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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.’

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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