Her Majesty’s Apartment

  • Showcasing their philosophy for using a restrained material palette, Nexus Designs presents a convincing case with their latest inner-Melbourne home.

    Nexus Designs have long been part of the appreciation fan club for a moderate palette. In fact, it’s one of the studio’s founding principles. So when it came to converting two small apartments within an old 1880’s block into one all-encompassing home, the refined yet restricted finishes throughout Her Majesty’s Apartment (HMA) was no exception to their rule.

    Other than a few structural columns, Nexus was given a blank slate. This made way for the unique concept of a spiral layout, with the master ensuite at the centre.

    A large-scale, pale grey porcelain tile formed the inspiration behind the masculine and moody tonal palette. From the entry area, living space, terrace and bathrooms the grey Signorino tiles appear throughout the home. The kitchen, walk-through scullery/pantry, laundry and bathrooms all present the versatility of the same grey palette as it extends up from the floor and onto the joinery using paint, stone and porcelain for the benchtops. A complimentary darker grey stone is used for the kitchen island bench and powder room, while punctuations of American White Oak timber offset the neutral tones.

    While the colours remain reserved, the curated selection of luxe furniture, artwork and curios throughout the home adds personality and showcases a modern elegance steeped in both texture and detail. Sonia Simpfendorfer, Creative Director at Nexus explains; “we chose furniture pieces for the apartment that were suited the scale of the spaces and had strength in their forms, seeking the perfect balance of comfort, practicality and good looks.” This includes Jardan’s Alfred sofa in an oceanic blue velvet, paired with a Toi side table by Zanotta, Arper Catifa chairs in black, Hay Revolver stools in a muted grey and Polished chrome Vola tapware throughout the home.

    “The finishes don’t dominate the space so instead the abundant natural light and the spaces themselves are what you notice first”.

    – Sonia Simpfendorfer

    The open-plan kitchen, living and dining space is the real hub of the home. Minimal and void of distraction, the fireplace with its solid stone ledge easily becomes the scene-stealing feature here. Elongated and luxuriously oversized, it simply demands attention.

    Framed by billowy, Belgian linen curtains, the living and dining room zone overflows out onto a generous north facing terrace, featuring the decorative crest that adds a final nostalgic nod. Echoing the grey tiles inside, it’s a space that gives way to the Melbourne city skyline beyond and provides a multitude of uses to its owners. In the words of associate and senior designer Lucy Marczyk, “it’s a fantastic space with multiple uses; it has the one-off feature of the decorative crest from the original building – now covered in ivy”.

    We love the flow, easy continuity and calm that the repeated finishes offer inside this elegant home. Simple yet poised in its design, Her Majesty’s Apartment offers uncomplicated modernism at its most refined – with a bow to a distinctly antipodean sensibility.

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