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An Adventurous Apartment Interior For Avid Art Collectors

Interiors

How do you turn a dark and dated ’90s apartment into an inspiring, character-filled space? You bring in YSG!

Turning to the client’s art collection for inspiration, the award-winning design practice redesigned this harbour-side apartment in Sydney for better function, beauty, and flow. 

Rich with memories of adventure and frivolity, the home is now as diverse and eclectic as the couple who lives here.

28th May, 2021

Candy pink Vola kitchen tapware in ‘Crane In The Sky’ by YSG. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

High enough to conceal kitchen clutter and food prep, the kitchen bench enables views of the harbour and immediacy with people in the living and dining area. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Also interesting about this kitchen bench is its stacked material arrangement (inspired by Jenga blocks) including crocodile green Vitoria Regia marble. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Other materials in the overall palette similarly reflect the desire to open up the space. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Bronzed mirror on the bar amplifies the dimensions of the living area while bouncing natural light about. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Candy-striped ‘beach ball’ lights levitating above the dining table tie in with the Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri painting behind them.  Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

A custom-designed Tappeti carpet runner in the hallway mimics the free-flowing gestures of a Ken Done painting (Outback) above. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

‘Given the owners have had to spend so much time at home over the past year, there’s an eternal optimism that practically sings the moment you set foot inside. A well-stocked bar has added to this enjoyment!’ says Yasmine. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

The owners stipulated the colour scheme (including a strict request for no white or beige furniture) should complement their prized pieces and new selections. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Ken Done painting (Outback). Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

A previously dark base palette with enclosing charcoal shades (including walls, carpets and joinery) and jarring red feature walls was flipped to a neutral sprinkled with dollops of colour. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Textured Marmorino plaster walls created by Uprising Cement Renderers. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

The hand-painted main bedroom ceiling feature by Creative Finish was inspired by ancient Chinese folding screens and features walnut timber batten bracing. Photos – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

A waterscape of lilies and pond ripples on the ceiling expands the room’s depth, inverting the water views beyond the balcony. Hand-painted ceiling– Creative Finish.  Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Rich with memories of adventure, the art and collectables in this penthouse are as diverse and eclectic as the couple who lives there. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Upon the bed, a golden Japanese vintage silk quilt glows with a beautiful golden shimmer in the daytime. Photo – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Textured Marmorino plaster walls, long-lasting polished and brushed Isernia stone floors, and pitted travertine bathrooms enhance fluidity between all the spaces. Photos – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

The magic lies in the range of finishes and their application to expand the confines of every room and surface. Photos – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

The updated scheme emphasises two key elements lacking in the once ‘compartmentalised corporate cavern’: harbour views and the owners’ impressive art collection. Hand-painted ceiling– Creative Finish. Photos – Prue Ruscoe. Styling – Felicity Ng

Amelia Barnes
Friday 28th May 2021

‘…There’s an eternal optimism that practically sings the moment you set foot inside.’ – Yasmine Ghoniem

When you live on glorious Sydney Harbour, your home’s interior should reflect the beauty of its iconic surroundings – literally!

YSG took this approach in ‘Crane in the Sky’, a colourful interior makeover of a dated ‘90s penthouse. The updated scheme emphasises two key elements lacking in the once ‘compartmentalised corporate cavern’: harbour views and the owners’ impressive art collection. 

Everything down to the height of the kitchen bench has been carefully considered to frame these views, without compromising on functionality. Yasmine Ghoniem, principal of YSG explains, ‘High enough to conceal kitchen clutter and food prep (it was originally an enclosed room), the kitchen bench enables views of the harbour and immediacy with people in the living and dining area.’ 

Also interesting about this kitchen bench is its stacked material arrangement (inspired by Jenga blocks) featuring dominant crocodile green Vitoria Regia marble. Yasmine explains how this came to be, ‘Because the slab was pricier than other varieties, we limited its application just to the top (the surface the owners and guests will interact with the most), selecting a durable granite for the other countertops and layers of pitted travertine and plasterboard for the base of the structure.’

Other materials in the overall palette similarly reflect the desire to open up the space, from a hand-painted main bedroom ceiling (‘a waterscape of lilies and pond ripples [that] expand the room’s depth, inverting the water views beyond the balcony,’ as Yasmine describes the work by Creative Finish), smoked bronze, and golden silk textiles. 

Several furniture pieces (no beige allowed!) directly reference the couple’s existing art collection, such as the candy-striped ‘beach ball’ lights levitating above the dining table that tie in with the Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri painting behind them. A custom-designed Tappeti carpet runner in the hallway similarly mimics the free-flowing gestures of a Ken Done painting (Outback) above. 

The plump, cartoon-like dining chairs by Poltrona Frau; candy pink Vola kitchen tapware; and of course the living room bar all add to this home’s sophisticated frivolity. 

‘Given the owners have had to spend so much time at home over the past year, there’s an eternal optimism that practically sings the moment you set foot inside. A well-stocked bar has added to this enjoyment!’ says Yasmine. ‘Its smoked bronzed mirror amplifies the dimensions of the living area whilst bouncing natural light about. Most importantly, it reflects the harbour view, so it can even be appreciated when tending to the spirits!’

‘Crane In The Sky’ proves playful choices can complement sophisticated design, infusing spaces with palpable energy and a highly personalised free spirit.

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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