The stunning St. Kilda apartment of interior designer Chelsea Hing, her partner, photographer Nik Epifanidis and baby Louis!  Vintage Gaetano Sciolari 1970′s chandelier, Fat Fat ottoman by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia, Strata sofa by King Furniture, Navy chevron throw by Jonathan Adler, Vitsoe shelving by Dieter Rams, Untitled photographs on wall by Nik Epifanidis.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details.  Panthella table lamp by Verner Panton, Chef portrait on wall – ‘Le Chef De L’Hotel Chatham’ by William Orpen.   Photo - Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details.  Panthella table lamp by Verner Panton, Chef portrait on wall – ‘Le Chef De L’Hotel Chatham’ by William Orpen.  ’The Chef is one of my favourite pieces in our home. He has a great presence in the kitchen & is one of the first things we see as we come in the door. Seeing him makes me happy’ says Chelsea.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

You can always count on an interior designer to have a seriously stylish home.  In this case, the odds are doubled, as there are two talented creatives living under this roof, designer Chelsea Hing (who we have interviewed here) and her husband, photographer Nik Epifanidis (and their baby, Louis!).

Chelsea and Nik’s home is one of a group of very special apartments housed within an incredible Victorian mansion in St. Kilda.  Having noticed an impending subdivision / development in the works, Nik and Chelsea had been eyeing off the mansion site for a while, eagerly waiting for the apartments to come onto the market. When they finally did, around two years ago, Chelsea and Nik picked their favourite apartment – and sadly, lost out to a Dutch auction (a high-stakes auction where each bidder gets one chance to write down what they are prepared to pay – the highest price wins! Agh – nervewracking!).

Dejected, they sat in the carpark with the sun going down, trying to talk themselves into what Chelsea calls ‘the runt of the litter’ – a one bedroom + study, down the side of the building that nobody seemed to want. ‘Strange, it was the biggest apartment, but had a disastrous floorplan with a bathroom in the best room in the house, and a long skinny corridor with a window at one end they were calling a ‘study’ recalls Chelsea.  She thought, if she were able to re-plan this apartment into a 2 bedder, it could work.  ’We did, and we bought it that night!’ she says.

Within a week, Chelsea had drawn up plans to flip the bathroom into the corridor space, shift the master bedroom into the bathroom, and carve out a small kids bedroom. ‘We could hardly believe it but the original plans (and they’d already started building them!) retained a separate kitchen, with living connected by the old servery window – unbelievable in a small apartment.  We ripped that out, and opened up the main space to create a combined kitchen, dining and living room’ explains Chelsea.  Chelsea also salvaged the original fireplace from the builder’s demolition plans – it now subtly divides the kitchen and living spaces.  Victorian cornicing was also reinstated throughout, as it had unfortunately been ripped out by the builders by the time Chelsea got her hands on the place!

Whilst the ‘bones’ of this apartment – it’s grand proportions and clever layout – are it’s best assets, what is most striking as soon as you walk through the door are the incredible deep colours that Chelsea has used on the walls and throughout this home.  As it happens, when they first moved in, Chelsea and Nik had the space painted white, but after settling in and living with the vast proportions of this space, Chelsea had a niggling urge to ‘go dark’. ‘Once we bravely painted the apartment in a dark colour, the transformation was monumental, and this is now our favourite thing’ says Chelsea. ‘The way the light changes the colour during the day is fabulous’.

For more info about this project and many of Chelsea’s other design projects, head over to the Chelsea Hing Design Studio blog!  I must also say an immense thanks to Nik Epifanidis for shooting his own home with me, especially for a TDF feature!  Unheard of!  Very appreciative Nik :)

Kitchen.  714 Table by Theodore Waddell for Cassina, Chair 172 by Takahashi Asako from Feelgood Designs.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

This dresser sits immediately inside the front door, thus serves as an uber stylish ‘dumping’ station for keys and other nik naks! Vanity by Frank Cadogan Cowper, Altered antique plates sourced from Beat Up Creations via Etsy & Third Drawer Down, Ventana mirror in by Jonathan Adler, Joker bowl in gold by B&B Italia, Bespoke console custom designed by CHDC, Rosy Angelis floor lamp by Flos.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen / loungeroom details.  Left - Altered antique plates sourced from Beat Up Creations via Etsy & Third Drawer Down.  Right – Williamsburg vase by Jonathan Adler, Rimini Blu Sun by Bitossi, Banana bud vase in gold by Jonathan Adler.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Mantle details.  Vintage Greek bust, Anglepoise 1227 lamp, Seletti skull.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom. Leila high back bed by Jardan, Glas table lamp by Diesel for Foscarini, assorted cushions by CHDC including Dhurrie made into cushions sourced from Tigger Hall Design, Castle & Things pink velvet penny round cushion, bedlinen by Aura, sheets & pillowcases by Altamira. Feathered Juju above bed sourced through Etsy.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Master Bedroom details. Leila high back bed by Jardan, Glas table lamp by Diesel for Foscarini, assorted cushions by CHDC including Dhurrie made into cushions sourced from Tigger Hall Design, Castle & Things pink velvet penny round cushion, bedlinen by Aura, sheets & pillowcases by Altamira. Feathered Juju above bed sourced through Etsy.  Photo - Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom detail – Chelsea’s accessories hang on the bedroom wall.  Photo - Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Louis’ bedroom.  Sunburst clock by George Nelson for Vitra, Framed vintage Jimmy Hendrix poster, Bottom right: Two Boys With Their Toys 1999 by Tytherleigh, Top right: Fly High by Letitia Buchan.  Photo – Nik Epifanidis, Styling – Chelsea Hing, Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.