Small space style

Believe it or not but this grand looking apartment is only 10 x 5 mtrs (32.8′ x 16.4′). What I find even harder to believe is that it is part of a conversion from a warehouse space in an ultra modern and hip part of Melbourne. It’s super tiny, but it has one great thing going for it – 5 mtr (16.4′) high ceilings. All of the mouldings you see were added by the owner (an antiques broker, in case you can’t guess) to this standard-issue development. It just goes to show you don’t’ need a huge space to create something palatial looking, or an old building to create a look with character and history. I know I’ve been guilty of writing off newish buildings that have no mouldings and look boring as hell, but these photos prove that you can create the look you want (of course the high ceilings help), and you can do it yourself with a little know how.

Two Louis XVI style chairs and a 2 seater sette – covered in venetian silk damask – sit in front of a pair of 200 year old doors that were rescued from an ailing chateau in Normandy.
The doors open to reveal a cleverly hidden hotel quality fold-out bed.

A brass inlaid tortoise shell clock made for Louis XIV sits above a Louis XV set of fruitwood drawers.

View of the living/dining area from the entrance. The kitchen is hidden to the left, and the black spiral staircase leads to the bathroom above. The owner uses small console tables together and is able to seat 8 for dinner parties.

View of the Main room, with bed hidden.
Images from Vogue Living (Australia) July/August 2007 edition.

Comments ( 7 )

  • Giles says:

    I’ve just come across your blog and have spent the last few days reading it cover to cover, some striking and inspirational stuff for a mere decorating-challenged male.

    I’m incredibly impressed at the sheer effort the owner has gone to, and undeniably ingenious- but something about it really bothers me. I can’t help but think it would have been easier to find a small but gracious old place- Melbourne isn’t lacking in those- rather than faking it.

    Of course an antique dealer is going to want a place that fits the antiques he obviously loves, but to me, this looks like faux New-York-doing-faux-Paris, it doesn’t say ‘sophisticated Melbourne’ at all. It’s visually stunning, a huge amount of work, and I applaud the easily-maintained size…but it’s a fake.

    Or maybe that’s a fine line between mood/theme/style and image…as I said, just my very under qualified opinion, so I’d love to hear yours and others thoughts!

  • Suzy says:

    katieded – I really do recommend it, its a great magazine.

  • katiedid says:

    Amazing use of space! Very impressive. Great post! I am going to have to look into a subscription the Vogue Living.

  • Suzy says:

    POC – glad you liked it. The article said the owner (he) had learned how to do all the work himself because of the astronomical quotes he had from tradesmen to do it for him. He bought all the mouldings from a hardware store,he painted all the walls himself,and the polished the floors too.

  • Suzy says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Glad you enjoyed the post, and you’re right, the choice of all the fittings, fixtures and furnitures is so important in a small space. But it goes to show you don’t need a massive house to have great style.

  • The Peak of Chic says:

    I am so glad you showed us this b/c I think the homeowner did a fantastic job! Yes he/she had the advantage of having high ceilings, but what details! You’re absolutely right about creating the look you want by using a little ingenuity. Great post!!!

  • Sarah Jennings says:

    I always find it interesting how people design small spaces…there are definitely some very unique challenges. Every single piece selected for a small space, from the moldings to the flooring to the lighting to the furniture has to be just right.

    In Atlanta, many of the projects highlighted in the magazines have the luxury of space – usually a lot of it! So, the challenges are different.

    It is great to get a view of the other side of the world!

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