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

A Furniture Designer's New York-Style Loft Apartment

Homes

Sometimes you meet someone, and you can instantly tell what their home will look like. Well, we can anyway! In the case of Melbourne furniture designer Nick McDonald, a sleek, exacting design approach gives an incredibly accurate insight into the aesthetic of the rest of his life!

The Made By Morgen designer and maker takes us on a tour of his precise, light-filled West Melbourne loft apartment. If you squint at the view out the window, and imagine a few more skyscrapers, this could be a Brooklyn film set!

13th March, 2019

Inside Nick McDonald’s New York-style loft apartment…in West Melbourne! Worn Store leather chair. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The living area. Rock formation drawings by Børge Bredenbekk. AOS-T marble side table. Kristina Dam vase. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Living room details. MBM oak shelving unit. Kerryn Levy ceramics from Still Studio. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The living room. Rock formation drawings by Børge Bredenbekk. AOS-T marble side table. Worn Store leather chair. Cenzo chair in background. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining room. Made by Morgen AOD-T table in black stained oak and AOB bench seat with custom upholstery. Menu ‘Afteroom’ chairs. Coco Flip pendant. Tom Blachford print. Vintage leather boxing bag. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Nick and Roscoe the dog! Rock formation drawing by Børge BredenbekkPhoto – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The open-plan kitchen featuring Made by Morgan island bench, Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Made by Morgen AOD-T table in black stained oak. Black Creek MT butcher’s block from Still Studio. Nicolette Johnson ceramics. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The perfect city window nook. Made by Morgen AOS-T marble side table. Hanging garlic from Georgie’s Harvest at South Melbourne Market. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The bedroom, featuring a dream hanging closet situation. Hand-Eye supply tool bag. Commissioned artwork by James Cody-Davis. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Made by Morgen LIL bedside table. Menu Carrie Lamp. IN BED Store linen. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘My budget was pretty limited at the time, so I was lucky to be able to do it all myself’ – Nick McDonald.

There is a cinematic quality to Nick McDonald’s house. The fall of the light through the loft-style windows, the precision of the object placement, and the consistency of the style feels almost curated. Not in an artificial way, but rather, it reflects the exactness of Nick’s (aka Made By Morgen) distinctive aesthetic.

Nick moved into this apartment in 2011, and immediately set about incorporating a second bedroom into the space. He explains ‘my budget was pretty limited at the time, so I was lucky to be able to do it all myself.’ Nick put his construction skills to task, renovated the kitchen using form ply, and ‘wrangled some plaster to complete the bedroom.’ He also painted over the exposed timber beams in a fresh white, and also re-did all of the floors.

The West Melbourne apartment is located in the former T.B Guest & Co building, built in 1856. The factory was the home of the original teddy bear biscuits and butternut snaps (who knew West Melbourne was responsible for such important cultural history!) The site was converted into apartments in the late 1980s.

Nick stumbled across the property after eighteen months of trawling through real estate websites and papers, and enthuses ‘when I found this place I knew straight away that I had to have it.’ He acknowledges ‘I was lucky to have a bit of help from the folks.’

The home is (unsurprisingly) filled with Nick’s own pieces, including the island bench, which is one of the first pieces he ever created. The genesis of Made By Morgen can be traced back to this moment, as he describes ‘it was at this time that it kind of dawned on me that I could be practical and creative at the same time.’ As a result, Nick quit his job in construction and launched his own (now highly successful) furniture business.

Nick cites the uninterrupted westerly views and sweeping backdrop of sunsets and storms as the key feature of this home. The New York apartment loft-vibes are palpable, with the double-height windows, and we can’t help dreaming about an alternative Brooklyn life while looking at these pictures!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

The Sleekest Apartment In West Brunswick

Explore the exacting apartment of photographer Sean Fennessy and stylist Jess Lillico.

Homes

Welcome To The Good(rum) Life

Explore the Waterloo home of an award-winning Australian furniture designer.

Studio Visit

Meet Made By Morgen

The in-demand Melbourne furniture maker introduces his 'clean, uncomplicated' designs, and talks 'designing on the fly'.
Elle Murrell

This Week

News

A New Online Service That Designs Your Own Gallery Wall!

A new digital tool from Framefox allows you to build your own salon-style wall online, and have the final design delivered to your doorstep
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Chrissy Lafian, Founder And Creative Director Of Suku

With teams in both Melbourne and Bali, Chrissy lets us in on how she runs the lifestyle brand she's built from scratch!

Travel

Our Guide To The Perfect Road-Trip On The NSW Central Coast

From Terrigal and Avoca beaches to the lush landscape of Bouddi National Park, here's where to eat, sleep, visit + swim!

News

An Extensive Art And Design Festival Taking Over Brisbane!

Brisbane Art Design (BAD) is a public art program bringing the Sunshine State’s exemplary creative scene to the fore throughout the month
Sponsored

Food

Julia's Autumnal Weeknight Rocket and Hazelnut Pesto Linguine

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's linguine with a herby rocket and hazelnut pesto is a riff on the classic weeknight family meal by adding earthy,
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

A Heartwarming Home Of A Stylist (And Family!)

Justine and Bob Murphy's warm and welcoming family home is like a slice of the country... in Northcote!

Creative People

Turn Your Kids' Artwork Into A Treasured Keepsake With Crumb Kids!

Local textile designer Bindi Howarth transforms kids artworks into custom made tea towels, tote bags, pencil cases and cushion covers - so C...

Stays

These New Luxury Coastal Cabins On Phillip Island Really Raise The Bar!

A tour of Fives Acres, a brand new boutique accommodation offering on Victoria's rugged South Coast.

Stays

Northern NSW’s Newest Holiday House, Made From Recycled Materials

Book your stay at Rockhaven at Booyong – a new holiday house made from recycled materials located 40 minutes from Byron Bay.

Interiors

How To Nail The Bathroom Basics, According To Reece

A crash course in very excellent bathroom design, courtesy of bathrooms + kitchens merchandising leader at Reece Bathrooms, Daniella Santill...

Interiors

A Crash Course In Renovating Your Own Home From Top To Bottom, With BuildHer Collective

Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon of BuildHer Collective bring us a new book containing all the info you need to embark on building or ren...
Rebeka Morgan and Kribashini Hannon

Modernist Australia

A Modernist Mansion Fit For A 'Contemporary Goddess'!

Designed by architect Iwan Iwanoff in 1959, this incredible home in Mount Lawley, Western Australia is on the market.
Patricia Callan

Studio Visit

Experimental Designer Jessie French Is Shaping A Seaweed-Centric Future

The Melbourne artist shares her process of creating seaweed-based bioplastics, the beautiful resin-like homewares she makes from it + what t...

Design Eye

Suzanne Gorman on Modernising a Mid-Century Home

Taking into account considerations of form, function and scale, interior designer Suzanne Gorman shares her design approach for mid century

On The Market

A Corner Store Turned Architectural Home Hits The Market In Brunswick

An 1883 shopfront turned architectural home with a pool and sauna is for sale in Brunswick!

Similar Stories

Homes

The Sleekest Apartment In West Brunswick

Explore the exacting apartment of photographer Sean Fennessy and stylist Jess Lillico.

Homes

Welcome To The Good(rum) Life

Explore the Waterloo home of an award-winning Australian furniture designer.

Studio Visit

Meet Made By Morgen

The in-demand Melbourne furniture maker introduces his 'clean, uncomplicated' designs, and talks 'designing on the fly'.
Elle Murrell

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.