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Dichotomy of Contrasts Apartment :: Project Update

dichotomy : division or contrast between two things that are entirely different

— late 16th c : from Greek dichotomy "in two, apart"


One of the gorgeous projects I have been working on

is what I refer to as "the dichotomy of contrasts" apartment,

which involved a dramatic transformation of a 2 bedroom unit in a 1960s block

in an inner city suburb of Melbourne.


The owner has a wonderful appreciation of beautiful things,

and wanted a place to come home to at the end of a long work day 

which was welcoming, calming, tranquil & something of a luxurious retreat. 


She also wanted to be able to entertain, 

so we needed a layout which could quickly be changed

from a cosy living space to one which would fit in a dozen people or so.


And of course a new kitchen which would inspire her to cook!


It's now almost complete - and we have just celebrated

the completion of building works,

which involved creating a new kitchen, new bathroom/laundry, 

and a rework of the living room involving new bookshelves

a built in "gin and tonic bar" and a glorious new artwork.


 An enchanting painting by Miertje Skidmore now hangs above my client's existing sofa. We are having velvet cushions made up which will tie in with the new colour scheme of pale lilac, indigo, greys, blacks and whites. This neutral backdrop will allow my client to quickly change the mood with fresh flowers and candles, allowing her lots of flexibility even though the space is compact.



There are a few more items of furniture to be added,

including a custom-made dining ottoman bench

(upholstered in diamond-buttoned oyster grey velvet),

a set of the ever-classic Thonet no 18 dining chairs, in black,

and some additional side tables and lamps,

but these are a few snapshots taken on my phone during site inspections,

of how it's shaping up so far....


 This chandelier in the kitchen is actually a rangehood, as well as a light, and creates a glamorous sparkle in the room. An open shelf allows my client to display her very large collection of gorgeous china & glassware, which she brought back to Melbourne after many years living in London. Most of it is housed in custom made closed shelving, and is rotated out on display as the whim takes her.



 Honed black Indian granite, New Age Veneer cupboards in a mottled grey tone, simple square rippled white wall tiles and a matt black mixer from Brodware create a monotone backdrop for whatever my client may want to put on display on her open shelf. Each time I visit, there is something new!

Contrast: man made concrete & natural geode stone


 The contrast of matte concrete, in the custom-made concrete vanity sink by Wood Melbourne, is played up against the fanciful tones and patterns of the Geode cupboard handles, which are edged in gold. Honed black Indian granite contrasts with the glossy white rippled tiles and sparkling mirrors.


Dichotomy: the rough texture of fine linen....


 Curtains in the living room are made from very textured Spanish linen, with an unusual Goblet Pleat heading.


The original parquet tile floors are a fabulous feature, and the intention was to allow them to take centre stage. A new Dandelion floor rug from Armadillo plays "peek-a-boo" with the patterned floor colours and textures through its lace-like open sections.


 All the door knobs were replaced with new rose gold lever handles - which are much easier to use than a knob - and the touch of rose gold casts a welcoming warm glow.


 Black Astra Walker tapware, in a simple classic design, is the perfect contrast against the glamorously detailed Geode handles in the bathroom.  I always encourage my clients to invest in quality tapware, with the philosophy that any item which moves is worth spending money on, because they are the items which will wear out faster than items which are stationary.


  In a deep indigo blue which almost looks grey at certain times of the day, the glazed porcelain floor tiles are Spanish and one of the elements which my client loves most about the renovation works. We used the same tiles in the bathroom and also on the balcony, for consistency, which I like to do as it creates a sense of calm in a building if one sees repeated elements.


 The kitchen uses the same materials as the bathroom, but the handles are quite different. They are also hand-made, but in a very matte black iron finish, in a style which references the Bessa Block work of the apartment building balconies.  Australian-made Brodware matt black mixer.


 Glass shelves, with in-built cabinet LED lighting, are a marvellous way to house crystal and glass, because it's quick to find what you are looking for. The pull out deep drawers below house that fabulous collection of china I mentioned.


It has been a joy to work on this project, 

and to help create a home of warmth & beauty for my client. 


Having one of my favourite builders take it from concept to reality

is a testament to the quality of his work & his team,

 which has made it all come to life. 


And for me,

hearing that my client loves her "new home"

is truly one of the most exciting,

and humbling, 

aspects of being a designer,

which makes me feel ever-so-lucky to work in the industry

which I enjoy so much,

because it brings people happiness in their everyday life.

Thank you so much for helping me to create such a gorgeous & comfortable space. I’ve really loved working with you.