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This Rustic Melbourne Apartment Is A Zen Retreat From Inner-City Life

Homes

Content creator and creative director of Goldie + Ace, Loui Burke, is very familiar with apartment living. In fact, since leaving his 30-acre home in the Hunter Valley, NSW, almost 10 years ago, he’s only lived in apartments!

Loui’s current place – inside the converted Melbourne City Power Station – is right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD; on Little Bourke street.

Yet, in the midst of bustling city life, Loui has managed to create a rustic, tranquil oasis, that harks back to his rural roots.

15th June, 2022

Farlov 2.5 seater sofa from Ikea. 100% linen sofa cover in Shell from Bemz. Lamp and decorative cushions from Pottery Barn. Urn from Papaya. Pewter bowl from Marinoni. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Loui Burke stands in his Little Bourke street apartment. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Reupholstered bench from Living by Design. Throw from END. Pots from Acorn Nursery. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Kettle from Alessi. Ceramics from Made in Japan and Robert Gordon. Glassware from Ferm Living. Fruit bowl from George Jensen. Breville Bambino coffee machine. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Plants from Fitzroy Nursery. Pots from Bunnings. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Loui created the cream lantern using coffee! Rugs and floor cushions from Freedom. Coffee table from Maison Est. Elm bench from House of Isabella. Lamp from Provincial Home. from Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

The wooden bowl was a gift from a friend from Peru. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Farlov 2.5 seater sofa from Ikea. 100% linen sofa cover in Shell from Bemz. Rugs and floor cushions from Freedom. Coffee table from Maison Est. Elm bench from House of Isabella. Lamp from Provincial Home. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Table from West Elm. Glassware from Ferm Living. House Doctor watering can from Milligram. Lux Candle candlesticks from END. Tablecloth from Bed Threads. Curtain from Spotlight (DIY’d by Loui!). Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Chair from Byron Bay Hanging Chairs. Tablecloth from Bed Threads. Pot from Acorn Nursery. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Curtain from Spotlight (DIY’d by Loui!). Pot and plant from Acorn Nursery. Artwork by Grace Wheaton. Vase from END. Bench from BROSA. Bedlinen from Bed Threads. Rug from IKEA. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Bedhead from BROSA. Bedlinen from Bed Threads. Throw from Garbo & Friends. Throw cushion from Aura Home. Euro cushion covers from George Street Linen. LOEWE print from Mr Porter. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 15th June 2022

‘I just love the contrast of that clean urban cityscape with a more rustic, honest look and feel.’ – Loui Burke.

Loui Burke, content creator and creative director of Goldie + Ace, grew up on a 30-acre property in the Hunter Valley, NSW. But since moving out of home, he’s exclusively lived in city apartments. 

‘My thought process is/was, if you’re going to make the effort to move [to the city], you might as well live in the city.’ He explains. ‘I like the energy of a city, and then head back home for a break when I need it.’ 

In fact, Melbourne’s vibrant city-scene is what made Loui fall in love with Victoria in the first place. ‘I’d walk down Flinders Lane and Little Bourke Street and admire the city apartments, and imagine living there myself,’ he says.  

He spent four years living in Richmond and then another three in Hawthorn – diligently searching for ‘the perfect heritage-style apartment’ everytime his lease was due for renewal – before scoring an apartment right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD; on Little Bourke street. 

The late 1800s/early 1900s building was once the head office for the Melbourne City Power Station, and was converted into eight separate apartments in the early 2000s. 

Loui’s 110sqm place features covetable high ceilings and large windows – a score for small space apartment living. ‘I love how calm the space feels,’ he says. ‘The industrial old-world shell with all the rough edges and large beams just brings so much interest and added texture to the space that compliments my style.’

The style in question is organic and calm, with a muted and layered colour palette of browns, creams with touches of amber and green. ‘What lacks in colour, I like to think I make up for in texture,’ Loui says. 

The tranquil, retreat-like space strikes a stark contrast to the noisy bustle of the CBD, where there’s always something going on. Loui explains; ‘I love the contrast of that clean urban cityscape with a more rustic, honest interior look and feel.’ A little slice of Loui’s rural roots, in the heart of the city.

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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