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 Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Homes

Off the plan apartments often get a bad rap for being small and soulless, but this one in Fitzroy shows just what can be achieved in these spaces.

Imogen Milford and her family have extensively renovated their Fitzroy apartment to feature customised finishes and an updated floorplan, complemented by maximalist interiors, brimming with pieces by local artists and designers.

8th January, 2020

Imogen Milford and Mark Henry’s off-the-plan apartment in Fitzroy! Artwork by Stacey Rees. Sorina sofa from Castorina Furniture. Vintage tan leather chair from Modern Times. Rug from Jardan. Coffee table by B By Design. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The leafy exterior of the Fitzroy apartment. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mark, Imogen and Wilson! Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The pocket-sized living space is brimming with personality. Plants by The Plant Society. Tan Armchair from Modern Times. Marble coffee table by B By Design. Caroline Walls print from Modern Times. Rug from Jardan. Vintage gold mirror. Vintage poster from Galerie Montmarte. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama.Photo – Amelia Stanwix.  Styling – Annie Portelli.

Plants by The Plant Society. Tan Armchair from Modern Times. Marble coffee table by B By Design. Caroline Walls print from Modern Times. Rug from Jardan. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Detail of the arble coffee table by B By Design and Imogen’s most treasured piece, her burnt orange Sorina sofa from Castorina Furniture. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Left: Artwork by Stacey Rees. Plants by The Plant Society. Right: Terrazzo vessel on shelf by Tantri Mustika. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

When Imogen and Mark gutted the apartment in 2018 (Mark works in the construction industry and could do all the work himself – legend!) they put in form ply cabinetry and this epic gold splashback. A perfect way to make a design feature out of a functional space! Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining area. Leo Garfield artwork on the pink wall. Elizabeth Barnett still life painting and print. A David Band print sits the still life painting. Vintage light from Italy sourced from Etsy. Tobia Scarpa dining chars from Castorina and Co. Vintage dining table. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Gorgeous form ply cabinetry by Imogen’s husband Mark. Splashback from Australian Metals supply. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama.Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Imogen and Mark’s bedroom. Bed linen is a mixture of Bed Threads, Castle and CULTIVER. Artworks (left to right) by Leo GreenfieldLouise Kyriakou. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama.Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Imogen and Mark’s bedroom. Bed linen is a mixture of Bed Threads, Castle and CULTIVER. Artworks (left to right) by Leo Greenfield, Louise Kyriakou, Sophie Perez, and Emily Ferretti. Plants by The Plant Society and Plant Mama.Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Finn’s adorable bedroom! The balloon light is a vintage find from Etsy. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bed from Freedom. Print from Galarie Montmarte. Photo – Amelia Stanwix. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 8th January 2020

‘I think it’s fair to say that I am obsessed with local artists’. – Imogen Milford.

Going through Imogen Milford’s pocket-sized apartment is a bit like a game of spot the local artist. A Lizzie Barnett here, a Tantri Mustika there… every available wall and shelf of the Fitzroy home features an array of homegrown creative talent! ‘I think it’s fair to say that I am obsessed with local artists’, Imogen admits.

In 2016 Imogen, her husband Mark Henry, who works in construction, their three-year-old son Finn and 12-year-old dog Wilson moved into this off-the-plan apartment. Initially, it was the central location that attracted the family, being close to the city and great parks, but after a couple of years they realised the space needed updating to better reflect their lifestyle and personality. ‘In 2018, we gutted the main areas of the apartment as the design and finishes were just not what we were after. We just wanted the place to have a soul,’ says Imogen. As Mark works in construction, he was able to undertake all these works himself, with interiors and styling decisions from Imogen. Melbourne greenery experts Plant Mama and The Plant Society were enlisted to inject greenery into every nook and cranny, making the apartment feel like a lush sanctuary. Dream team!

Renovations saw the installation of reclaimed timber hardwood floors from Urban Salvage, and form ply cabinetry, inviting a more tactile feel to the home. ‘We also flipped the floor plan to make  better use of the space,’ says Imogen. The result is a totally customised apartment, with real personality!

Imogen calls herself a maximalist with a fondness for local artists whose works naturally evoke personality. ‘My husband has said, “I don’t think you can buy any more artwork!”, as every wall is covered, yet I always manage to find some space!’ says Imogen. Her flair for interior design and styling is evident in this cheerful, layered space, filled with plants and pots from The Plant Society. An (unintentional) pink and orange palette has emerged in her furniture, object and artwork selections, anchored by one of Imogen’s most cherished pieces – her beloved burnt orange Soriano sofa. ‘They are so good for small spaces’, Imogen says.

The majority of works in this apartment are now complete, except for two bathrooms the family hope to tackle early this year. Already, Imogen says the space seems so much more like home. ‘It feels like ours now.’

This Week

Interiors

A Designer’s Fun, Mid-Century Makeover Of Her ‘90s Townhouse!

Studio Tate associate Liz Ryde shares her self-designed, Clifton Hill family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!

News

A New Series Of Paintings From An Old Favourite

Steven John Clark (aka denHolm) exhibits his first body of paintings, ‘Flowers For Gary’, exploring the imperfect, and its chall...

News

A Massive Sale Of A-List Designer Furniture Is Happening Soon!

Nab furniture, lighting and homewares from big time European designers like Ligne Roset, Duvivier + more at DOMO’s mid-year sale.
Sponsored

Homes

A Dreamy, Nostalgic Family Home in Melbourne's Suburbs

Sympathetic renovations featuring recycled materials have made the 1930s Malvern East family home of Josh and Anastasia Elias even better th...

Interiors

A Dark + Dingy Heritage Home Revamped In Contemporary Country Style

Interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD transforms breathes new life into the interiors of this newly renovated pre-Federation villa in A...

Creative People

Carving Softness From Stone With Carol Crawford

The Sydney-based sculptor guides us through her unfurling, flowering forms made from alabaster, stone, bronze and marble.
Sasha Gattermayr
  6 hours ago

News

'Wear It Yellow' And Support Children's Ground This National Reconciliation Week!

Children’s Ground is an incredible organisation that supports the next generation of Aboriginal children, and their communities – an...
Sally Tabart
  3 hours ago

Architecture

A Multigenerational Family Retreat In A Blue Mountains Valley

It looks like a Swiss Chalet, but 'Stonelea' is a uniquely Australian home in the Blue Mountains, by Matthew Woodward Architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  14 hours ago

Gardens

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Landscape Designer

We asked expert garden designers Phillip Withers, Fran Hale, Kathleen Murphy, Katy Svalbe and Richard Unsworth to demystify the process of w...

Architecture

A Contemporary Reinterpretation Of The Classic Australian Farmhouse

FMD Architects introduce their version of the classic Australian farmhouse in 'Coopworth', located on Tasmania's Bruny Island.

News

The Annual Mud Seconds Sale Is On In Sydney This Weekend!

Shop almost-perfect porcelain Mud pieces with discounts starting from 40% off.

Architecture

A Gentle Brutalist Masterpiece In Brisbane

The Mt Coot-Tha House by Nielsen Jenkins embraces its steep and bushy surrounds courtesy of a minimalist and raw material palette.

Stays

A Mountain-Top Holiday Spot That Floats Above The Clouds

Cloud Parade is a design-led accommodation in the Blue Mountains, with truly sublime views over the national park.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Media Powerhouse And Ultimate Creative Slashie, Sophia Athas

The founder of digital marketing agency Hatrik House talks us through the ins-and-outs of running a successful business in your twenties!

On The Market

A Huge Family Warehouse Apartment In The Heart Of Richmond

At approximately 520 square metres, this out-of-this world industrial home has got to be one of the biggest warehouse conversions in Melbour...

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

An Off-The-Plan Family Apartment Unlike Any Other

The incredible apartment of Pino Demaio and Alpha60's Georgie Cleary, in a community-minded development in Clifton Hill.

Homes

Our Art Director's Tiny Terrazzo Palazzo!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE... introducing the home of our very own legendary Art Director, Annie Portelli!

Homes

Lisa Marie Corso's Perfect Off-The-Plan Pad

Our former Managing Editor welcomes us into her Essendon apartment, and dishes the details on purchasing her first home!

This Week

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Media Powerhouse And Ultimate Creative Slashie, Sophia Athas

The founder of digital marketing agency Hatrik House talks us through the ins-and-outs of running a successful business in your twenties!

Architecture

A Gentle Brutalist Masterpiece In Brisbane

The Mt Coot-Tha House by Nielsen Jenkins embraces its steep and bushy surrounds courtesy of a minimalist and raw material palette.

Creative People

Carving Softness From Stone With Carol Crawford

The Sydney-based sculptor guides us through her unfurling, flowering forms made from alabaster, stone, bronze and marble.
Sasha Gattermayr
  6 hours ago

News

A Massive Sale Of A-List Designer Furniture Is Happening Soon!

Nab furniture, lighting and homewares from big time European designers like Ligne Roset, Duvivier + more at DOMO’s mid-year sale.
Sponsored

Interiors

A Designer’s Fun, Mid-Century Makeover Of Her ‘90s Townhouse!

Studio Tate associate Liz Ryde shares her self-designed, Clifton Hill family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!

Homes

A Dreamy, Nostalgic Family Home in Melbourne's Suburbs

Sympathetic renovations featuring recycled materials have made the 1930s Malvern East family home of Josh and Anastasia Elias even better th...

News

A New Series Of Paintings From An Old Favourite

Steven John Clark (aka denHolm) exhibits his first body of paintings, ‘Flowers For Gary’, exploring the imperfect, and its chall...

Stays

A Mountain-Top Holiday Spot That Floats Above The Clouds

Cloud Parade is a design-led accommodation in the Blue Mountains, with truly sublime views over the national park.

Architecture

A Multigenerational Family Retreat In A Blue Mountains Valley

It looks like a Swiss Chalet, but 'Stonelea' is a uniquely Australian home in the Blue Mountains, by Matthew Woodward Architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  14 hours ago

News

The Annual Mud Seconds Sale Is On In Sydney This Weekend!

Shop almost-perfect porcelain Mud pieces with discounts starting from 40% off.

On The Market

A Huge Family Warehouse Apartment In The Heart Of Richmond

At approximately 520 square metres, this out-of-this world industrial home has got to be one of the biggest warehouse conversions in Melbour...

Gardens

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Landscape Designer

We asked expert garden designers Phillip Withers, Fran Hale, Kathleen Murphy, Katy Svalbe and Richard Unsworth to demystify the process of w...

News

'Wear It Yellow' And Support Children's Ground This National Reconciliation Week!

Children’s Ground is an incredible organisation that supports the next generation of Aboriginal children, and their communities – an...
Sally Tabart
  3 hours ago

Interiors

A Dark + Dingy Heritage Home Revamped In Contemporary Country Style

Interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD transforms breathes new life into the interiors of this newly renovated pre-Federation villa in A...

Architecture

A Contemporary Reinterpretation Of The Classic Australian Farmhouse

FMD Architects introduce their version of the classic Australian farmhouse in 'Coopworth', located on Tasmania's Bruny Island.

Similar Stories

Homes

An Off-The-Plan Family Apartment Unlike Any Other

The creative home of Pino Demaio and Georgie Cleary, in a unique development in Clifton Hill.

Homes

Our Art Director's Tiny Terrazzo Palazzo!

The home of our very own legendary art director, Annie Portelli!

Homes

Lisa Marie Corso's Perfect Off-The-Plan Pad

Our former Managing Editor welcomes us into her Essendon apartment, and dishes the details on purchasing her first home!

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.