Lawless & Meyerson employ dark materials and elegant finishes to craft a family home in Sydney’s Bellevue Hill fit for both everyday living and entertaining.

Embraced by a lush Japanese-inspired garden, the vision for ‘Zen Apartment’ was to seamlessly integrate the interiors and the landscape while leaning on dark materials to create drama and contrast. The result is a glamorous and sophisticated home that marries tranquillity and privacy with fun and entertainment.

Produced in partnership with Elton Group

Before transforming the apartment’s interiors, Lawless & Meyerson restructured its layout to better suit the family’s lifestyle. As they loved to host family and friends, the floor plan was reconfigured to accommodate a sumptuous bar area connecting to the main living area and a spacious cellar adjacent to the main entry. The living areas are designed for versatility, transitioning from elegant spaces for entertaining to sanctuaries for relaxation and day-to-day rituals.

Lawless & Meyerson selected black as the base colour for the palette for several reasons: firstly, it brought out the verdant hues of the surrounding garden; secondly, it resonated with the client’s appreciation for refined and slightly dramatic spaces; and thirdly, it felt authentic to Lawless & Meyerson’s design approach. “The apartment embodies our penchant for black or neutral colour schemes, but two-fold. It’s glamorous in its selection of materials, particularly black timber veneer, natural stone, textiles and metals,” interior designer Jo Lawless says.

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Eveneer Prefinished ALPIkord – Pure Black Groove

Artedomus Grigio Orsola – Honed

Minotti Freeman Sofa

DePadova Sen

henrytimi HT112 Chair

DePadova Elementi

Marisa Purcell

In the living room, the Eveneer black timber veneer joinery contrasts with Artedomus Grigio Orsola marble and Havwoods Meharry timber floors. The space features the Minotti Bender console, Minotti Freeman sofa and sofa table, DePadova Sen side table, Henry Timi HT112 chair, DePadova Elementi table lamp and a custom travertine coffee table. Artwork by Marisa Purcell.

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Elton Group’s Eveneer ‘Pure Black’ prefinished timber veneer was used for all the custom joinery elements within the home, including in the kitchen, living room, bar area, cellar and main bedroom, emerging as the cornerstone of the entire project. “The timber veneer was the truest black we could find, which is very important when layering lots of the same colour,” Jo says. “It also has a beautiful tactile texture despite its very dark colouring. Black timber can often appear ‘slick’, but the Eveneer product has this matte finish that gives it an earthy quality,” she adds.

The client’s affinity for classic Italian design also played a pivotal role in the project, influencing Lawless & Meyerson’s furniture selection. Esteemed brands like Minotti, Henry Timi and De Padova come together to shape the interiors, while sculptural objects tap into the apartment’s Japanese roots.

Lawless and Meyerson’s Zen Apartment underscores the value of intentional layering and conscious material selection. This approach goes beyond reflecting personal preferences, aiming to consolidate ideas around landscape and materiality into a unified design concept.

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Eveneer Prefinished ALPIkord – Pure Black Groove

DePadova Ripamonti Chair

The bar mixes opulent black and green tones to create a dramatic yet calming atmosphere. The space features the Poltrona Frau Esedra Ottoman, DePadova Ripamonti chair, DePadova Bombori table lamp and Minotti Ellis side table.

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The garden runs the entire site length and is inspired by traditional Japanese ‘Karesansui’.

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