Irina Rybakov and partner Carlo Demaio moved into this apartment block in 2011, and briefly left in 2013 for a year long stint in Berlin. When they returned from Europe, they moved into a new apartment in the same beloved Northcote building! The building is also home to many members of Carlo’s family – his parents, Grandma (96 years old!), and brother all have apartments in the building. For some people this would be a nightmare, but for Irina and Carlo it is a dream. She highlights ‘whenever another apartment comes up for lease, we’re always trying to recruit some friends to join our little compound!’
The apartment has been constantly updated over the years, based on changes to the couple’s needs and lifestyles (with a baby due to arrive ANY DAY NOW, there will be some further changes soon!). Irina describes ‘Carlo has pretty much doubled the overall storage space, by creating custom shelving anywhere he could find.’
Storage space is important for Irena, whose expansive collection of beautiful ceramics is on display throughout the apartment. Irina highlights that because they moved into a newly built building, they were mindful of adding soul and character. She explains how they layered personal touches in the new spaces ‘to make it completely our own, and compensate for the lack of previous history and features an older home may have.’
The space is warm and casual, and the couple have balanced their contemporary items with authentic pieces. The pair are self described as ‘pretty minimalist when it comes to colour’ and their home reflects this with a timeless and neutral palette. Small splashes of colour pop out with Irina’s collection of artworks and objects and she explains ‘they get to shine even more against a neutral background.’
While the inside of this apartment is beautiful, for Irina and Carlo, the view is the real winner, with third floor views and a nightly sky spectacle of glowing sunsets. The proximity to Merri Creek and the Northcote village is also a big plus, and soon we imagine that having a swag of babysitters within the same apartment block will also be a huge help!