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

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.

This Week

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey
2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras
  24 hours ago

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  16 hours ago

Gardens

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden

Cameron Kimber’s pocket-sized patch contains a folly and a sweet guest cottage mirroring his stately home in the Southern Highlands.

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interiors

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

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

Interiors

A Social Sydney Home Elevated By Garden Views + On Point Decoration!

Following an architectural renovation by Welsh + Major, celebrated design studio Arent&Pyke elevate this Sydney home with a stunning array o...
02:33

TDF Design Awards

Meet Yasmine Ghoniem of YSG Studio – the 2020 TDF + Laminex Design Awards Interior Design Award Winner!

Yasmine Ghoniem of YSG Studio shares her award winning interior project, Budge Over Dover, and her design philosophy.

This Week

Homes

A Creative Couple’s Loft-Style Pad, With Brooklyn Vibes!

Designer Phi Do and his husband Yaniv Brayer give us a tour through their warehouse-style Richmond townhouse.

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Architecture

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

The Autumn House by Studio Bright unites a Victorian terrace with its 1980s renovation by architect Mick Jörgensen, in one contemporary des...

Interiors

The 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards Winners!

From Troye Sivan's divine Flack Studio residence to a converted warehouse abode, the industry’s best designers and projects have been reve...
Christina Karras
2:04

Inside Look

Behind The Scenes At The NGV’s Epic New Picasso Exhibition

Exhibition designer Allie Mactier takes us through one of the National Gallery of Victoria's biggest exhibitions ever.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

News

Bruce Munro's Spectacular Light Installations Are Coming To Heide

See a showcase of light and colour when the acclaimed English-Australian artist takes over Heide Museum of Modern Art and its gardens!
Sponsored

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras
  16 hours ago

Stays

A Dreamy Getaway With Panoramic Views In The Heart Of Hobart

Edwardian architecture meets a Japanese-style extension at this peaceful Tasmanian retreat, complete with spectacular views of the city, riv...
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Cottagecore Folly Buried At The Bottom Of A Grand Garden

Cameron Kimber’s pocket-sized patch contains a folly and a sweet guest cottage mirroring his stately home in the Southern Highlands.

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras
  24 hours ago

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Interiors

Two Sleek + Stylish Side-By-Side Homes On One Block!

This dual-occupancy build by Boutique Developments proves developments don't have to be generic, with each unit offering up its own contrast...
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Interiors

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

Studio Tate associate Liz Ride has turned her 1990s family townhouse into a stylish family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!...

Interiors

A Social Sydney Home Elevated By Garden Views + On Point Decoration!

Celebrated design studio Arent&Pyke elevate this Sydney home with a stunning array of colourful, considered art and furnishings.
02:33

TDF Design Awards

Meet Yasmine Ghoniem of YSG Studio – the 2020 TDF + Laminex Design Awards Interior Design Award Winner!

Yasmine Ghoniem of YSG Studio shares her award winning interior project, Budge Over Dover, and her design philosophy.

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