Elegant Eclecticism

A home-away-from-home in Melbourne takes cues from the showmanship of an art gallery

On a built-in shelf nestled into a stark white wall, two geometric sculptures are paired with a contemporary piece of art. This scene belongs to a residence in Melbourne’s inner city central business district that, while not an art gallery, clearly takes cues. ‘We looked to gallery-like spaces for inspiration, with a real focus on insertions of key sculptural moments and details,’ says Kylie Dorotic, director of Victoria-based architecture and interior design studio GOLDEN. She responded to the clients’ request to ‘make the apartment something they were excited to come home to’ with a design concept filled with unexpected asymmetry, eclecticism and splashes of drama.

The clients are a professional couple whose main home sits along picturesque St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula. As they frequently make the 90-minute drive into central Melbourne for work, taking a second residence in the inner city was ideal. ‘It’s really used as their own boutique hotel, where they come and go as needed,’ says Dorotic. ‘They’re avid entertainers, so it’s been designed for their inner city network.’

The 83-square-metre apartment is one of 20 residences comprising a boutique development within a heritage building featuring a Victorian-style facade. The home’s material palette references its historic shell with details such as herringbone flooring and Carrara marble, which contribute to an ambience of sophistication. The entryway, rendered in gray wax plaster, adds to a sense of arrival. Bespoke joinery in the living room is elegant in its simplicity. Installed curved walls open up the dining area, which looks out onto the balcony. ‘Because it’s a small space, we’re most proud of the way that it comes together as a whole,’ says Dorotic. ‘We took great care with detail to ensure that it felt like a seamless, intentional and considered extension of the shell.’

As eclectic as the home might be, great care has been taken to ensure that the objects blend seamlessly together, thanks in part to the clients’ meticulous eye for detail and desire for a warm, Parisian inner city vibe. As Dorotic puts it: ‘There’s a fine art to balancing a collection of furniture and objects and ensuring it feels cohesive.’

Text / Leanne Mirandilla       Images / Sharyn Cairns  Styling / Andrea Moore