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 Creative Family's Eclectic Apartment in Melbourne’s CBD

Homes

If you told a younger Michael Chazan he’d raise his future family in an off-the-plan CBD apartment, he probably wouldn’t believe you… but funnily enough, it’s now his dream home. 

The furniture designer and creative director of Le Space, which he founded with his partner, photographer/curator/educator Ying Ang, live here with their almost-three-year-old son, Oska Shübi, and have found that apartment living is the life for them. 

Over the past three years, the couple have placed their own maximalist stamp on the Melbourne apartment, with plenty of personal touches, plants, self-made furniture, and soft lighting. It’s a home that really feels lived in – we love it! 

14th October, 2020

The lounge room faces north up Spring Street towards Carlton Gardens. Falcon Armchair from Radar, Fitzroy. Artwork by Shübi (left) and David Chazan (right). Arancini Floor Lamp by Moda Piera. Brass sculpture by Gidon Bing from Curatorial + Co. Memphis-style side table from Smith Street Bazaar. Photo – Ying Ang.

A different corner of the lounge room. A collection of vintage furniture and collected artworks by unknown painters. A vintage Persian rug. Photo – Ying Ang.

Another corner of the lounge room! Vintage Dutch armchair by Rudolf Wolf from Modern Times. Photo – Ying Ang.

A maximalist salon wall is the main feature of the lounge room. Vintage Dutch armchair on the right by Rudolf Wolf from Modern Times. Photo – Ying Ang.

Here is one of the two study nooks in the lounge room. Photography from David Schulze‘s exhibition ‘Heads’ at Le Space Gallery. Quattra Desk in Blackwood & NY Marble by Moda Piera. Photo – Ying Ang.

A family portrait! Ying, Oska Shübi (who goes by Shübi) and Michael. Photo – Ying Ang.

The dining room is filled with rattan steel chairs from CCSS. Marble Dining Table by Moda Piera. Photography left to right: David Schulze and Ying Ang, both represented by Le Space Gallery. Flowers from The Green Room in Albert Park, arranged by Ying! Photo – Ying Ang.

Flowers from The Green Room in Albert Park arranged by Ying. Sculpture on dining table by Nikola Vrljic. Photo – Ying Ang.

Rattan steel chairs from CCSS. Marble Dining Table by Moda Piera. Photography left to right: David Schulze and Ying Ang, both represented by Le Space Gallery. Persian rug gifted from a friend. Photo – Ying Ang.

An incredible flower arrangement with blooms sourced from The Green Room in Albert Park. This arrangement was made by Ying! Photo – Ying Ang.

Photography in the dining room from left to right: David Schulze and Ying Ang, both represented by Le Space Gallery. Quattra Desk by Moda Piera. Photo – Ying Ang.

Shübi’s play area! Photo – Ying Ang.

Shübi’s trains and toys fit the colour scheme of the rest of the house! Photo – Ying Ang.

Shübi’s bedroom featuring assorted artworks and vintage furniture. Photo – Ying Ang.

‘Suffice to say I need to make some bookshelves!’ says Michael. Photo – Ying Ang.

The outdoor terrace. ‘This is our main outdoor space the overlooks Treasury Gardens and beyond over East Melbourne, Richmond and out to the Dandenong Ranges. A good spot for a morning coffee,’ says Michael. On the left is a work in progress by Shübi. On the right: a collection of plants outside the main bedroom. Photo – Ying Ang.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 14th October 2020

‘Sometimes you just need to have an anonymous dance when you’re stuck at home the majority of the time.’ – Michael Chazan

Designer and director at Moda Piera Michael Chazan never really considered apartment living until meeting Ying Ang, a documentary photographer; curator, writer and educator at ICP in New York; and director of Le Space Gallery in Collingwood (massive shout out to Ying for taking these beautiful pictures for us!). 

While Michael had always lived in houses throughout Melbourne, Ying spent most of her adult life flying around the world for work, and loved the ability to lock up and leave at a moment’s notice.

When the couple decided to make a home together in Melbourne in 2017, apartment living made the most sense for their busy work schedules, but Michael was hesitant. ‘I was initially skeptical about many other aspects of the apartment lifestyle, and as such aspired to get a house somewhere as our family grew,’ he says. ‘Somewhat ironically, it was only with the birth of our son that I really became an inner-city apartment convert.’ 

Following Oska Shübi’s birth, Michael and Ying began taking full advantage of the location of their Bates Smartdesigned apartment on Spring Street via spontaneous cafe visits and people-watching in Treasury Gardens. ‘The ability to walk out our front door and ‘dip into life’ – albeit briefly – really aided in keeping us sane,’ Michael says. 

The couple also started indulging in the occasional ‘nocturnal stimulation’ at Angel Music Bar, and dancing at nearby nightclubs! ‘Sometimes you just need to have an anonymous dance when you’re stuck at home the majority of the time,’ Michael says. 

Michael and Ying’s love for their city location remains the same, but their actual home has evolved significantly over the past three years. Originally a relatively stark shell, Michael has filled the three-bedroom apartment with furniture prototypes designed for his own collection, plants, rugs sourced overseas, $2 art prints, and vintage store finds. 

One small but impactful change has been replacing all the original bright downlights with lamps and soft pendant lighting. ‘To this day, the only time the down lights get put on is if we have lost something tiny on a rug and require blindingly bright light to find it (or when Ying is doing her nails in the bathroom)!’ Michael says. This change has also better highlighted the apartment’s natural light, which guides the family from the breakfast table, to the reading nook, and lounge room as the day progresses.

Even now, this apartment remains in a constant state of flux, with Michael always adding or moving pieces around. ‘I am always wanting to create a new environment or am lusting after some notion of how the place could be. This often involves some crazy piece of furniture that is wildly expensive and not at all needed,’ he says. ‘Ying on the other hand is much more balanced in her approach to our home. She loves what we have, and would be happy for it to stay the way it is… until such time as it changes, and then she is equally as happy with that.’

Michael’s apartment end goal is to create a disparate structure containing all of the couple’s design loves and flights of fancy. He says, ‘It would probably end up looking like some kind of “only a mother could love” monstrosity, but it would be our monstrosity, and would talk to all of the weird things we have liked over a long period of time as our tastes change and evolve.’

Watch this space! 

This Week

Art

The Artist Painting Her Way Through Lockdown

Regional NSW-based landscape artist Edwina Edwards retreats into nature for a new exhibition, ‘Bush Solace’.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Mood-Enhancing Melbourne Home

Kennedy Nolan have knocked it out of the park again, transforming a Victorian house with a dated extension into a cohesive home, with uplift...

Furniture

A Lush New Line Of Contemporary Furniture From Jardan

The ‘Living Form’ collection reinterprets Jardan’s classic designs, with traditional Australian textures - and some brand new silhouet...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

This Sydney House Takes The High Ground

A previously granted development approval allowed the sandstone ridge on this Seaforth site to be cut away, but Stafford Architecture had ot...

TDF Design Awards

10 Awe-Inspiring Creative Collaborations From Across Australia

From furniture made with a 17th-century craft technique to a culturally significant war memorial, these are the finalists in the Collaborati...
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

A Stunning Coastal Home, Created From A Revolutionary Building Material

This house by FMD Architects is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) – a revolutionary, sustainable building material.

Architecture

A Generous, Light-Filled Addition To A Heritage Home

A restoration and renovation project in Kensington, NSW by Studio Prineas creates a harmonious dialogue between old and new.
Sasha Gattermayr
  15 hours ago

Homes

A Rustic, Inner-City Family Home Of 33 Years

Inside a Cornish/Spanish/Greek style home terrace renovation – in Port Melbourne!

Creative People

Australia's Original Instagram Secondhand Furniture Seller

We chat with OG Instagram seller Pip Newell of Curated Spaces, about how she grew her business out of her living room to a network of more t...

TDF Design Awards

You’re Invited To The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

Join us on November 5th at 7pm for our online ceremony as we celebrate the finalists and reveal all the winners – and WIN a bespoke sculpt...

Design Eye

Studio Martin on Refined Rattan

Emerging design duo Lauren and Amanda Martin share their advice on using rattan furniture in contemporary interiors, in partnership with DOM...

On The Market

The Colourful Beach House Of Kip&Co’s Co-Founder Is For Sale!

The renovated 1970s beach house in Sorrento, Victoria, of Kip&Co's Kate Heppell has hit the market.

News

Space Furniture Is Having An EPIC End Of Year Sale Right Now!

Enjoy savings of up to 50% off (!!) furniture, lighting, and accessories from some of our favourite local and international designers, both
Sponsored

Homes

A Pint-Sized Coastal Home That Does More With Less!

Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, turned an exisiting structure into a dreamy 40 square metre home on Vi...
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

News

These Recycled Tote Bags Are The Real Deal!

The winner of 2019 TDF Design Awards Textile Design category, Georgina Whigham, debuts a new collection of zero waste denim bags with local
Sasha Aarons

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

The Colourful Melbourne Home Of Two Art & Design Aficionados!

The owners of Melbourne vintage store Smith Street Bazaar, Eddy Opmanis and Eryca Green, reveal their wonderfully maximalist home – owned

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

Homes

A Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Imogen Milford's Fitzroy apartment brimming with local Australian art and design is proof that big design can happen in small spaces!

This Week

Homes

A Pint-Sized Coastal Home That Does More With Less!

Harriet Birrell aka Natural Harry, and building designer Fraser West, turned an exisiting structure into a dreamy 40 square metre home on Vi...
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

News

These Recycled Tote Bags Are The Real Deal!

The winner of 2019 TDF Design Awards Textile Design category, Georgina Whigham, debuts a new collection of zero waste denim bags with local
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

A Stunning Coastal Home, Created From A Revolutionary Building Material

This house by FMD Architects is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) – a revolutionary, sustainable building material.

Design Eye

Studio Martin on Refined Rattan

Emerging design duo Lauren and Amanda Martin share their advice on using rattan furniture in contemporary interiors, in partnership with DOM...

Art

The Artist Painting Her Way Through Lockdown

Regional NSW-based landscape artist Edwina Edwards retreats into nature for a new exhibition, ‘Bush Solace’.
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Space Furniture Is Having An EPIC End Of Year Sale Right Now!

Enjoy savings of up to 50% off (!!) furniture, lighting, and accessories from some of our favourite local and international designers, both
Sponsored

TDF Design Awards

10 Awe-Inspiring Creative Collaborations From Across Australia

From furniture made with a 17th-century craft technique to a culturally significant war memorial, these are the finalists in the Collaborati...
Sasha Aarons

Homes

A Rustic, Inner-City Family Home Of 33 Years

Inside a Cornish/Spanish/Greek style home terrace renovation – in Port Melbourne!

Architecture

This Sydney House Takes The High Ground

A previously granted development approval allowed the sandstone ridge on this Seaforth site to be cut away, but Stafford Architecture had ot...

On The Market

The Colourful Beach House Of Kip&Co’s Co-Founder Is For Sale!

The renovated 1970s beach house in Sorrento, Victoria, of Kip&Co's Kate Heppell has hit the market.

Architecture

A Mood-Enhancing Melbourne Home

Kennedy Nolan have knocked it out of the park again, transforming a Victorian house with a dated extension into a cohesive home, with uplift...

Architecture

A Generous, Light-Filled Addition To A Heritage Home

A restoration and renovation project in Kensington, NSW by Studio Prineas creates a harmonious dialogue between old and new.
Sasha Gattermayr
  15 hours ago

Furniture

A Lush New Line Of Contemporary Furniture From Jardan

The ‘Living Form’ collection reinterprets Jardan’s classic designs, with traditional Australian textures - and some brand new silhouet...
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Design Awards

You’re Invited To The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards 2020!

Join us on November 5th at 7pm for our online ceremony as we celebrate the finalists and reveal all the winners – and WIN a bespoke sculpt...

Creative People

Australia's Original Instagram Secondhand Furniture Seller

We chat with OG Instagram seller Pip Newell of Curated Spaces, about how she grew her business out of her living room to a network of more t...

Similar Stories

Homes

The Colourful Melbourne Home Of Two Art & Design Aficionados!

The owners of Melbourne vintage store Smith Street Bazaar reveal their wonderfully maximalist home.

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer Jono Fleming shares his leafy Sydney apartment!

Homes

A Personality-Filled Off-The-Plan Apartment

Imogen Milford's Fitzroy apartment brimming with local Australian art and design is proof that big design can happen in small spaces!

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.