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An Artist’s Light + Bright Collingwood Apartment

Homes

Artist and head of brand at Lucy Folk, Ben Mazey, grew fond of apartment living after 13 years living across Europe and Asia. He found few solid options upon returning to Melbourne, except for two developments by Milieu, including one apartment he purchased off-the-plan, and another he signed the lease on the next day! 

While awaiting the completion of his off-the-plan apartment, Ben has made this rented space in Collingwood his own with furniture sourced overseas, a vibrant gallery wall, and plenty of ceramics.

25th August, 2021

Mint green side table is a ‘Champ’ stool from Matter Made in NYC. White ceramic lamp by Ben. Ligne Roset ‘Togo’ sofa. Artworks on wall: Collage artwork by Linder Sterling; tri-color screen prints with text by Cali-Thornhill Dewitt; neon pink screen print by an all time fave Sister Corita-Kent. ‘I find it life affirming and it was a gift from me to me when I was living in Paris after my mum passed away,’ says Ben. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mint green side table is a ‘Champ’ stool from Matter Made in NYC. White ceramic lamp by Ben. Ligne Roset ‘Togo’ sofa. Dutch brutalist coffee table from Modern Times. Ceramic candlesticks commissioned by Lucy Folk from Ceri Muller. Artworks on wall: Collage artwork by Linder Sterling; tri-color screen prints with text by Cali-Thornhill Dewitt; neon pink screen print by an all time fave Sister Corita-Kent. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Ben Mazey! Yellow artwork by Sister Corita-Kent. Ceramic vessel from Peninsula Antiques. Rosado jacquard towelling overshirt from Lucy Folk. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The view over Collingwood from the dining nook. Ceramic vase by Ben. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining nook. Yellow artwork by Sister Corita-Kent. Table by Desalto. Chairs found in a flea market in Paris. Ceramic vase by Ben. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The compact space sees the kitchen, dining and living room neatly connected. Ligne Roset ‘Togo’ sofa. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Clean, light shelving houses just some of Ben’s treasures. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

This integrated shelving unit is a clever space saver. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The lounge room looks out over a great sheltered balcony! Dutch brutalist coffee table from Modern Times. Ceramic candlesticks commissioned by Lucy Folk from Ceri Muller. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining space is still connected to the lounge room but secreted into its own nook. Green ceramic wall piece by Ben. Yellow artwork by Sister Corita-Kent. Table by Desalto. Chairs found in a flea market in Paris. USM shelves from Anibou Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘USM shelves from Anibou with an absolute mix of pieces I love and have acquired,’ says Ben. Green ceramic wall piece by Ben. On the right are two charcoal works by Emmanuel Van der Meulen. Brass Snoopy money box given to Ben by his first boyfriend 15 years ago. Celadon green Chinese ceramic Ben started collecting when he lived in Shanghai. Sottsass ‘Shiva’ vase and some of his own pieces and collected marble eggs. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Vase by Ben. Porcelain soap dish from Astier de Villatte. Sun jacquard towels from Lucy Folk. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The exterior of the Collingwood building. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Sweeping views of Collingwood! Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 25th August 2021

‘There’s this real sense of space and looking out over a big sky, and I adore that.’ – Ben Mazey

Ben Mazey’s apartment is a real reflection of his life and work. Within this compact Collingwood home are pieces collected while living across Europe and Asia, those sourced through his current work at Lucy Folk, and ceramics made under his recently established practice.  

The artist and head of brand at Lucy Folk moved into this apartment building by Milieu in early 2020, after purchasing an off-the-plan property in another of the developer’s project’s the very same week! ‘I really like what they do in terms of developers, so it was an easy choice to set up camp here, while my other place is being built’ he says.

Ben was most attracted to the light in the building and its sweeping views of the morning sky. ‘I’m a very early riser and the north/east aspect and all those windows mean I get the sunrises and I bloody love that,’ he says. There’s this real sense of space and looking out over a big sky, and I adore that.’

Most of the furniture and decor has been transported to Melbourne from Ben’s former life overseas, including the gorgeous petal-shaped dining chairs bought from a Paris flea market. 

‘I actually love that so much of my furniture was in my Paris apartment (a gorgeous, very traditional building from 1867), my Shanghai place which was an art deco place from the 1920s, and now it’s here with me in a new build in Melbourne,’ Ben says. ‘That all sounds a bit pretentious, but it’s more to really say that I guess my aesthetic is a bit all over the place, and it’s nice that the stuff I love kind of works with me, wherever I am.’

Also on display are several ceramics from artists discovered through his work at Lucy Folk, such as Ceri Muller, or pieces made by Ben himself under his new art practice. ‘I was having a bit of a sabbatical after I’d just moved back to Melbourne, and decided to turn the early lockdowns into a self-directed creative residency,’ he explains. ‘Ceramics really took over, and fast forward to now and I’m having my first solo show [opening soon] at At The Above’. 

‘Beginning to work with Lucy Folk really freed me up to approach my personal practice with so much freedom, and I feel really lucky to have both.’

It’s not easy to make an off-the-plan apartment feel both deeply personalised while remaining sleek and uncluttered, but Ben has absolutely nailed it!

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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