Shades of grey

as featured in
A single palette of grey and clever lighting have created the drama of the night sky in this apartment
Living room with grey marble floor tiles, grey ceiling, floor, home, interior design, lighting, living room, real estate, room, wall, teal, black
Living room with grey marble floor tiles, grey walls and ceiling, large wall mirror, wooden chair, sofa, sculptures and artwork.

A lack of natural light is often a problem in apartments. This is usually because the urban landscape is clusters of tall buildings that block out available light. One way to deal with the problem is to design an interior that plays up the drama of the location.

With this inner-city apartment, designer Geoff Thomas chose to use the lack of light to create a living environment that replicates the night sky.

This he achieved by painting the walls and the ceilings of all the rooms in the same colour anthracite grey. Thomas chose the colour to complement the night-time view from the 15th floor apartment.

He then enhanced the overall design by using lighting to provide vignettes into the rooms when passing by.

Throughout the living areas, the floor was already a grey marble. While not a finish of choice, the designer says his night-time theme works with the polished hard surface.

"In the evening, with the right lighting, the floor is a fairly rich colour. It adds depth to the space, being a textural contrast with the matt walls and ceilings," Thomas says.

The curtains are also in the same tone. These are drawn at night to divide off spaces and add fluidity to the otherwise straight lines in the rooms.

"I like to take a colour and use it relentlessly. The only way I alter it is in the use of textures," he says.


Hallway with large black and white prints, dark architecture, interior design, black
Hallway with large black and white prints, dark grey walls and grey marble floor tiles, grey curtain and view to room beyond.

Thomas's apartment was originally two separate dwellings. He linked these by creating a corridor.

He says the building had an office quality in the way it was constructed.

"By painting everything in the one colour I have been able to disguise itsseparate, office-like origins."

As Thomas works a lot from home, he says it was important to create versatile living spaces. These needed to be used for meeting with clients during the day and entertaining at night.

"I don't like areas to be designated for a specific use. I like to have fluidity with space," he says.

Pivotal to the design is the generous entrance foyer. This room is the showcase of all the key design elements Thomas has employed throughout the apartment.

Symmetry is also important in design for Thomas. He says in the entrance the 300mm square marble tiles provide the template for the stools, cushions, and plinths.

"Without knowing it, there is strength in the room's symmetry. This produces a sense of order and calmness," Says Thomas.

Kitchen with ceramic tiles on walls and floor, ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, lighting, black
Kitchen with ceramic tiles on walls and floor, stainless steel benches with grey cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and mirrored splashback.

The room is furnished with an eclectic selection of furniture.

"I like to challenge the concepts of design. Ill take an almost cliched piece of Chinese furniture and contrast it with a display plinth to give that edge," he says.

Large mirrors are used to create lots of reflection and illusions of space. These, the designer says are a bonus in design.

"Mirrors give you two or three images of something. In effect, you get more for your dollar."

The corridor that links the two apartments is used as an art gallery.

"I don't like having art in a space where you are confronted by it. Using art in the corridor creates a nice transition area."

This leads through to the television area, and master and guest bedroom suites where timber flooring adds warmth.

Dec 17, 2004

Credit list

Wallcoverings
ICI paint
Lighting
Halogen ceiling mounted spotlights
Stove and hob
Bompani stainless steel
Flooring
Marble tile
Fridge-freezer
Whirlpool stainless steel
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