I’m sure many of you will remember the iconic Aussie drama The Secret Life Of Us and the fabulous Art Deco apartment building location where much of the filming took place. Well Hunting For George’s Lucy Glade-Wright loved it so much that it factored into her first real estate purchase – a beautiful two bedroom Art Deco apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale that she renovated recently.
“My favourite thing about this apartment and also the main reason why I bought it, is its epic rooftop. As you can imagine, being a 20-something obsessed with The Secret Life Of Us, I thought that I had clearly found real estate jackpot! I used to hang out on the rooftop a lot, it is so peaceful up there and you get incredible views of the city. Whilst I thought I’d be having a ton of parties up there it was more often than not just me and a good book in the sun,” says Lucy of the heritage listed 1940 Art Deco building.
And with such great original features, Lucy didn’t need to do much to freshen up the home. “I kept styling to a minimum to allow the unique layout of the apartment to speak for itself but also on a practical level, to fully maximise the smaller spaces. To reflect the exterior Palm Springs aesthetic I decided to carry out a modern coastal theme internally,” says Lucy.
“This apartment had great bones and there was little I needed to do to improve it structurally. I focused more recently on cosmetic changes, namely new window furnishings to accentuate the gorgeous curves of the building and then in order to enhance the light I painted all the internal walls and replaced the light fixtures,” says Lucy who was active in the transformation of the stunning exterior of the building too.
“We were very keen to restore the building to its former glory, we’ve since painted and updated its colour scheme to be more in line with its original light colour. We also just completed the landscaping with a Palm Springs inspired garden at the entrance to complement the Art Deco nature of the building,” says Lucy.
“It is a very much loved building in Armadale and known by many of the locals, it was so wonderful hearing such positive feedback about the cosmetic restoration of the building from those that lived in the area. People seem to feel an attachment to this building, even those who don’t live here. It’s quite special in that way,” says Lucy.
A delve into the history of the building reveals a really interesting story that perhaps explains where the Australian affection for the Art Deco apartment block first began. “The properties that surround my building were once part of the extensive grounds of a mansion that was built in 1880 for C.J. Ham. Following his death in 1909 the estate was progressively subdivided into suburban allotments. As the demand for housing became greater, the development of flats increased, but there was fear that these residential flats were going to ruin the character of the suburb. So to counter the criticism, leading architects were employed to design these apartment blocks so as not to upset the local residents or ruin the charm of the area,” says Lucy.
Regrettably, after 10 years in the home, Lucy is selling. “I have so much love for this apartment block and I really hope that it finds itself a new owner who loves and respects it as much as I do. So if there’s any Art Deco fans out there that would love a piece of architectural history, this is it!”
Photography: Nikole Ramsay | Styling: Lucy Glade-Wright