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!

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

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras
  23 hours ago

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  7 hours ago

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net