Home of the Month

An Early 2000s Melbourne Apartment Turned ‘Piccolo Palazzo’

Eryca Green says buying her Carlton apartment was ‘never a case of love at first sight.’ With its all-white walls and grey carpet, the circa 2001 apartment was a far cry from the established and eclectic homes she’d previously lived in, but the price was right, and Eryca had a vision.

Almost two years later, the apartment is unrecognisable. Working with Julia Cox of jcHQ, Eryca has designed a home that feels rich in history featuring vintage furniture, coloured walls, and beloved art.

Eryca has created ‘a room of one’s own’ — an always warm, light-filled, and decorative sanctuary away from the busy world outside.

Lucy Feagins
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

Supported by Dulux

Wall painted Porter’s Paints Majolica Half. 1950s Vittorio Dassi sideboard. Jordan Fleming sculptural bowl. Paintings by Louise Tuckwell and Louise Olsen. Brass leaf floor lamp bough from Ferretti e Guerrini Antichita’ Srl in Rome: ‘Gioris and Antonio who own the shop are two of my favourite people in all the world. I’m so glad to have a few pieces from them to remind me of the fun we all had together before Covid and cancer got in the way. I cannot wait to get back to Rome to see them.’

Wall painted Porter’s Paints Majolica Half. Fornasetti clock. Stephen Gill painting.

Eryca Green in her Carlton apartment. Wall painted Porter’s Paints Majolica Half.

1960s sofa and marble coffee table sourced by Smith Street Bazaar. ‘Eddy bought the sofa in America years ago. He liked it but I LOVED it so it lives with me and he visits it,’ says Eryca. ‘The Japanese screen was given to me specifically for that spot by my dear Friend Gregory Ladner. He is a great lover of a screen and this was the first one he ever bought. It had been living in his garage for a while, and when I told him I wanted a screen to define this room, he said he had the perfect one!’ Wall painted Porter’s Paints Majolica Half.

Carol Crawford sculpture. Armadillo rug.

Getting the 1950s Vittorio Dassi sideboard into the apartment required cutting it in half! ‘The moment I saw it I knew I needed it. It defines the look I wanted,’ says Eryca. ‘The problem was, it was too long for the lift, and too long for the stairs — there was NO way of getting it in. I couldn’t let go of it, and couldn’t find anything I liked as much, so, Eddy and his good friend Frank Mesiti who helps us out in the warehouse with restorations cut it in half! It was so nerve wracking. They brought it up in two halves, and then did complex surgery to put it back together. I was so happy and grateful, and luckily it totally works in the space. It gives such a strong linear line that means despite its size, or rather because of its size, the room looks bigger with it in.’

A kitchen island bench was removed during renovations to open up the space. ‘The IKEA kitchen was reconfigured cunningly by Julia, then customised with the beautiful piece of marble and the brass shelf,’ says Eryca.

Doria light. Cheetah artwork by Reginald Baxter.

Dinosaur Designs bowl. Japanese sculptures from Mr Kitly. Brass horse by Ross Cameron. Wall painted Porter’s Paints Majolica Half.

Afra & Tobia Scarpa chairs. Corey Ashford brass coasters. ‘I have always wanted an antique dining table to put modernist chairs with — it is a dichotomy that pleases me immensely,’ says Eryca. Walls painted Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi and Majolica Half.


Stephen Ormandy painting. Lucite pedestal bought from Ferretti e Guerrini Antichita’ Srl in Rome. Dinosaur Designs vase. Walls painted Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi and Majolica Half.

Wall painted Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi. Frog portrait by Will and Garrett Huxley. Cordon Salon mirror via Oigall Projects. Stephen Ormandy prints. Small photograph by Eryca Green.


Wall painted Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi. Flos Snoopy table lamp. Louise Olsen painting. Raymond Loewy sideboard.

Glittery koala byWill and Garrett Huxley. Paolo Buffa chair. Ettore Sottsass desk chair and bought from Castorina. Wall painted Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi.

Light bought Smith Street Bazaar. Top photograph by Jo Duck. Bottom painting by Camille Ormandy of Eryca’s brother. Vase from the Geoffrey Hatty collection.

Dinosaur Designs side table and brass bowl. Corey Ashford incense holder. In Essence 360 oil diffuser.

Lucy Feagins
Editorial styling

Annie Portelli

20th of September 2023

After a life-changing few years, including a cancer diagnosis, Eryca Green realised the profound need of having a sanctuary to call home. ‘Spaces can be so healing, especially if you are a bit of a homebody as I am,’ she says.

The photographer and co-owner of vintage furniture store Smith Street Bazaar spent a year looking for a desirable inner-city Melbourne apartment in her price range. ‘I was hoping for an art deco style in a small block of four to six. I didn’t even bother looking at big blocks as it just wasn’t what I wanted at all.’

The process was demoralising, so after several months, Eryca was persuaded to inspect a modern apartment in a large Carlton building built in 2001.

‘I brought my close friend Matthew with me to see it. He is extremely pragmatic and knowledgeable, and he said “Darling, it has good bones!” Eryca says. ‘The large north-facing balcony overlooking a courtyard that can’t be built out is probably the winning feature. The location is also a drawcard — it really couldn’t be better.’

While the property was aesthetically world’s away from Eryca’s most recent home (that had been owned by the one family for generations) she quickly grew to appreciate the apartment as a blank cavas, providing the opportunity to make her mark. ‘It was totally led by my need for something solid to call my own,’ she says.

Eryca bought the apartment and worked with Julia Cox of jcHQ to bring her vision to life. Together, they’ve created a warm and wonderful space that feels like a true reflection of Eryca and her taste.

The renovated home features all new flooring, freshly-painted walls, and a moodier kitchen. ‘The IKEA kitchen was reconfigured cunningly by Julia, then customised with the beautiful piece of marble and the brass shelf,’ says Eryca.

Eddy Opmanis sourced all the furniture and the lights, and the interior colour scheme was inspired by his and Eryca’s previous home together, featuring similar shades of peachy pink (Porter’s Paints Majolica Half), yellow (Porter’s Paints Kuchinashi), and a deep cinnamon-toned red for the bedroom. ‘The girls at Porter’s Paints in Fitzroy were so patient, supportive and helpful,’ Eryca says. ‘I was in there almost every day for a while!’

Eryca’s sons Angus and Noah also played an important role in the renovation. ‘Angus manned the shop while I was lost to renovations and medical dramas, and Noah did an enormous amount of work preparing the space and painting it,’ says Eryca.

‘Mostly of course, I couldn’t have done it without Julia of jcHQ — her knowledge, tenacity, and vision.’

This is the first apartment Eryca has ever lived in. Living in a smaller home has required some adjusting (‘I have always had a “room of shame” where I could put all the things I wanted, but didn’t have a spot for. Not having that is both a curse and a blessing!’) but she loves the home she’s created, and the surrounding neighbourhood.

No matter where she lives, Eryca’s most cherished items will always be her art, including pieces by Louise Olsen, Stephen Ormandy, Camille Ormand, Jordan Fleming, Carol Crawford, and her son.

Julia calls Eryca’s completed home a ‘piccolo palazzo,’ featuring an adventurous colour palette that transports you to a summer holiday in Venice!

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