Having not seen a lick of paint since the 1960s, the dated apartment in Sydney’s Neutral Bay was cold and uninviting. That was until Daniele Mantovani and Marj Silva of boutique interior design firm, Décor Project, stepped in.
“Our brief was to create an easy and comfortable space with plenty of display areas to show off our clients’ beautiful collection of indigenous artefacts,” explains Marj. “So we decided to keep the entire scheme very neutral to be the backdrop for all the art.”
While they let the beautiful objets d’art do the talking, they did add some drama in the living room, installing a custom wall unit and display cabinet. “The living room wall unit was our focal point for the space,” says Marj. “In this instance we had to push the clients outside their comfort zone but having their trust paid off with great results. This became everyone’s favourite feature in the home. Its simplicity, sleekness and scale is a great backdrop for all the colourful objects.”
[contextly_sidebar id=”cbInIFJQyFsBrKPutC3qrTLMofke6mNK”]Undertaking a cosmetic but expansive renovation, they replaced all the finishes and fittings including the flooring, wall colour, appliances and furniture and started afresh in the kitchen and bathroom. “The original kitchen was very dated and its layout wasn’t ideal,” explains Marj. “Despite being a small space it had to be functional. We decided on matte cabinet finishes for ease of cleaning and design longevity. And the marble was the starting point for the design, setting an elegant tone to the entire kitchen. Now we can say we’re utilising the space to its full potential.”
Another key request from the clients was to maximise storage solutions, and as fellow apartment livers will know, there is no such thing as too much storage! “We looked into every nook and cranny to ensure no space was going unaccounted for,” says Marj. “We then added a storage unit under the stairs to house extra books and their printer.”
Home to a couple and their teenage daughter, the apartment that was once far from their dream home, now features contemporary and subdued joinery and finishes that are the perfect background to an extensive collection of global treasures.
Photography by Lisa Zhu