Home Tour | Melbourne Penthouse by Amelia Barry Interiors and Poliform
Nestled between a number of high-rise buildings, it’s only from the 27th floor that Melbourne’s striking skyline appears from this urban apartment designed by Amelia Barry and Poliform.
Designed for a couple who previously lived in this inner-city precinct, the homeowners could see the opportunity this new abode afforded, both with its size and views, including outlooks of the Yarra River through to Albert Park Lake. And while some like to mix designer furniture with other things collected over the years, the owners were devoted to a Poliform interior fit-out, from the joinery through to the furniture and objects.
“I always dreamt of having a Poliform kitchen but then the dream didn’t include surrounding everything, from the customised built-in joinery to all the Poliform furniture,” says the owner, who lives in this spacious three-bedroom plus study with her husband. “It’s also perfectly located. It’s a five-minutes-drive to the freeway to leave Melbourne and only a short walk to the South Melbourne market,” she adds.
While the views from the apartment are impressive, the original fit-out, from the early noughties, was fairly basic and so the owners engaged Alessandro Spina, Senior Design Consultant at Poliform, to create a new kitchen and butler’s pantry (including a laundry) as well as take on aspects of the open plan living areas. Once the kitchen and ‘back of house’ was complete, interior designer Amelia Barry, head of Amelia Barry Interiors reworked the apartment, liaising closely with Spina. “My husband and I have always loved Poliform, both the fit-outs and the furniture. It’s clean-lined, elegant, and sophisticated, with a sense of timelessness,” says the owner.
From the moment one enters this apartment, there is very little that doesn’t have the Midas Poliform touch – from the built-in customised joinery in the spacious hallway to the bespoke joinery in the main bedroom. “We’re one of the few companies that offer the full range of joinery and furniture, from kitchens through to bedrooms and almost every room you can think of,” says Spina, who was conscious of not creating a ‘museum’ of Poliform, but instead crafting a comfortable and well-appointed home for a busy professional couple.
The design journey of this home starts with the kitchen which informed the first stage of the project, one that spanned 18 months. The kitchen, with its textured leather benchtop and smoked glass splashback – the latter reflecting back on the city skyline – features an irregular-shaped timber breakfast bar/table. And given this is a Poliform kitchen, everything has been included, from the built-in wine fridge and Gaggenau ovens (one being a steam oven) to the extensive built-in drawers on both sides of the island bench. “Take a look at the finish. All the drawers are timber lined and there’s a space for everything, from the large pots and pans to the smaller kitchen appliances,” says Barry.
When it came to the furniture selection for the main living and dining area, there’s the elegant shape of the Mondrian dining table surrounded by leather upholstered Manta chairs. Leading lighting designer Christopher Boots gets one of the few ‘look-ins’ with his dramatic Abacus 1800 pendant light over the dining table and wall lights from Articolo Studios which complements the fine Venetian plaster walls in the main passage. “We retained most of the ‘bones’ in the apartment but just made changes where we felt they were needed,” says Amelia, pointing out the new steel and reeded glass doors that now lead to the study – glass, and steel doors were also inserted between the hallway and the living areas to allow the study doors to be opened without the noise filtering to the living areas.
In keeping with this sophisticated aesthetic, the selection of furniture and joinery (including in the main bedroom) has been finely ‘stitched together’. The main bedroom, for example, features extensive joinery to accommodate everything one could possibly need – including a section of the wardrobe that illuminates the area for shoes, as well as drawers within drawers for smaller more precious items, such as jewellery and watches. “And, as they say, the ‘devil is in the detail’,” says Barry running her hand along one of the pull-out smoked glass fronts in the free-standing credenza. The painting behind the bedhead by artist Rebecca Wallis, is on silk, standing slightly away from the wall to allow the illustrious material to seemingly ‘float’ off the wall.
Other rooms in the apartment offer different experiences, framing other aspects of the city skyline. “We love sitting in the living area and looking at the city lights at night. There are times when I pinch myself thinking this is Christmas,” says the owner.