Australian Homes

Peter Lawford

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 9th November 2011

The CBD apartment of Peter Lawford

Dining room, featuring Peter’s extensive glassware collection

Decorative glassware and Fornasetti tableware – two of Peter’s best loved collectables

When I first set foot in the CBD home of Group Property Manager Peter Lawford I think I squealed. (Not entirely uncommon but still).  This unique home, high above Exhibition st on the 28th floor of a tightly held 90’s apartment building, is quite simply unlike any other home I’ve ever photographed.  It’s just full to the brim with glittering, twinkling, colour co-ordinated STUFF!

There’s not a spare inch of Peter’s fabulous (yet modest) city pad that hasn’t been tweaked, painted, wallpapered, or adorned with some bold, eyecatching treatment.  From his impressive glassware collection to his layered soft furnishings, eclectic artwork and a collection of ‘only‘ 30 chairs –  you gotta give credit where credit’s due for Peter’s unfaltering commitment to this supremely maximalist styling approach!

Peter had so much to say about his much loved home –  he’s incredibly entertaining and super passionate about all things design – so much so, I had a lot of trouble editing his words…. Here goes –

– How long have you lived in this home?

I have lived in my current apartment for five years. It seems longer for many reasons. I have always had this amazing affinity with the space, from the moment I walked in. It was just meant to be.

– Have you made any significant changes to the home since moving in?

I tend to decorate rather than renovate the apartment. I travel overseas four times a year for work and always bring back too many ideas. I make many minor changes on an ongoing basis (small scale and almost weekly) and this is usually prompted from a residential or commercial interior – or idea I spot more often than not in an Italian or Spanish interior design magazine.

There have been many changes in terms of furniture placement and layout. In fact, I have replaced almost all of my furniture from when I first moved in. I have also painted and wallpapered.

– How have you found living in the CBD?

Unfortunately, living in the Melbourne CBD can be polarized between a really great and very average experience. It is all about location, location, location. I live on Exhibition Street and this area of the Melbourne CBD is very rich with bars, restaurants and theatres. It is alive during the day and at night and I think the best part of Melbourne. Docklands leaves me cold. Anything near the Casino leaves me even colder.

I think to get the best out of living in the CBD you should try and select an apartment that provides some sort of interesting view and has good light. Otherwise, you may get a real shock after moving in – and have a remarkably similar life experience to a battery hen.

The CBD is just getting better and better. Melbourne is such a wonderful rich city with a vibrant and dynamic city life. I feel lucky to be immersed in this positive and exciting energy – and 24/7 as I also work in the CBD.

– Any favorite aspects of the home or prized possessions?

I love my inner city and distant mountain views from Level 28. It is just magic. I also like the security and peace of mind that comes with living in a quality high-rise apartment. You can just shut the door and go overseas for a few weeks without a worry in the world. That is really living.

I have been collecting objects and furniture for a very long time – probably seriously since the mid 1980’s. I have what some people believe is an unhealthy obsession for chairs. I think these people may have serious issues that need to be addressed! I ‘only’ have 30 chairs in my two bedroom apartment – which is a little crowded but fine, all things considered.

I have also collected many pieces of glassware from Australia, the UK, Japan, Sweden, and Denmark over the past 10 years. I was in London in September this year and went to the Battersea car boot sale for the first time, and managed to add to my collection. It is amazing what an elderly couple will provide for 10 pounds from the back of a 1960’s GT Cortina at 7.00am in the morning!   Try it – as you will not be disappointed!  This is now on my international radar.

I have always liked a bargain and really enjoy the hunt for objects – although this has got significantly harder in Australia over the past 5 to 10 years. I have now expanded my search to include Europe and the USA. I also frequent the Mornington Peninsula which still manages to surprise and delight me with some recent finds.

The selection and placement of artwork is also very special to me and I still really enjoy everything I own. I tend to move it about – because it is just too easy to become complacent if it remains inert. Unfortunately, there isn’t much unadorned wall space in my apartment – and I often ‘joke’ with my friends about buying the apartment directly underneath or on top of mine and putting in a staircase. And they think I am joking!! Fools! I have the real estate agent – Angela – on speed dial.

Massive thanks to Peter for sharing his amazing city pad with us!  I am coming down with a serious case of chair envy….

Peter loves a cushion!  He seeks out certain fabrics and has cushions made in his favourite prints and patterns.  Favourite fabrics include D&G, Vernon Panton Optik (1969) & Geometri (1961) fabric from the 60’s and Designers Guild fabric from 2005 and 2010.

Living room details

Living room – original everything (no replicas here!)

Deeper tones in the bedroom, and artwork by some of Peter’s talented friends

Even the bathroom is not safe from Peter’s maximalist tendencies!

No surprise to see Kelly Wearstler’s ‘Domicilium Decoratus’ here!

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Wednesday 9th November 2011


  • Jessamy 5 years ago

    Loving the variety of home you find Lucy! Bold!

  • Cherie 5 years ago

    Loving this home, from one maximalist to another :)

  • Jen Henderson 5 years ago

    Wow, what a lovely email to read pre-coffee! Such a stunning apartment with gorgeous use of colour. Lucy – I love the fact that you squealed when you walked in there… reminds me of me…as it’s also not uncommon for me to squeal with excitement when I see pretty things! Though I often do a rather daggy jig to accompany the squeal…but then I’m a bit sad really :)

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    Wow ! This is incredible. I just love the coloured glassware.

  • scott weston 5 years ago

    What a joy to see someone who has the passion to confidently combine and contrast lots of materials and finishes and make it a great success. Congratulations HRP!

  • Theresa 5 years ago

    Wow, he is amazing with his use of colour!

  • Annelise 5 years ago

    Why have we been kept apart for so long!?! This man is heaven on a stick…from one bower bird to another; I love your work Peter! Such a breath of fresh air! Who wants a homogenised apartment in docklands anyway! -Would rather set my hair on fire and put it out with a brick!
    Happy decorating and no, 30 chairs is just fine…not too many at all :-) Cheerio Annelise

  • Kylie 5 years ago

    I love the painting above Peter’s bed.

  • Johanna 5 years ago

    Wow, amazing photos. They jump off the page. Love the colours in Peter’s apartment. Your site is a great inspiration for trying out and seeking out new things :)

  • Miss Polly 5 years ago

    WOW peter amazing apartment.
    LOVE the use of colour. Hmmmm…..makes my modest collections of orange and aubergine glass look pathetic!

  • Allison 5 years ago

    I’d like to bet that Peter has a cleaner and that a particular shade of blue is his favourite colour. Any space, maximalist or minimalist or somewhere inbetween, that is a true reflection of the individual and his/her passions will delight.

  • Lydia B 5 years ago

    Peter is my new BFF! I too collect glass and chairs (although unfortunately my collection is no where as large as his)

  • Lanny 5 years ago

    Simply stunning.

  • Sean Young 5 years ago

    Love the place, that Barcelona chair is fantastic.

  • Catherine 5 years ago

    I love this. Agree the Aqua Barcelona is awesome, and everything else…. put together brilliantly.

  • Margie 5 years ago

    Crazy mad colour!

  • jasmine 5 years ago

    Love the blue, blue, blue Peter and I am so pleased that your maximalist tendencies have been appreciated!!!!! Well done

  • Peter 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the positive feedback about my home. Lucy has done a wonderful job with the text and photographs – and there is so much more to see!

    I am a real Designers Guild fan – as you will see from this list. I even purchased a new cushion in London from the Kings Road shop in September – and this unfortunately didn’t make it to the pages of thedesignfiles. Check it out though! The new piece is called ornamental flowers and is from the Zephirine Range – and is just spectacular,

    Designers Guild Wallpaper – Dining Room – Fioravanti in Turquoise
    Cole and Son Wallpaper (with the Fornasetti plates) – Malabar in Turquoise

    The Barcelona chairs – edges are in Designers Guild tri-color cut velvet – Saraceno in ocean – with the main body/cushions of the chairs – Rapallo in turquoise. The Eames chairs have Designers Guild striped velvet fabric – Giordano in sea blue. There are also some Dolce and Gabbana cushions made in dress fabric and purchased from Preview.

    The painting is of the Fitzroy commission flats in Nicholson Street and was purchased from the Jackman Gallery in St Kilda about 2 years ago. The piece is by Martin McInerney.

    Peter Lawford

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