Artistic expression

Breaking away from a standard all-white colour scheme provided an opportunity to personalise this new apartment

Lounge with cream corner sofa, dark leather chaise ceiling, couch, furniture, home, interior design, lighting, living room, room, table, wall, black, brown
Lounge with cream corner sofa, dark leather chaise lounge, and large painting on wall by Alana Holme Ngwarrey, tall light, glass coffee table with a vase of flowers, Interior Designer: Rober Grubb & Associate (Sydney), Renovations Builder: F&P Dentice NZ1014 Interior Design.

Monochromatic, box-like apartment interiors have become a predictable design solution for developers. While such interiors reflect the popular trend towards a pared-down look, they can leave homeowners wanting more.

Gary Sands, the owner of the apartment featured on these pages wanted to individualise his all-white apartment interior and make it a more comfortable living environment. Designer Robert Grubb says introducing colour was a way to absorb some of the intense light from the large expanse of windows in the open-plan living area.

"Buildings such as this apartment complex can dictate a style that is very today', but we didn't want an obvious design solution that would look dated in a couple of years," he says. "The architecture also lends itself to an eclectic design approach, using a mix of interesting pieces."

Robert Grubb says the design needed to accommodate the owners' changing art collection, which includes several large paintings and sculptures.

A 4m-long Tim Maguire diptych helped determine the colour selection for the living area. Its bold red and blue tones are balanced by a red painting on the opposite side of the room. Other walls are painted a light grey shade. Furnishings chosen to complement these tones include a dark brown leather chaise lounge and a black granite plinth that supports a sculpture from renowned international artist Bert Flugelman.

Kitchen with grey lacquer cabinetry, grey flecked granite architecture, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, interior design, kitchen, lighting, room, wall, gray, black, red
Kitchen with grey lacquer cabinetry, grey flecked granite benchtop with black granite framing, light tiled floor, built-in oven and red artwork on wall beyond. View to living area with painting on wall and strip lighting, vase of flowers on kitchen bench, keatle, sink with stainless steel tap, stainless steel dishwasher, Interior Designer: Rober Grubb & Associate (Sydney), Renovations Builder: F&P Dentice NZ1014 Interior Design.

Black granite also forms an edging around the kitchen island. Originally a slim-look cabinet, the island was re-designed to look more like a piece of furniture, says Robert Grubb.

"We bulked it out to give it more volume and added a shadow line and the black edging. The mirrored front makes it seem less intrusive from the dining area."

The mirrors also reflect the large artwork, adding to the sense of drama in the apartment. Robert Grubb says the lighting was re-designed with new track lighting highlighting special items, such as the art and furniture.

Other changes on the first floor included transforming the laundry into a butler's pantry.

Considerable alterations were made on the second floor as well. To provide more storage in the master bedroom, additional space was gained from an adjacent bedroom. A new camphor-laurel wood veneer wall now disguises a bank of wardrobes.

Bathroom with small grey tiles on floor and architecture, bathroom, glass, interior design, property, room, tile, black, gray
Bathroom with small grey tiles on floor and walls white toilet bath and basin stainless steel tapware accessories and plumbing, shower over bath with glass partition, and large mirror and cavity with marble top and splashback above basin and toilet, Interior Designer: Robert Grubb & Associates (Sydney), Renovations Builder: F&P Dentice NZ1914 Interior Design.

"This beautiful veneer was found in an old store and dates back to the 1950s," says the designer.

Further visual interest is provided on the opposite wall, which features padded, dark leather. Fitted side tables and mirrors at either end of the veneer wall help to add a sense of space to the room.

Different tones of camphor laurel veneer also feature in the second bedroom and study. Other changes include the addition of new stone vanity tops and new fittings in the bathrooms.

Credit list

Renovations builder
F&P Dentice
Marble Work from Euro Marble
Curtain fabric
South Pacific
Kitchen benchtops
Granite from Euro Marble
Wood panelling in bedroom
Camphor laurel veneer
Bathroom vanity top and splashback
Euro Marble
Kaldewei Photography by Mark Mawson
Kitchen manufacturer
Davis & Reed Exclusive Furniture
Rug by Whitecliffe Carpets
Designed by Robert Grubb & Associates
Tim Maguire. Alana Holme Ngwarrey, Charlie Sheard and Bert Flugelman
Davis & Reed
Leather by Contemporary Leathers
Shower fittings

Story by: Trendsideas

22 Nov, 2003

Home kitchen bathroom commercial design

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