From The Ordinary to the Extraordinary

From The Ordinary to the Extraordinary


Home RenovationsWith a re-design and some minor structural changes, this apartment was completely reinvented into a stylish city address

Sydney’s ‘Elan’ apartment building was completed about 10 years ago, and while the fittings were in good condition, the whole apartment was looking tired and dated. In fact, the entire Rushcutters Bay and Kings Cross area is currently being invigorated and undergoing a massive upgrade, with new and renovation building work everywhere.

The client felt this renovation would not only give her a smart, contemporary apartment to live in and work from, but would make good business sense too, adding value to the property. The client was a single female who wanted to work from home in her newly purchased two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.

While the residence was a reasonable size for her (110 square metres), it looked dated, the layout was cramped and it had little storage space. The general requirements included updating and smartening up the look of the apartment and giving the lounge area a more ‘spacious’ feel to it. It was also imperative to add more storage in all areas.

According to interior designer Monica O’Hare from Mandarino Interiors, some of the specific requirements included the use of the second bedroom for an office, while still allowing for a return to a second bedroom if necessary. The kitchen also needed to be able to be closed off while entertaining and have a side-by-side fridge freezer with and ice maker.

“The apartment is on the 20th floor and from the large glass doors and balcony there’s a great view down William Street, especially at night when the whole city is lit up. The original layout had the dining table obscuring the view of the city and the lounge faced the back wall, with its back to the view.

“I wanted to open up the view so I reduced the size of the entry, which allowed me to put the dining table in the previously unused ‘nook’ next to the entry. I then ran a low cabinet the full length of the back wall and mirrored the wall from the top of the cabinet to the ceiling. The cabinet houses and hides all television and hi-fi equipment, CDs and DVDs, as well as other storage for two tiny Bose speakers on the ceiling. The large mirror above reflects the view, which is particularly fabulous at night and makes the room seem substantially larger.

“The other change required was to a structural column between the windows. Here we extended the width of the column to make a flat wall and recessed a flatscreen television in the wall. The television is suspended on an extendable arm, which can be angled either way for easy viewing. The sofa could now be turned to face the view, along with the main focus of the room.

“In order to fit a side-by-side fridge/freezer into the kitchen, I enclosed the original entry with a stud wall which allowed just enough room for a small fridge/freezer. The remaining kitchen was planned around this and the new design offered more storage space than the original layout. Bi-fold doors were also added to enclose the kitchen when the client required.

“I removed the original small wardrobe and built a full-length wardrobe with a bookshelf return on the west wall opposite the bed. I built a dressing table/desk on the original site of the wardrobe, with a mirror over, and enlarged the cupboard.
“The ensuite layout was changed to include lots of storage space behind the toilet and under the basin. In the second bathroom, once again the layout was changed to include lots of storage for towels and the shower panel replaced the full screen, with a large mirror placed behind the basin.

“The inspiration for the design came essentially from the fabulous view to be captured once the layout had been changed. This leads to the favourite space, which is the lounge room in the evening; here, the city lights are captured through the windows and are also reflected in the mirror.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I used the same exterior tiles for the balcony and the kitchen to keep a uniformity of colour, but they are non-slip and are incredibly difficult to keep clean in the kitchen!

“The most difficult spaces to plan in the apartment were the bathrooms (especially the ensuite) as they were particularly unusual shapes and the client required lots of storage. In general, the client (who had moved from a much larger house) was thrilled with the finished design and to have so much storage space for an apartment.”

The project was designed by Monica O’Hare, Mandarino Interiors
PHONE: 0401 337 177
The project was built by Troy Brennan Builders
PHONE: 0405 198 664
LIC. NO: 189053C

Kitchen: Acadamy Tiles ‘Bluestone’ non-slip tiles 40 x 40
Lounge/Dining/Beds: PC Carpets. ‘Venezia’ Aria NZ Wool Carpet
Outdoor/Balcony: Acadamy Tiles ‘Bluestone’ non-slip tiles 40 x 40

All Rooms: Resene ‘Joanna’matt acrylic

Benchtop: CaesarStone ‘Osprey’
Splashback: Aspex Glass supplied glass splashback
Cabinetry: Styline Kitchens supplied all cabinetry in the apartment. Polyurethane doors in satin Resene ‘Joanna’ brushed pewter kick.
Appliances: Bosch kitchen appliances.
Bi-Fold Doors: Styline Kitchens supplied in American Walnut

Benchtop: Stone Italiana ‘Jaipur’
Basins: Loop and Friends Oval basin
Tapware: Axor Starck
Toilet: Duravit Subway wall-mounted pan
Mirrors: Empire glass and aluminium.