UNDER CONSTRUCTION: THE DARKER SIDE OF DESIGN

For this Sydney pied-à-terre we didn’t just dip our toes in to the dark side – we took the plunge!

The apartment is set in one of Harry Seidler’s iconic buildings, but in the words of our lovely clients it was ‘crying out for some moody New York style classical effortless elegance’.

The most dramatic change to achieve this moody vibe was to update the custom timber wall paneling in the living area. Originally honey oak in colour but in perfect condition, we had the panels removed and French polished off-site in to a deliciously dark burnt-umber hue.

The timber panels in their original honey oak glory

The timber panels in their original honey oak glory

We said goodbye to the uncomfortable built-in banquette seat to make way for a brand new Timothy Oulton Chesterfield  

We said goodbye to the uncomfortable built-in banquette seat to make way for a brand new Timothy Oulton Chesterfield  

Our clients beloved gold Vietnamese artwork now pops on the new contrasting dark background

Our clients beloved gold Vietnamese artwork now pops on the new contrasting dark background

We added a new television wall bracket for better accessibility and a more contemporary look to complement the reinstalled French polished wall panels

We added a new television wall bracket for better accessibility and a more contemporary look to complement the reinstalled French polished wall panels

With the living and entertaining areas dramatically taking shape, we turned our attention to the study/storage/guest bedroom. To maximise the functionality of this multi-purpose space, the joinery was in need of a serious update! We replaced and re-designed the sagging desk and tired overhead storage, making the two units look more cohesive with the new signature dark timber.

Out with the old . . .

Out with the old . . .

and in with the new! Custom leather tab handles will be the perfect finishing touch.

and in with the new! Custom leather tab handles will be the perfect finishing touch.

To balance all of the new dark spaces and finishes we had to shed just the right amount of light, so even the wall sconce received a custom makeover.

Let there be light! Mapping out the location of the new wall sconce.

Let there be light! Mapping out the location of the new wall sconce.

The new wall sconce brings industrial luxe to this multi-purpose room.

A re-finished vintage style light switch perfectly matches the sconce back plate. The devil is in the detail!

A re-finished vintage style light switch perfectly matches the sconce back plate. The devil is in the detail!

An exposed filament globe is the perfect pairing for the industrial sconce, adding to our sense of drama.

An exposed filament globe is the perfect pairing for the industrial sconce, adding to our sense of drama.

The wall has been patched and prepped and is eagerly waiting the installation of the most gorgeous wallpaper for some visual interest. But you know us, we didn’t stop at one light . . . to turn up the ambience throughout the apartment we completely revised the entire lighting layout, adding LED wall washers, as well as new spotlights to further highlight our clients’ beloved artwork.

To ensure the space captivates our clients from the moment they step foot inside their front door we will soon say goodbye to the boring beige carpet and hello to sultry charcoal. 

But just how dark did we go with the new carpet flooring . . .?

But just how dark did we go with the new carpet flooring . . .?

As we see the light at the end of this project tunnel, we will be sure to take a bit of the dark side with us, as this is definitely the kind of drama we are happy to have in our lives! Contrary to popular belief darker tones can actually make a space feel bigger and warmer. Would you consider taking a walk on the dark side?

For more behind the scenes pics from #ForbesStreet, follow us on our instagram @alexandrakidd

All images ©Alexandra Kidd Design

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH MEGAN MORTON AND SHARYN CAIRNS

As an interior designer I’m constantly asked what is the best part of my job.

Is it the thrill of a blank canvas and the world of possibility at the start of a new project? Is it scouring the globe for the perfect fabrics, furnishings, accessories and artwork? Is it the joy of meeting incredible clients and seeing the smiles on their faces as their dream home comes to life? Is it discovering emerging new designers and commissioning them to create one-off pieces? Or is it simply being immersed in beautiful things each and every day?

It is, of course, all of these things. But for me, the absolute best part of my job is at the end of a project when all of the months, or sometimes years, of hard work have paid off and the dream has become a reality. And nothing captures this special moment better than an all-star photoshoot!

We love collaborating with fellow creatives and we couldn’t think of a more talented duo to style and capture not one, but two of our most beloved projects that we recently completed after more than two years work, over a befitting two-day shoot.

As one of Australia’s most celebrated stylists, Megan Morton needs no introduction. We knew her signature style would perfectly match our design aesthetic – classic with a touch of clever and sometimes quirky detail. It was magic to see Megan’s passion for styling come to life right in front of our eyes. Her well thought-out selection of props, flowers and improvised arrangements led our clients to go on to purchase several of the pieces she had chosen for the photoshoot! Megan is renowned for her serious approach to dressing a bed and even though she patiently tried to teach me, it came as no surprise that I should definitely stick to my day job! 

Megan Morton and Alex having a well-deserved rest and ‘talking shop’ in the tasting room at Stanley Avenue.

Megan Morton and Alex having a well-deserved rest and ‘talking shop’ in the tasting room at Stanley Avenue.

We have long pored over the beyond beautiful images of Sharyn Cairns in our beloved Vogue Living and Belle magazines each month and were ecstatic that she was willing and able to work with us for our two day shoot. What we love most about Sharyn’s photography is the way she perfectly captures mood, texture and space – all qualities that we place extreme importance on when we design our spaces. Her experience and eye for detail and is reflected in the final results and we can’t wait to share the two project albums with you soon so watch this space . . . 

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   Sharyn Cairns shooting the master ensuite at Stanley Avenue

Sharyn Cairns shooting the master ensuite at Stanley Avenue

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   Sharyn Cairns and Alex on all fours checking the shot. It’s all in a day’s work! 

Sharyn Cairns and Alex on all fours checking the shot. It’s all in a day’s work! 

We loved the opportunity of working with these two incredible women who share a love of interiors like we do and we look forward to working with them again in the future. Meanwhile we will be following (stalking!) them closely on social media and our favourite publications, and will continue to draw inspiration from their work.

It really was the best two days ever! I love my job! 

All images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design