Swee Design, in collaboration with Rob Mills Architects & Interiors, convert an apartment in Melbourne’s South Yarra into a private sanctuary for a couple of empty nesters.

The brief for ‘Forest Glade’ called for a stylish apartment with a European sensibility and a dynamic selection of furniture and artwork. Swee Design founder Swee Lim responded by taking an artisanal approach to the interior curation, hand-picking pieces that exuded craftsmanship and departed from conventional styles. Crucially, she sought to reflect the clients’ tastes through her selections, particularly their love of eclectic furniture, bold colour palettes and botanical-inspired art – with the client being an accomplished botanical artist herself.

In partnership with Halcyon Lake 

Hoping to start fresh in their new inner-city locale, the couple chose to part ways with most of their old furniture, granting Swee full creative freedom when it came to curating the interiors. Drawing inspiration from the client’s own artworks, she opted for a rich yet soothing palette of jewel tones, woods and stones. “The homeowners are in their late 80s, so it was very adventurous of them to embrace such a strong colour palette, with forest green being the dominant colour,” Swee says.

Swee characterises the furniture selection as “intentionally eclectic”, exemplified by standout pieces like the one-off three-toned Halcyon Lake rug in the library. “I’m always seeking distinctive pieces for my clients, and I love how this Moroccan rug is a unique hand-crafted piece,” Swee says. “The geometric pattern and colours add vibrancy to the room, serving as a focal point that pulls all the furniture pieces together.”

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Home Tour | Forest Glade by Swee Design
GUBI Stay Lounge Chair

The living space features a Domo Oasis coffee table and matching side table, a custom-designed bench seat by Swee Design, Jardan Leeroy sofa, a Viccarbe Giro side table, Gubi Stay chair and a Viccarbe Trino side table. Left artwork by Gosia Wlodarczak; artwork above fireplace by Sam Michelle.

These one-off design pieces coincide with custom pieces like the rich American oak dining table, designed by Swee and made by Arranmore Furniture, and contemporary pieces like the peach-toned Gubi Gent dining chairs that surround it. “We tried to maintain a cohesive look throughout the home with the different types of furniture, seamlessly blending old, new and bespoke,” Swee says. “We also tried to choose pieces that weren’t as well known in Australia to achieve that European undertone.”

Given the client’s artistic background and Swee’s experience as an art consultant, particular emphasis was placed on the home’s art collection. Abstract, Indigenous and still-life artists are represented, each imbuing colour and character into the spaces. The hero piece, in Swee’s eyes, is the botanical still-life commission by Sam Michelle, which hangs above the fireplace in the living room. The large-scale artworks are complemented by smaller sculptural pieces, adding unique points of interest throughout the spaces.

“It’s worth investing in quality rugs that can last a lifetime. I love using natural materials; wool brings warmth, comfort and durability, especially for high traffic-areas, making it ideal for families with children and pets.”

 

– Swee Lim

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Home Tour | Forest Glade by Swee Design
Halcyon Lake Moroccan Atlas 30

The Halcyon Lake ‘Moroccan Atlas 30’ rug also features in the study.

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The bedroom features Abode bedding and an artwork by Sue Lovegrove.

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