pp.56-59