Shimmering Inner-City Glamour
Can you call someone “a client” whom you have known for 20 years, who has entrusted you with designing the interiors of their home, their holiday apartment, their business? Trust is built to such an extent with a relationship like this, that it is impossible not to regard this as a true and lasting friendship. One such client again reached out to Di Henshall to help transform a fairly tired three-bedroom apartment in a stunning inner-city location into a new principal place of residence. With a relationship spanning two decades, it was almost not necessary to give a brief, the only one given, “Make this place feel like home to me”.
From this starting point, Di set about ripping the place to pieces, demolishing the kitchen, bathrooms and several walls. Having successfully destroyed the apartment, the question almost came to mind – what was really wrong with the property in the first place? You would think that having worked with the client on so many other occasions that the familiar colour palette and style would follow successfully as before, but this wasn’t in Di’s thoughts and she began creating a totally new, jewel-coloured interior that smacks of New York loft-style, blended with an edge of Australian urbanism.
The only request from the client was that precious pieces of furniture from the former family home were incorporated into the newly constructed master suite, together with artefacts and glassware collected from all over the world from a lifetime of extensive travels.
The result is nothing short of stunning. Entering the apartment, it is difficult to believe this was once a pokey, dark, uninspiring, long hallway. A wall of smoked mirror meets the beautiful, soft grey herringbone timber floor, with a custom made, dramatic rug. Edgy lighting and charcoal wallpaper create a sense of grandeur and anticipation of what is to come.
Custom-made steel open shelving units were introduced where there was once a small, cluttered study nook to accommodate all the treasures. The shelving houses an amazing collection, leading one through into the new bar, complete with wine fridge, glasses storage, occasional chairs and a wine tasting table.
The entire curved glass walls of the expansive living areas are swathed in motorised metallic aquamarine sheer curtains. The effect is immediate and impactful. Although the colours used throughout are strong and somewhat arresting, it is the blend of soft timbers, dark veneers, extensive mirror and dazzling lighting that combine to create a surprisingly welcoming, gentle interior.
One of the biggest surprises is finding a fully functioning electric-powered fireplace set into the vast kitchen bench. This is something that is not often seen, especially not in a high-rise city dwelling. The fireplace adds to the cosiness and comforting effect the apartment exudes. Bathrooms are a stand-out, with beautiful tiling, lighting and cabinetry. Space is always a premium in apartment living, but clever storage is in every room, discreetly enclosed in rich timber veneers and behind sliding doors. Every room affords a spectacular view, if only one could tear one’s eyes away from the gorgeous interior.