'The Apartment' by Lynda Gardener

Some people just have a gift for creating beautiful spaces, and one of those people is Melbourne based designer, decorator and creative entrepreneur Lynda Gardener.

The Apartment’, completed last year, is Lynda’s latest project –  a lovingly decorated one bedroom rental apartment in a grand old 1920s building in St Kilda. This serene space, which Lynda originally purchased more than 16 years ago, channels a distinctly European feel.

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

The Apartment, interior designer/decorator Lynda Gardener’s Airbnb in St Kilda.  Above – the living area with couch by Bisque Interiors. Lynda has combined layers of fabrics, textures, cushions, collections and artwork with simple touches of greenery. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The beautiful hallway and front door of Lynda’s third floor apartment. ‘The wonderful thing about old apartments,’ tells Lynda, ‘is the high ceilings and spacious rooms – even the hallway is roomy!’ Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

A cosy reading corner in the lounge room. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

In the kitchen, the amazing 1920s arched windows make a statement, as do the original walls. ‘It is quite original in character, with those walls and floor tiles,’ explains Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Peeking into the kitchen from the living area. The cupboard (from HK Living) houses the things Lynda likes to hide, like the TV, and other essentials. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The bedroom, featuring HK Living rope light. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘I painted the apartment pure white and layered it with simple natural timbers, textured throws and a layering of rugs, it’s very serene and almost has a summery feeling all year round,’ tells Lynda. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Symmetrical art deco arches lead to the staircases of the 1920s building. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
5th of July 2017

Having been in the design and styling industry for 35 years now (hard to believe I know!) Lynda Gardener has built a reputation as a supremely talented designer, stylist and creative businesswoman, with a very distinct aesthetic. Though she is ridiculously modest and down to earth, Lynda’s projects and properties are well known, having featured consistently in the media over the past 30 years, both locally and internationally.

We featured Lynda’s Fitzroy home a couple of years ago, but today we’re thrilled to document her latest project – ‘The Apartment’. This serene one bedroom apartment in St Kilda channels a distinctly European feel.

The apartment was, in fact, purchased by Lynda more than 16 years ago, and because she is one seriously savvy businesswoman (a more than a little nostalgic!) she has held onto it all this time.

Part of a charming old 1920s building, miraculously, Lynda’s apartment has needed very little renovation work over the years. ‘Thankfully, the apartment was in perfect original condition, so all my changes have been cosmetic’ Lynda outlines. These have included painting all floors, walls and ceilings in various shades of white (the original walls were all terracotta and the floorboards black).

Shutters were installed on the windows, and new cabinetry doors added to the old kitchen cupboards. Amazingly, the overall layout, sweet tiled flooring and aged walls in the kitchen are all original. ‘It was quite an easy renovation, when the bones are this good…!’ Lynda enthuses!

It was the architecture and style of the building that first attracted Lynda to the property. ‘It totally commands attention as soon as you drive up the street, it’s very striking with wonderful old circular staircases, and it is from a very beautiful era of apartment architecture which I have always adored’ the designer says. ‘The apartment itself is so spacious, with lots of room, which sadly you don’t come across more these days’. Indeed, one visit quickly makes you realise that they really don’t design apartments like they used to.

Of course, Lynda’s intuitive knack for styling has also been a big part of the transformation of this space. Her exquisite collections of old and new artworks, furnishings, cushions, layers of rugs, and beautiful linen lift this sweet abode to the next level. ‘I’m always inspired by Dutch and Nordic spaces that feel fresh, simple, open and not too cluttered’ Lynda muses. ‘I think this apartment was really influenced by my many travels to Amsterdam, and their great aesthetic’.

Having previously leased the home to lovely tenants for many years, Lynda has enjoyed having the opportunity to reclaim and re-energise the home, and transform it in her signature style. It is now part of her stable of boutique accommodation properties – along with  The White House in Daylesford, The Estate Trentham, The White Room in Fitzroy. Each of these properties is available for accommodation, events and photoshoots.

Find The Apartment on AirBnB here.

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