Richard Dawson and Tiff Norton moved into their two-bedroom 10th floor apartment in Newcastle West a few weeks ago, and they've wasted no time putting up art, hanging plants and inviting over friends.
They're not a couple. They lived together previously in Mayfield and got along, so when an opportunity came up that ticked all their boxes, they thought 'why not?'
They're both very social.
"I think if you're living with someone, you want someone who meshes well with you, someone with the same amount of enthusiasm, saying yes to social activities," Norton says.
"We are both saving to buy houses; this puts us in a better financial situation.
"It was, for me, either live alone or live with Rich."
They each have a bathroom and parking spot. They were blown away when they saw the spacious rooftop with a barbecue and a 365 degree view of the city.
"I had no chill when I got to the rooftop, I was like 'is that a wine fridge?'" Norton says.
"And then there's the view," Dawson says.
Enter their home and the view strikes you first, thanks to long windows and a balcony looking over Newcastle West and on to Nobbys.
Dawson works from home in financial services and says it's the best office in Newcastle.
He has binoculars to keep a close eye on activity in the city and at sea.
An old nautical map, printed in London in 1852, hangs above his desk.
The map, once his grandmother's, is of Newcastle harbour with aeronautical navigation markers to direct ships into the harbour.
"My nan was born in Newcastle, we've got lots of family history here," Dawson says.
"The map is perfectly positioned next to the view, goes with the binoculars."
Norton is a barber at Onwards Studio, so she hasn't spent quite as much time at home enjoying the space like Dawson. But she's put plenty of planning into its decor. Everything in the apartment is either second-hand or from a local small business.
"I dialled back what I would normally do because the view is so epic," she says.
"At the same time, I didn't want this apartment to be too monochrome".
"My style is very white, black, brown," Dawson says.
"But when we lived together before, Tiff was super colourful. One of my new year's resolutions was to buy more art".
They have works from local artists, including several pieces from Norton's friend Rosie Turner.
Dawson owns the colourful piece closest to the kitchen. It's a painting called Cells by Gavin Vitullo, he painted it during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The concept is that red separates everyone, but yellow connects.
Also, in the lounge room, is a picture of the city by James Hodgett.
All the carpet and textiles are hand-made kilims from Turkey, one of Norton's favourite countries.
She has a functional "proper vintage styling lamp on a WWII tripod" that she got from a furniture wholesaler in Melbourne (where she's originally from). It's moved with her through eight different houses.
"It's the one piece of furniture everyone tries to steal off me," Norton says.
Norton has a green thumb and all her plants are from High Swan Dive. She's found she's had to water the plants more because of all the sun they get.
The balcony gets the perfect combination of sun and sea breeze. Dawson loves watching the ships coming from Kooragang out to harbour. Norton likes watching the tram and the people rowing in the morning.
"I like looking down at the Bank Corner building," Norton says.
They feel like they are living in the next phase of Newcastle.
They are looking forward to when the city's nightlife can open up and lockout laws change. They're keen to try Rum Diaries, a new bar nearby.
Norton and Dawson are embracing their new high-rise lifestyle. They're getting settled, working hard and having fun.