With its high ceilings and industrial heritage, the Melbourne home of content creator Camelia Farhoodi and photographer Ramsay Hosn is reminiscent of a New York loft.
The couple discovered the Fitzroy apartment for rent in 2022 when they were living in Heidelberg West.
‘[Living in Heidelberg West] was a very different experience as it felt very suburban, and we wanted to try something different. We decided we’d try to find a place in the heart of the action, and we were going to inspections looking for over a year to find this gem,’ says Camelia.
Camelia and Ramsay saw an advertisement for apartments and townhouses in a new development, and decided to take a look.
The development was a two-storey heritage brick building in Fitzroy that had recently been converted into townhouses and apartments. When designing the project, Kerstin Thompson Architects challenged the council on conventional heritage responses, in order to build the upper extension in alignment with the face of the heritage facade below, rather than having this set back and ‘wedding caked.’ This manoeuvre allowed the apartments to be pushed to the perimeter, creating a central courtyard shared by all residents. The concept draws on Italian housing models that reveal a private ‘inner world’ behind their strong street frontage.
Camelia and Ramsay appreciated the converted building’s architectural design and the distinct interiors of each residence. ‘Upon coming to the inspections, we realised how different each residence was,’ says Camelia. ‘To name a few standout features: the original facade, high ceilings, hard wooden floors combined with concrete, and modern utilities but with classical features that are just so hard to find in new buildings.’
There was also plenty of space for Camelia and Ramsay’s pet snake, Leche! ‘Ramsay has kept and bred snakes for over 15 years, but now he just keeps one as a pet,’ says Camelia. ‘He spent a lot of time putting together the perfect naturalistic enclosure for little Leche, as there’s not exactly the biggest market for such a thing. It definitely was a challenge to find a place to accommodate it, as most new developments have bedrooms that can barely fit a bed — let alone work equipment and other large pieces!’
Camelia says she and Ramsay have previously made the mistake of furnishing a home too quickly, so they’re taking a slower approach this time around. ‘That doesn’t work out very well when our temperamental tastes change from month to month,’ she explains. ‘We are taking our time carefully picking pieces to add to our home.’
Some of the couple’s favourite pieces include their stone coffee table (‘We’ve changed just about everything but kept that piece for the last three years,’ Camelia says) and the Persian rug bought from Facebook Marketplace (‘an ode to our backgrounds’).
Camelia describes the home as lofty and industrial, with mid-century inspired influences. It’s a ‘temporarily minimal’ but ‘eventually maximal space’, she muses.