Your apartment, but not as you knew it

This inner-city Melbourne apartment with spectacular city and park views from the expansive glass wrapped walls demanded a makeover, having not been renovated or improved for over 20 years. The before and after images reflect a radical transformation

Interior design by Di Henshall Interior Design

Owner brief

  • Totally renovate and furnish the apartment to make it feel like home.
  • Use some small, treasured existing pieces and artwork, rehouse a few pieces of furniture to keep a very personal connection to the old house.
  • This was going to be a huge emotional change for our homeowner, so every aspect of the design was vital to get right.

Dining area post renovation.
Dining area post renovation.

Response to brief and scope of works:

  • Opulent fabrics, textural wallpapers and exquisitely made custom furniture all in shades of silver, sea greens and blues were used to create a harmonious and calming atmosphere.
  • Sheer, jewel-coloured metallic curtains sweep aside to give uninterrupted views during the day while allowing the lights of the city to peep through.
  • Furniture was sourced from across the globe with stand-out pieces coming from the US.
  • No boundaries were set, allowing Di Henshall to be as creative as she dared, custom furniture was a must.
  • Key inclusions - bespoke metal shelving unit between the dining and new bar area. An intricate pattern was carved into the custom dining tabletop then finished with nickel metallic two pack lacquer.
  • The new kitchen is a third of its size larger, by cutting into an adjoining wall to expand the length of the cabinetry and corresponding island bench.
  • The kitchen houses an electric fireplace that was set into a sculptural island bench linking it to the lounge.
  • A grey mirrored wall along the hallway opens the area and creates a dramatic entry.
  • A seven-metre long custom made 100% wool rug gives this space a sense of grandeur.
  • Lighting was carefully sourced worldwide to create a unique identity for each area of the apartment.
  • The long island bench in the kitchen is lit by a custom modular pendant using gold titanium rods to suspend and support the six movable and unique light sources above.
  • The lounge room has a ceiling pendant constructed of brass tubes giving a subtle yet elegant source of light.
The revamped bar area from a wider perspective.
The revamped bar area from a wider perspective.


  • Access – was via a small lift, each piece of furniture and cabinetry was specially designed to fit perfectly into the lift to the millimetre with items like sofas and shelving purposely cut into two or more pieces and assembled inside the apartment to give the desired outcome.
  • Air conditioning units – were not able to be altered, the master bedroom walk-in robe was built around the existing air conditioning equipment in the ceiling.
  • Working with existing plumbing – bathrooms were reconfigured and entries changed to maximize usage of space and become more functional.
  • A new large master bedroom walk-in-robe was created by moving access into the ensuite bathroom and closing off a small corridor.
  • Budget – this was not paramount for this project, the designer was given free reign by the client to create a luxurious and sophisticated place to live, entertain and have family visit, while creating a space our client could call home.
  • The apartment was totally gutted and reconfigured.
  • A small existing study area that was no longer required was converted into a New York- style bar boasting a small tasting table and chairs, bespoke metal shelving and a bar cabinet.
  • The new guest room is now a space where guests can work if necessary, using the purpose-built writing/computer desk.
  • All new custom cabinetry was installed throughout the suite, custom-designed and built by our own cabinetry factory, Resident Hero.

Di Henshall is a Queensland-based interior designer who not only designed the entire renovation remotely but teamed up with her sister company Resident Hero, who produced all the cabinetry and much of the custom furniture. This was built in Queensland, shipped to Melbourne, then installed by a specialist team, also from Queensland.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Di Henshall Interior Design
Bedrooms, snug and bar carpet
New York Glitter, by RC+D
Laundry tiles
Floor: Waterfall Ivory flow – 600 x 600mm; wall: Waterfall dark flow – 600 x 600mm – all from Ace Stone
Entry – Zepel Covers Sculpture Ajanta; bar: Arte Shibori Breeze; master bedroom: Arte Metal X Stellar
Modern Flames Electric Fireplace LFV2-1500/400; surround: Corian Glacier white Lava tile
Living area furniture
Sofa – custom made by Molmic furniture with Marco Murana fabric, colour Steel; rug – custom made by Designer Rugs; console – Globo by Jonathan Adler; table lamp – Pescara, from Uttermost; ottoman - custom made by H&J Furniture Company in Harlequin Kameni graphite/brass fabric; armchairs – custom made by H&J Furniture in James Dunlop Effect fabric; TV unit- custom made by Resident Hero and designed by Di Henshall Interior Design
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Runner Up
LLB Projects
Main flooring – hallway, living, dining, kitchen
Havwoods Newport Herringbone – Rustic Grade, boardse – 140x560; matt lacquered finish, tongue & groove, beveled edge
Powder room tiles
Floor: Waterfall Ivory flow - 600 x 600mm; wall: Waterfall Dark flow – 600 x 600mm; feature tile: Waterfall Basket/ Gramma 66 SX – 67% and Gramma 16 DX – 33%, in dark flow with Mapei Turquoise grout – all from Ace Stone
Master ensuite tiles
Floor: Waterfall Silver flow – 600 x 600mm; wall: Earp Bros Glacier – white matt 333 x 1000mm; feature: Earp Bros Kilim Honed stone mosaic – 302 x 317
General Walls – Resene Alabaster; ceilings – Ceiling White
Entry wall lights – Chaumet Plateau LED wall lamp – Black Product, from Lucretia Lighting; kitchen wall lights – Anther Brass wall lamp, from Lucretia Lighting; kitchen pendant – custom Rakumba Typography pendant, from Cafe Culture; lounge pendant – custom made pendant, from Lucretia Lighting; dining pendants – Lucretia Affinity Modular LED Round Pendant Light – titanium gold – Triac Dimmable – in warm white; bar pendants - Lucretia LUP0580 Gold Replica Mirror ball pendant light gold; master ensuite – wall lights - Lucretia B6809 Rectangle Indoor LED Wall Sconces IP20 – warm white; master ensuite pendants - Lucretia Replica Bocci 14.1 Led Pendant Light; powder room – Lucretia Aphelion LED Pendant Light
Dining table/chairs
Dining table – custom, designed by Di Henshall Interior Design – made by Axolotyl and Resident Hero; dining chairs – custom made, by Colby Furniture

Designed by: Di Henshall Interior Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Michael Gazzola

07 Mar, 2021

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