Dressmaker Loft by Melanie Beynon and Megan Hounslow

  • Narrow Melbourne laneways are renowned for hiding some of the city’s best spots to wine and dine. With the vibrant bustle of the metropolitan centre only a few steps away, The Dressmaker Loft takes up residence in a heritage building in Little Bourke Street. Though this loft may be relatively small in proportion, with Meme Design’s intervention it is now big on design personality.

    DESIGN Meme Design | PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Blachford

    The loft is located in what was once a dressmakers shop, and comes with a charming collection of original architectural features; high ceilings solid timber storehouse doors and arched and industrial wired windows. This slice of historic real estate was thoroughly considered in the design intent, to “distill the original character” while maximising the living spaces.

    Well versed in spatial literacy, Meme Design have evolved this one-bedroom apartment into an efficient and comfortable floor plan that feels far from tightly packed. The master bedroom, built-in wardrobe and bathroom are closed off behind the full-height glass screen with adjoining sliders. The ribbed glass encourages “dynamic levels of lighting and movement” between the two spaces, while blending with the industrial windows. Perhaps most crucially, the windows and doors can now open up the apartment onto the adjacent laneway, letting the owners “welcome the inner-city atmosphere whenever they choose”.

    With a penchant for New York loft conversions, we at est certainly support taking creative hints from the city that never sleeps. Meme Design pay homage to a signature loft sensibility by exposing raw materials and white washed brick, allowing the tactile SurfaceX Mineral Paint on the bathroom walls, knotted rug and bedroom linen to feel at home. The home’s furnishings are well-matched in style and colour, showcasing midcentury finds from Angelucci Furniture amid subtle drops of greenery, art by Andrew Ashton and sculpture by Annette Saker. Space saver solutions are fulfilled in the expansive custom joinery, in a soft matte finish.

    Benefiting from the closeness of the city buzz but as doubling as an escape from its stimulation, the Dressmaker Loft is an important exercise in restraint and refinement. Meme Design have taken an old gem into a new era of apartment living, dabbling in equal parts of classic, considered and contemporary.

    ‘The custom kitchen joinery is plywood finished in a metallic automotive coating, providing lustre which compliments the matte walnut floors.’

    — Meme Design


    Petite in proportion but big on designer details.

    Freestanding Cooker by Smeg
    Freestanding Cooker | Smeg
    Natural White | Dulux
    Lucia Curved Basin Spout Abey
    Lucia Curved Basin Spout | Abey
    Semi Pendant | Cult Design
    Tuba Surface IP54 Light Inlite
    Tuba Surface IP54 Light | Inlite
    Braid Rug - Pumice Armadillo & Co
    Braid Rug – Pumice | Armadillo & Co
    Vida Stonewashed Linen | Seneca
    Erik Buch Dining Chairs | Angelucci Furniture

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