This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The 1990s Meets Urban Jungle In This Inner-City Oasis

Homes

This spacious inner-city apartment contradicts every preconception you might have about shoe-box living in the heart of Melbourne. Kurt Falkenstein’s space is bigger than seems remotely feasible for the Flinders Lane location, features a massive bath (the best), and overflowing greenery. The holy grail of city living!

Despite this almost unbelievable setup, Kurt is soon set to move into a Victorian terrace in South Yarra with wife Dani. Today, he reflects on the past five years in his apartment, with a fit-out ‘as 1990s as Seinfeld on VHS!’

7th September, 2018

Inside the Flinders Lane apartment of Kurt Falkenstein. Eames Aluminium Group chair in tan leather and Herman Miller Airia desk and cabinet from Living Edge. ‘These were my first investment in furniture as I worked from home, and I’ve bought furniture ever since with the intent of keeping it forever (or until it breaks, which happens a lot to me for some reason)’ he tells. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

1981 Hitachi HiFi repossessed. ‘I once had the misfortune of liquidating a self storage centre in Melbourne,’ tells Kurt. ‘The only upside was this stereo and some fireworks I found!’ Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Much-loved Diana Crooke painting of Dunk Island from Mission Beach, from Kurt’s family home in Cairns, yellow vintage chairs from eBay. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Vintage brass and velour chairs and brass and glass dining set from Dust Vintage Spaces with vintage Persian rug from eBay. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Kurt and Dani. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The couple are leaving the eclectic apartment behind for a new home in South Yarra. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

1950’s French lamp from Angelucci, Knoll Barcelona couch (daybed), plants from Plant Mama (Jenna Holmes), cushion with print by Cairn’s artist Lee Hurford (who is still Kurt’s father’s hairdresser!). Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Upcycled vintage sideboard and lamp from eBay, sculpture by Dusty Bob Prickett (a Wedding Gift from Kurt’s brother). Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Vintage Turkish Kilim rug, vintage coffee table, licensed Picasso Tapestry ‘Seated Woman’, vintage lamp, vintage record cabinet as TV Stand, brass crocodile head from friends Clemente Chuah and Paul Talarico of Clemente Talarico. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

‘This lounge room really “made” the apartment, and set the whole style. I just love the colour, space and electric mix!’ tells Kurt. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Blue velvet upcycled dresser from Chapel Street Bazaar, vintage cubed mirror, vintage behead, lamps from RAP Products, and the best (looking) drawers ever found! – ‘…apparently Borris Becker wanted to buy them but I bought them before he came back! Lucky he didn’t as they fell apart within a week, and so they are not practical at all, but they still always draw an ooh from anyone who sees them!’ says Kurt. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Friday 7th September 2018

Kurt Falkenstein has lived in this spacious inner city pad for the past five years, right in the heart of Melbourne. He describes the Flinders Lane apartments as abundant in ‘size, drama and character’, where the huge 70-square-metre master bedroom and bathroom have been afflicted by ‘elephantitis!’

The fit-out of the apartment may be a little tired (Kurt hilariously describes it ‘as 1990s as Seinfeld on VHS’!) but the massive windows with views out to Flinders Lane more than compensate. The interiors are also enlivened by Kurt’s own aesthetic, which he describes as ‘intentionally vintage.’ He explains ‘unique and timeless design I prize more than being the first to own something. I buy things for looks, for sure, but I love that they have a bit of history when they arrive.’

The sweeping spaces necessitated some purchases when Kurt arrived, including an Eames chair from Smith Street Bazaar and a 1950s French lamp from Angelucci. Kurt say the spaciousness of his apartment has made him ‘more design aware’, though acknowledges that purchases have largely occurred from whims and flights of fancy – ‘nothing thought out, always spontaneous.’

The apartment is also home to a small jungle of plants, which were inherited after Jenna Holmes (aka Plant Mama) stayed while Kurt was overseas. He returned to an indoor jungle, which seems slightly incongruous to the CBD surrounds! Kurt explains ‘you could not be in a more urban space in Australia, but it feels lush and natural.’

This apartment is going to be difficult for Kurt to say goodbye to, as he describes ‘no matter what time, what day – I can eat, drink and make merry, knowing I have my own little oasis just nearby.’ But it has also taught him about the value of creating his own personal sanctuary,  and says this is the first home which has made him ‘fall in love with decorating’. We are excited to see what Kurt, Dani, and the plants move onto next!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Plant-Filled Richmond Rental

Plant whisperer Jenna Holmes lives in a rambling Richmond rental house with many stories to tell.

Homes

Into The Wild Home Of Marita McCausland

The colourful, plant-filled weatherboard house of interiors and botanical guru Marita McCausland, in Oakleigh.

Homes

The Ultimate Melbourne Share House

We're talking 4.5 bedrooms, Victorian mansion vibes, with rambling garden, and a plush 70's revival interior. Is this Melbourne’s BEST sh...

This Week

Interiors

A Before-And-After Interior Renovation That’ll Knock Your Socks Off!

AMA Studio Interiors transforms a rustic, wood-panelled cottage on the NSW Central Coast into dreamy family retreat.
Sasha Gattermayr
  Less than an hour ago

News

An Online Super Store + Subscription Service For All-Natural Goodies

GoodnessMe carries over 3,000 products from snacks to ready-made meals – with samples delivered to your door every month!
Sponsored

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Architecture

A Modernist-Inspired Seaside Home

This adaptable, Victorian seaside home designed by Nest Architects and Placement blurs the line between modernism and contemporary design. ...
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Interiors

A Joyful Home, Full Of Whimsy + Glamour

Scalloped edges and vibrant colours have elevated this Sydney terrace by Arent&Pyke.
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Similar Stories

Homes

A Plant-Filled Richmond Rental

Plant whisperer Jenna Holmes lives in a rambling Richmond rental house with many stories to tell.

Homes

Into The Wild Home Of Marita McCausland

The colourful, plant-filled weatherboard house of an interiors and botanical guru !

Homes

The Ultimate Melbourne Share House

We're talking 4.5 bedrooms, Victorian mansion vibes, with rambling garden, and a plush 70's revival interior. Is this Melbourne’s BEST sh...

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.