Inside the IN BED Campaign: Naomi & Boris Tosic, Paddington, NSW

Images by Terence Chin
Words by Matt Lennon

This season’s IN BED campaign was a particularly special one for us. Photographed over multiple days in the home of our friends Naomi & Boris Tosic, the campaign captures not only some of our favourite new additions to the IN BED collection but also the unique character of the Tosic’s family home. Built over three years the 600 square meter property is a homage to Boris’s fastidious attention to detail. A builder by trade and the founder of Elan Construct, his touch is present in every inch of the space that includes 500 square meters of walnut timber panelling, 100 handmade cantilever steps, and 26 custom-made timber sash windows that are soundproof and hermetically sealed.

But this home is not just a story of design, it’s a story of family, friends, and fine-art too. We caught up with Naomi, who together with Boris runs The Office Space in Surry Hills, to talk more about their immaculate build, eclectic collection of art, and aspirations of lazy afternoons by the pool.

“Our home was originally a factory for making women’s hats. We weren’t actively looking to buy a property but I remember this one catching my eye and I knew Boris - being an incredible builder - could do something spectacular with this blank canvas. We had to excavate the basement to make sure there was no lead (which there wasn’t) but it gave us an extra floor which is now our gym, sauna, and cinema room. The factory was built boundary to boundary so there was no yard, but Boris overcame this by building the rooftop terrace with its pool and parapet garden.”

Left: Our new extra large beach towel in khaki and off white stripe made with GOTS Certified organic cotton (coming soon) on a Swisspearl Dune modular sofa alongside a Porto low table, Gidon Bing vase and cup, a plate by Wingnut & Co. and a bowl by Commons. Right: Naomi & Boris together in their kitchen.

“We spend so much time up there - especially when all five Tosic sons are together - having barbecues, listening to music and swimming in the pool. It’s incredibly private because we are above the tree line and we hear no noise from street level.”

“The house was certainly a much bigger project than we could have anticipated.  It’s not just the sheer volume of space but his attention to detail is pretty insane. This house was a great chance for Boris to put together all the architecture, design, and craftsmanship he has absorbed over the last 30 years in the industry. It was a living R&D project and he would spend weeks developing prototypes just to get the smallest details perfect.”

The house was certainly a much bigger project than we could have anticipated.

Left: A skylight in the kitchen looks up to the rooftop pool. Featuring a mahogany cake stand by Walk in the Park, a Gidon Bing vase and cup, and a plate by Wingnut & Co. Right: A selection of IN BED kitchenware and a speckle bowl by Tara Burke Studio sits atop the triangular kitchen bench anchored by a set of BassamFellows CB-21 Tractor stools.

“By the third year of building, we just couldn’t wait any longer so moved in the week before Christmas 2018. This is where things really started getting comical...  I had no kitchen! Nothing at all. Not even a sink. And six men to cook for (Boris, our two boys and my three stepsons). It was a fun challenge though. I stacked a mobile building scaffold full of my pots and pans and learned to make all our family meals using appliances I could plug into the wall - Thermomix, sous vide stick, pressure cooker, microwave!  I can hardly believe I have such an incredible kitchen now, with four ovens, a huge island bench, an operational sink!”

Left: A festive spread featuring a selection of IN BED kitchenware and a vase by Tara Burke laid out on the Tosic’s black marble Incas dining tables. Right: Our new Tan bedding woven & produced entirely in Europe using European Flax® certified linen.

Although the Tosic’s residence is wildly expansive and split over five levels, it retains the feel and warmth of a family home. During the days we spent with them shooting there was a steady flow of family, friends and colleagues coming and going giving the space a sense of being both lived in and alive. Naomi explains that this is no coincidence and that the house, in fact, was made to feel this way by design.

“I think it’s a combination of the beautiful cocooning timber, artwork, furniture and furnishings that Boris has added, plus the love and care that comes from all the meals I cook for my family and friends.  The triangular kitchen bench is the heart of our house and it’s where everyone naturally gravitates to.”

The triangular kitchen bench is the heart of our house and it’s where everyone naturally gravitates to.

A selection of IN BED organic cotton cushions on a sofa by Giovanni Offredi, a wooden candle holder by Walk in the Park, ceramic pot by Tara Burke Studio and artwork, from left to right, by Don Cameron, Julije Knifer and Stephen Nothling.

As Naomi alludes to above, the home has a colourful and ever present extended family found in the array of artworks that line the walls. Often in salon-style configuration the variety and depth of the collection speaks to Boris’s keen eye and ability to draw parallels between works in unexpected ways. With so many pieces it’s hard for the couple to call out any as favourites, however, Naomi draws special attention to fifteen collages from the ‘Inside Another Land’ series by Del Kathryn Barton
 which line the inside of the lift shaft and have become a delightful “peep-show” for any first-time guests to the home.

Left: Our new Olive & Peach bedding on a Moroso Highlands bed by Patricia Urquiola with an artwork by Bill Henson from Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Right: A khaki and off white stripe hand towel (coming soon) on a Bjhon 1 basin by Angelo Mangiarotti in the powder room.

“There are also two really special artworks - both by Bill Henson - which we love. One is a big circular piece which is possibly one of the only things I have contributed to the house aesthetically. I bought it at Sydney Contemporary in 2018 as a housewarming gift for Boris when we moved in at Christmas. The other Bill Henson piece Boris bought which hangs above our bed. Apparently Boris told Bill that it reminded him of our first kiss - which is incredibly romantic.”

Left: Naomi reads on the rooftop terrace. Right: An Anglepoise Lamp and ceramic mug by Commons sit atop a Marsotto Galata side table by Konstantin Grcic.

“Boris and I first met at The Office Space fifteen years ago through a mutual friend. Since then we’ve worked together on everything. We are so opposite that we make a great team. Boris’ business mind is incredible - not just the financial and strategic, but also the personal and interpersonal. I’m best at writing and organising and seeing things from a different perspective. So, I’m the words to his numbers. He’s the toughness and courage to my diplomacy and risk aversion. He’s the freight train and I’m furiously building the track around him!”  

He’s the toughness and courage to my diplomacy and risk aversion. He’s the freight train and I’m furiously building the track around him!

Top & Right: Our new Gauze bedding, woven and made entirely in Europe using GOTS certified cotton yarn and available in three earthy colours: bone, almond and terracottaLeft: A set of IN BED towels in rust, made in Denizli, Turkey from certified 100% Egyptian cotton.

“The Office Space was born seventeen years ago out of Boris’s realisation that he was building incredible corporate fitouts for blue chip companies but smaller business operators didn’t have spaces that were high on design and service. Within a decade, a whole industry of coworking and shared spaces had sprung up so he wanted to again raise the bar and do something super luxurious and considered.”

Left: Our new IN BED tote bag (coming soon) and 100% organic cotton cushion.

“This was the concept for our Paramount offices, and we were delighted when we won Best Office Design at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin in 2017.  With design-appreciation as a common thread, our clients are incredibly diverse - lawyers, property developers, PR, graphic designers, CEO’s.  I love developing the community aspect around these clients, and creating events and opportunities for them to connect with each other.”

Top: Our new lilac bedding and quilted khaki bed cover, both woven & produced entirely in Europe using European Flax® certified linen. Bottom: Our 100% linen placemat in stone and napkin in grey & white stripe.

An average day in the Tosic household is filled with activity and encapsulates the nuanced family dynamic and work-life balance that shapes Naomi and Boris’s routine.

“Our mornings are fun. Boris gets up early and trains in our gym while I go boxing at Paramount Recreation Club above our Paramount offices. We both finish around 7am and meet up at our local bakery Organic Bread Bar to grab our coffees and bread for the boys.

“We have breakfast together and love seeing Nala peering down at us through the rooftop pool. By 8am the kids and Boris are usually heading off to work and school which gives me time to run Nala hard in the park before heading to the office. We all converge on home around 4:30pm and I try to get everyone out for a walk with Nala before turning into the usual domestic rhythm of homework, dinners, baths and bed.”

We have breakfast together and love seeing Nala peering down at us through the rooftop pool.

Top: An IN BED linen tea towel in toffee and napkin in natural. Left: Our new khaki and off white towels (coming soon) on a beautiful Agape DR bath by Marcio Kogan along with a selection of self-care items from IN BED’s Paddington flagship. Right: Naomi enjoying some afternoon sun on the rooftop terrace.

“If I’m not working or parenting, I’m exercising or cooking!  I love intense physical activity (like boxing) or really complex physical activity (like golf) - or both, like Muay Thai, which has been my obsession this year. And I love learning, so I read a lot - from an eclectic range of categories: philosophy, parenting, cooking, health, psychology, medical papers, world news, history.  [For the rest of the year and into next] I am really looking forward to spending more time with Boris. And just enjoying our home and our neighbourhood. I dream of lazy afternoons by the pool listening to music, sneaky midday movies at Verona Cinema, and cooking for family and friends.”