Shaynna Blaze brings new life to a Collingwood apartment, which had remained untouched for 15 years
It’s amazing how quickly interiors can age. What once seemed cutting-edge and contemporary can become irrelevant and dated before you know it. The homeowners of a Collingwood apartment found themselves in this conundrum and decided to rethink their warehouse residence. But they couldn’t do it alone, so they called on the expertise of one of Australia’s favourite interior designers, Shaynna Blaze.
The homeowners purchased the home 15 years ago from a developer and hadn’t touched it since. The residence was a lolly factory in a past life and features iconic windows, steel beams and exposed brick — strong bones for a revised interior that would suit the clients and their pet Schnauzer. In spite of these character features, there was still plenty of work to do to bring the apartment up to scratch. “The kitchen, outdoor area and bathroom were a basic builder’s spec and didn’t function as they should have,” says Shaynna. “The furniture and interiors were void of anything personal, so the look was very bland. This is the home they love and want to stay in for the next 20 years, so it was about creating a place they never want to leave.”
The body of work included a new kitchen, outdoor courtyard, lounge/dining space, master bedroom and a bathroom. “The kitchen needed to be a whole new update as there was no functionality in the storage or connection to the rest of the space,” says Shaynna. “The streamlined design of the kitchen was broken up with black lines, which mirror the horizontal lines of the original windows.” Bronze accents were incorporated into the space through the splashback, which adds warmth and a touch of glamour to the kitchen. Following on from the warming ambience of the kitchen, a timber fireplace was installed in the living room. “A physical warmth was added with a new fireplace to not only fire up the place, but to break up the long spine wall of bricks and help define the areas in the large, open-plan space.”
Due to the industrial nature of the structure and the clients’ need for a functional space, everything had to be considered, from the fixtures and fittings to the furnishings. “The clients’ style is very minimalist, so it was important that everything had a function and every feature meant something,” says Shaynna. Injecting a sense of warmth into the warehouse space was high on the agenda, as was striking the right balance between an industrial vibe and a cosy atmosphere. “As the building was filled with cold surfaces, it was important to bring warmth into the space with materials,” says Shaynna. “The simple design was highlighted with the grains and textures of timber, as well as the exposed brickwork.”
Timber features heavily in the palette and was utilised throughout the apartment. “The feature floating entertainment unit was custom-built out of messmate (timber), which is repeated on the breakfast bench in the kitchen,” says Shaynna.
Ecstatic with the end result, the homeowners are now enjoying the full potential of their home. The new space maintains a sense of history while boasting a unique aesthetic that is sure to stand the test of time.
Written by Annabelle Cloros
Photography by Vanessa Hall
Originally in Grand Designs Australia Volume 6 Issue 4