Kew Apartment by Sarah Wolfendale

  • Modern, compact and retaining elegant elements of its original heritage bones, Sarah Wolfendale’s Kew Apartment ticks all the boxes.

    You could be forgiven for thinking that this petite, yet grand, two-bedroom apartment is located somewhere in Scandinavia. In fact, this newly modernised Kew home belongs to Melbourne based interior designer Sarah Wolfendale and her young family of four.

    Initially attracted to the potential of the former asylum, Sarah who is Senior Interior Designer at Techne Architecture and Interior Design and her husband Tommy were on the hunt for a reasonably priced, centrally located home that would allow them to commute to work on their bikes. Preferring to live centrally in a smaller space rather than further out in a larger home, this 90-square-metre apartment was just what they were looking for.

    After living in its current state for a year Sarah and her husband embarked on their renovation. First up they switched the layout so that the open plan kitchen now sits against the far wall and the living space fills the void, this allows for more natural light and a better flow. The bathroom was then relocated closer to the two bedrooms, an ensuite was added and a mezzanine floor, which serves as a guest room, study and storage, was built above.

    Throughout the process, Sarah was careful not only to retain the original 19th-century building heritage details (including the 4-metre-high ceilings, stunning arched windows and chevron timber floors) but to really celebrate these features throughout the apartment. “I wanted to be sympathetic to the original building and accentuate the heritage features while giving it a modern twist.” explains Sarah.

    In the new modern kitchen, a 4.5-metre-long honed Brecciolino marble benchtop by Corsi & Nicolai provides plenty of space for cooking and preparation, while Fisher & Paykel appliances throughout the kitchen and laundry have all been cleverly integrated into the custom grey cabinetry. The standout floating joinery by Guy Phelan featuring Buster + Punch T-bar pulls from Living Edge gives the impression of lightness and space and hides a multitude of much-needed storage options including a European laundry at one end and a sliding ladder for all those harder-to-reach cupboards higher up.

    Informing the selection of art, furniture and furnishings throughout the home is Sarah’s aesthetic – which is heavily influenced by Scandinavian, French and Belgium design. An avid collector of original and modern pieces of mid-century Danish furniture, Sarah’s love for European design can be seen in every space.

    Standout pieces include a Menu JWDA Concrete Table Lamp which sits alongside artwork by Emily Persson on top of a Frama D20 W60 shelf in the kitchen. The Bathroom showcases a mid-wall of tonal grey tiles from Signorino and a quirky De La Espada Laurel side table from Luke Furniture while the bathtub makes for an added little luxury in a small apartment- but an essential one with two small children. In the master bedroom, a brass Frama 90° Wall Light sits pretty on a structured Molteni&C Panna Cotta side table from Hub Furniture while crumpled blue bedlinen from In Bed Store not only adds colour but softens the overall feel of the room.

    Every inch of this home has been carefully considered and efficiently planned for. Plenty of storage and thoughtful details (some modern and some original) share this petite space in harmony. Sarah says, “I believe if a space is designed well, and with plenty of storage, then you can make a family home out of a 90sqm apartment,” and we’d have to agree.

    Images courtesy of Fisher & Paykel.

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