Interior designer Leigh Ellwood has long admired the 1930s Beverley Hills flats and its intriguing presence in Melbourne’s South Yarra, overlooking the river.
She visited the complex in the ‘90s when friends and colleagues lived on site, but remembers the grounds being ‘very rustic’ with wild and overgrown gardens.
When Leigh inspected one of the Beverley Hills apartments for sale three decades later, it was a different story entirely. ‘I was struck and delighted by the light in the apartment, especially in the bedroom, where two large leadlight bay windows look into lush tree foliage. It made me feel so immediately calm and content.’
Leigh couldn’t resist the apartment and its South Yarra location so close to the city, Yarra River, and the Botanic Gardens.
Since moving in at the start of the year, Leigh has made only a few cosmetic changes to the apartment. Pieces have been sourced with lifelong use in mind, including a Ligne Roset Togo sofa upholstered in lilac Kvadrat velvet, Vitsœ storage, and custom bedroom wardrobes designed by Leigh and made by builder Alex Penfold.
These pieces all sit in harmony, complementing Leigh’s ‘idiosyncratic’ art collection of works including those by Heather B. Swann, Eleanor Louise Butt, Louise Gresswell, Julian Martin, Stephen Bird, Lewis Miller, and Jon Campbell.
The addition of wallpaper in the hallway and kitchen further instils an eclectic, yet elegant feel to the apartment. ‘They are both unexpected textures, and the kitchen is definitely benefitting from an absorption of bright morning sunlight,’ says Leigh.
Leigh finds Beverley Hills’ architecture, community, and tropical gardens (that remind her of Queensland, where she’s from) to be a constant source of inspiration. ‘It’s truly an inspiring experience just to walk outside. Friends cannot believe it when they visit!’
Most days you’ll find Leigh with her cats Yama and Hiro taking in the morning sun from the dining table, or relaxing around the pool in summer. ‘I’ve spent many late afternoons and summer evenings chatting to my neighbours in sun loungers by the pool,’ Leigh says. ‘We are also lucky enough to have a communal rooftop on this building — perfect for drying sheets and a sunset Negroni.’ Dream!