Wood finishes, touches of stainless steel and an open-plan layout combine to make this apartment both a modern and comfortable home

Bathroom with light coloured tiled walls, white bath, bathroom, bathroom accessory, floor, home, interior design, property, real estate, room, window, gray, brown
Bathroom with light coloured tiled walls, white bath, mirror, stainless steel towel rail, and red flowers for contrast, Architect: Archimedia, NZIA, Builder: MPM Projects NZ1914 Interior Design.

Apartment interiors are often seen as being cool and contemporary sometimes at the expense of comfort and warmth. However, as the apartment on these pages demonstrates, a well thought out design can achieve the modern and the inviting sitting side by side.

The owners-developers of this two-storey penthouse in the recently completed Hyatt Residences wanted an interior decor that wouldn't lose favour over time. They also required a warm atmosphere with contemporary touches. This was achieved in part by introducing dark-toned wood elements throughout the home, says the project's interior designer Alexandra Dalzell.

"Selected furniture pieces and detailing were carefully matched in terms of chocolate stain and employed right through the interior," Dalzell says. "The same warm tones are found on wood panels in the entry, on the cantilevered stairs in the hall, on the dining table, louvres throughout the home and on the bedheads. The living room couch is also chocolate coloured."

Highlights of stainless steel provide a modern contrast to the wood, with stainless skirting boards running around all rooms, including on the base of the kitchen island.

"In order to keep the decor fresh, wall, floor and ceilings are kept neutral," she says. "These sandy hues are easy on the eye and the overall look of the rooms can be easily transformed by replacing key colour features."

View of bathroom with light tiled floor and bathroom, bathroom accessory, bathroom cabinet, interior design, room, sink, gray
View of bathroom with light tiled floor and walls, marble vanity top with white bowl and stainless tap fittings, large dark coloured cabinetry and glass shower door. Red flowers on vanity, and cactus in white planter on floor, Architect: Archimedia, NZIA, Builder: MPM Projects NZ1914 Interior Design.

Touches of red in the living and dining area are provided by vases, a leather armchair and custom-made accessories.

The neutral decor also helps to blend rather than emphasise practical elements and reinforces the open-plan nature of the home. The owners' extensive ethnic art collection is accommodated on back-lit shelving and an extended plinth running in front of the fireplace. The latter serves as both display space and extra seating in the living area. A mirror behind the wooden dining table provides an illusion of greater space.

Skylights in the penthouse flood light down the stairwell and throughout the living area.

Demarcation of the kitchen, dining and living areas is achieved through furniture layout and lighting. The island bench also provides a pivotal role in the room's dynamic.

"The island fulfils three purposes," says Dalzell. "It serves as a bar for entertaining, as a kitchen bench when necessary and also helps to push the kitchen's utilitarian elements into the background."

Dark entrance way door, with neutral coloured floor, floor, interior design, product design, stairs, gray
Dark entrance way door, with neutral coloured floor, walls and ceiling, and dark cantilevered stairs with stainless steel handrail. Raised area under steps, with tall red vase, Architect: Archimedia, NZIA, Builder: MPM Projects NZ1914 Interior Design.

This down-playing of the kitchen within the greater space is further emphasised by dedicated lighting.

"With spotlights playing on the benchtop, and the kitchen lights out, its practical elements fade into darkness."

Conforming to the brief for warmth and invitation, the home's living areas all have under-heated tile floors. Upstairs, the two bedrooms and study are carpeted.

The bedrooms feature an extended ceiling height, full height windows, and arched ceilings. Curtains were chosen in these rooms for privacy.

Credit list

Main contractor
Interior door joinery
KBL Joinery
Tiles from Tile Systems; suede rug from Rug Studio; Cavalier Bremworth carpets from John Kasper carpets; suede rug from Rug Studio
Wooden louvres
Window Treatments study; McNaughton exterior
Kitchen designer
Bare Essentials
Colour-backed glass
Bathroom cabinetry
Jane Kallahan, above fireplace; Rachel Bremner bedroom
MPM Projects
Timber wall panels from Sharp & Page
Cornice In-House Design and Living Edge
Cantilevered stairs
Wood from KBL Joinery steel from Purdie Engineering
Kitchen manufacturer
Granite from Trethewey
Marble Stone Warehouse

Story by: Trendsideas

22 Nov, 2003

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