Curated clutter


Words: Amanda Talbot. Photography: Jennifer Soo

Clusters of objects, colour blocking and flower arrangements – visit event designer Alex Zabotto-Bentley in his own space.

Food for thought … Alex Zabotto-Bentley sitting at his handmade, reclaimed-timber kitchen table.

Food for thought … Alex Zabotto-Bentley sitting at his handmade, reclaimed-timber kitchen table.

Alex Zabotto-Bentley's ground-floor Sydney apartment gives the impression he has spent a lifetime visually displaying his memories. It's hard to believe he's only been here for just three months. But while most of us fight clutter, he makes beautifully curated clusters of it.

"I love being surrounded by old treasures collected in my travels," says Zabotto-Bentley, the mastermind behind AZBcreative, which specialises in making visual experiences for corporate events. "I have a warehouse filled with furniture and objects from across the world."

His eclectic apartment is an extension of what he does best: creating a magical space brimming with books, artwork and objects that fire the imagination. "I'm like a magpie when I'm hunting and gathering. I have this knack of spotting the gem among the mass of trash and finding the perfect spot for it at home."

Rob and Lisa have created a beautiful setting for entertaining in the front garden. The table is made from shipping palettes. The wooden bar above it allows Lisa to hang garlands of flowers, along with a string of lights for magical effect. Click for more photos

Home of the week

Click through to see how these homebodies transformed their urban abodes. Photo: Jennifer Soo

Zabotto-Bentley suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder as a boy, and today still colour co-ordinates his ceramics, figurines and books. "When I am setting up a vignette, I work with a rule of odd numbers. One nice object doesn't say anything about who I am, two is shrug-the-shoulder stuff, but a group is where the power is. Yes, I have a lot of stuff, but I like to say I have ordered clutter."