Our downsizing clients, James and Janie, longed for someplace beautiful, minimalist, and low maintenance as they moved out of their family home in Hawthorn, Victoria. Bought as an investment for their future, this Southbank apartment offers shopping, restaurants, and botanical gardens right on the doorstep with a magnificent view over Melbourne’s CBD from the terrace, eliminating the need to compromise on lifestyle. However the owners felt the newly purchased apartment lacked personality, storage solutions and presented structural obstructions.
Interior designer, Cara (The Stylesmiths), approached the project within the realm of simplicity and minimalism, innovating design solutions that enhance apartment living. Two round structural columns were the most obvious challenge, as their odd positioning in living zone and bedroom interrupted the flow of the floor plan. Stylesmith Cara resolved the issue seamlessly, by reworking the inconvenient structures into essential features of the overall interior design. Wrapped in slim grey and white finger tiles that complement the apartment’s colour palette, the columns now offer textural interest adding subtle character to the space. In the living area, a custom-built dining table of timber with stone inlay hugs one of its ends around the column, giving the structure a purpose and synergy.
With a smaller footprint than the family home James and Jenny were moving from, the apartment’s initial lack of storage needed critical thinking. Cara was able to resolve the storage issues by installing custom joinery throughout the home that responds to our clients’ lifestyle needs. Successfully maximizing every space, upon entry is a cupboard and drawers that double as a seat, providing the perfect place to slip your shoes off at the end of a long day. A similar solution has been implemented in the master bedroom, where long drawers are disguised under a cushion banquet, following on to connect with the study nook that looks out through North-facing windows over the art precinct. Built specifically for the space, these details add to the effortless interior design that is unique, practical, and restrained.
The star of the show, however, is a stunning marble wall feature that takes pride of place on the living room wall. Referencing the light and shade that glimmers throughout Melbourne, the marble showcases its book-matched veins in neutral greys sprawling across the wall. A favourite for both client and designer alike, the stone continues down to create the bench top of the custom entertainment unit, which houses added storage.
The apartment’s colour palette is based on creamy whites and black accents, with a hint of orange that’s woven into the handcrafted Hare + Klein rug adding warming layers in the main living space. Curves are prominent throughout the project, inspired by the centric columns and reimagined via furniture and joinery – from the round rug to spheric lamps, down to the rounded corners on the dining table, and hinted in the linen curtains that sporadically dance in the breeze.