South Yarra’s art deco apartments are often tightly held – just ask Leila Sanderson and Tony Espie!
When Tony first moved into this particular apartment, his initial housemate had been renting a room since the ‘70s, over which time she’d lovingly renovated the space like she owned it. Tony’s partner Leila Sanderson, owner of online store Skinny Wolf, eventually moved into the apartment, and the couple are still here 12 years later!
The home is one of two apartments in a 1930s streamline moderne building. What it lacks in heating or cooling (!) it makes up for flexibility, allowing Leila and Tony to make most cosmetic changes as they please. Its three bedrooms afford Tony, who is a sound engineer, enough space for a home studio, which also helps to drown out the noise of nearby Punt Road!
Updates over the years have included many paint jobs, with Dulux Submarine currently featured on the kitchen cabinets, and Dulux Victoriana on the contrasting pastel wall. ‘I could never live in a neutral interior, although I like other people’s neutral interiors!’ says Leila.
Leila describes the home’s aesthetic as maximalist with a hint of grandmillennial, while Tony calls it cosy, comfy, and even ‘dead!’ ‘That’s a sound engineer’s description of having lots of soft furnishing that deaden the sound!’ explains Leila.
Vintage wares complement the home’s original art deco features, while Leila’s colourful ribbon rosettes and textured pieces oodles of personality. ‘I buy things because I love them, not because they go with other things,’ she says.
Leila is also a florist working for Katie Marx, so there’s always plenty of flowers and foliage on rotation in the home.
It’s hard to create a rental property that feels personal and embedded with history, but Leila and Tony have done just that in this very special home!