Homes to Love
An elegant harbourside apartment with Mediterranean-inspired interiors
This chic home has been beautifully transformed by Belle interior design editor, Lucy Montgomery.
Tasked with designing a warm, welcoming home to suit her downsizing parents who love to entertain, Lucy Montgomery channelled a Mediterranean ambience that fits perfectly into the harbourside setting.
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF?
My parents sold their Victorian home in Newcastle to downsize to Sydney and when this Elizabeth Bay apartment from the same era popped up, it was a very appealing place to transition. Set within what was once a large private residence, the apartment's high ceilings and heritage features give it a sense of grandeur despite the smaller footprint and inner-city location. The renovation was a thoughtful, collaborative process between me and my parents, and our builder, Peter Watson from PBM Building. My parents also love to entertain and host family gatherings and didn't want that compromised. It was important to integrate living, kitchen and dining zones so we could all enjoy each other's company at once. We also wanted to maximise the Sydney Harbour views.
WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES OF THE SPACE AND HOW DID YOU RESOLVE THEM?
The open living spaces meant that we needed to create zones. We embraced the existing archways that delineate the spaces without interrupting sightlines. We tiled the dining area floors with chequerboard cobblestone marble tiles and framed the doors leading out to the view with creeping vines to create a Mediterranean alfresco vibe. In the living space, a new marble fireplace was introduced to create a focal point, replacing a fussy, faux-Victorian surround. We opened up the kitchen but tucked it behind an archway with joinery extending to the ceiling.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE INTERIOR?
The archways invite a subtly Mediterranean sensibility that feels fresh. The crisp white palette creates a classic backdrop where contemporary art, large-scale mirrors and collected antiques mix effortlessly.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE ELEMENTS?
The two storeys, grand entryway and high ceilings, which create the feeling of being in a house. Also, the dining area which overlooks a harbour pool.
WHAT INFORMED THE SELECTION OF FURNITURE, ART, FITTINGS AND FINISHES?
I worked with my parents to edit their antiques collection, layering it with contemporary furniture and art. We also re-upholstered existing pieces to tie it together. The colour scheme is classic with blue and white accents used on the kitchen cabinetry, upholstered bedhead and sofa cushions. Pendant lights and sconces by Anna Charlesworth introduce a striking sculptural layer that feels contemporary yet cohesive with the heritage ceiling roses.
WAS THE CLIENT HAPPY?
My parents love that our extended family can all happily sit at the dining table, by the fire and in the kitchen while enjoying each other's company. I think it's also a very peaceful place to be when it's just them. lucymontgomery.com
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