Little Richmond Apartment
It’s quite special to be sharing this Richmond home as it belongs to one of my dearest friends. I have always admired her style, so it’s nice to share a snapshot of her homelife and reveal the thought behind what makes her little abode what it is. This house is situated on the cutest tree lined street in Richmond.
I guess you would describe the style of this house as 60s/70s with a splash of 80s. My friend has always loved vintage clothing and furniture and the way it can create a really individual look when mixed with new items. As she says, ‘the quality is generally much better, and (sometimes) cheaper prices can allow you to take risks without spending too much’.
Take anything that’s bold and bright with interesting shapes. Mix this with the minimalist principals of white and black or wood and concrete and it sums up her style. ‘When I was a kid, I really liked Memphis Group style, with its 80s take on 50s/60s design, but l didn’t know what it was called at the time! I’m still drawn to the colours, shapes and patterns of Memphis’, my friend says. For those (ahem..like me) who haven’t heard of Memphis, it was an Italian design and architecture group from the 1980s that had a post modern focus. It’s amazing how we are intrinsically attracted to a certain style and design, even as a kid.
I hope you are inspired by what can be achieved with apartment living. When space is a priority, there’s more of a focus on quality over quantity. This ultimately means that you’re less likely to be spending too much at shops, filling rooms with objects you don’t really need. Oh, and in smaller places, your heating and cooling bills tend to be cheaper.
Living space. The table is a Parker bought cheaply on Ebay around 8 years ago, and the chairs were a gifted by a friend of a friend clearing out her storage unit – ‘they were exactly what l was after, so a real score’ my friend said. The couch was also off Ebay bought around 10 years ago with 2 matching armchairs for $200! The original dark brown paint was removed, then it was sanded and stained which made such a difference. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Living space details. The sideboard was bought second hand many years ago. The photo is a modelling headshot of my friends, dear late mum in the swinging sixties! The honeycomb shadow box was owned by grandparents. My friend is currently reading Aussie fashion designer Jenny Kee’s autobiography. She loves a a good music or fashion related biography! Photo by Briony Skeen.
Sideboard details. The mouse is porcelain from Denmark and was left to my friend in her grandparents will. How cute is that?! All four grandchildren were left a special sentimental item. Today, my friends niece and nephew love to play with it when they come for sleep overs. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Living space. Looking out the window from the couch is definitely a favourite space. The poster above the couch was bought in Marfa, Texas at El Cosmico, a small music festival. ‘The highlight of El Cosmico was soul singer Bobby Patterson, and seeing Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin amongst the crowd enjoying the music’ my friend said. The round pink cushion is by Castle and Things, a gift from yours truly! The cashmere rug (on the couch) is from a shop in Dublin called Avoca. The floor rug was bought at auction. Photo by Briony Skeen.
A prized possession – this Technics 1200 turntable and record collection. At the moment the most played pile next to the record player contains Brian Eno, Yello, Iggy Pop, T-Rex, Cameo, Cheap Trick, Bruce Springsteen and Prince. Add in some 60s & 70s soul and it’s a pretty good representation of this record collection! My friend likes to scour op shops and markets for planters for her pot plants, but she’s running out of space! ‘When you don’t have a garden or balcony, it’s nice to bring the garden indoors’ my friend says. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Kitchen. We call it snug and workable rather than tiny! Favourite things to cook are usually something simple like omelettes or stir fries, healthy salads or tacos. The Prince tea towel was a gift from her sister bought on Etsy from Bold and Noble. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Bedroom. The dusky pink lamp was from Smith Street Bazaar for its mushroom shape – it’s a little bit 80s. The heart pillow cases are 70s Sheridan from an op shop. The bedspread is new Sheridan. The blanket is a worn old wool blanket from an op shop that was only a few dollars. My friend loves the pink colour and patterns. It’s almost threadbare in spots, but very soft and warm. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Those long legs! I’ve always been jealous of those pins! My friend has been doing yoga for well over ten years. She finds it great for stress, stretching tight muscles and strength. With a love of music, she also really enjoys dance classes for fitness at Body Electric Dance Studios. She finds it way more fun than the gym and says she has a lot of laughs in that 90 mins of dancing with her friends! On the left, my friend is holding a plate found in an op shop which has a painting of a miniature schnauzer on it. The painting is so lifelike and professional, it’s funny. Her family dog was the same breed, a real little character! On the right, the white stool was handed down from grandparents. Photo by Briony Skeen.
Building Exterior. My friend’s here laughing with a degree of embarrassment, as one of her neighbours just saw her having her photo taken! I had to give her a Chinese burn to post this pic. He he. Photo by Briony Skeen.
The little white and yellow tiled table was picked up at a second hand shop near Nunawading station about 10 or more years ago. The green pot is decor from Mr Kitly. Usually my friends beautiful new bike is parked in the doorway but it got in the way of my tripod! She rides her bike everywhere. Living in Richmond makes it so easy to get from A to B. It keeps her fit, saves money on parking and it’s one less car on the road emitting fumes. Photo by Briony Skeen.
My friend bought this Richmond apartment in 2010. Initially, she was a little apprehensive about being tied down, as she was still open to living overseas but she had a good feeling about this one. As it turns out, when her great uncle and aunt emigrated from Malta they lived right across the street from the block and they had some happy memories of the area. They actually just happened to call my friends sister ‘out of the blue’ on the exact day of the open for inspection. My friend took that as a sign!
The suburb of Richmond is so appealing due to its proximity to the city and central location. The building is typical of a 1960’s apartment block. It has nice high ceilings, lots of light and big steel framed windows. My friend works in TV production, but spends one day a week working from home on her own video projects, so it’s important to have a light and inviting space to feel inspired. ‘I like looking out over Richmond and the tree tops but my pet hate with apartment living is cigarette smoke and noise coming in from other apartments but I’ve lived in apartments for over 10 years and it’s part and parcel of it,’ she says.
Prior to moving in, she installed new spotted gum floorboards and held a working bee with friends to give it a nice new paint job. ‘It took a while to cover up the red and brown feature walls but it made a huge difference and just looked so much brighter and fresher’ my friend says.
I think my friends strong sense of style has resulted in an amazing personal stamp, that despite the space restrictions, gives up nothing in the way of aesthetics. Her apartment is perfectly convenient for her lifestyle – someone who is always on the go and loves to travel. In fact, she likes to rent out her place while traveling, because its so low maintenance. Travelers love the central location of her apartment with its homely interior. In turn my friend loves that renters help to cover costs when she’s off somewhere fabulous like New York! Nice.
There are plans to do a simple update of the bathroom, but for now my friend loves her sweet little place just as it is. She really likes Modernist and Brutalist style architecture and would love her next place to be a concrete brick 70s townhouse!
My friend likes Richmond because it’s in the middle – not north, or south, but close to both and close to transport around Melbourne. She loves being able to walk to everything. A long time ago, Richmond used to be the first stop for many immigrants who worked in the nearby factories, so there’s still a lot of diversity in the suburb. The food options are also great and improving all the time as Bridge Road and Swan Street evolve and the factory outlets are slowly moving out. The Gleadell Street market is a hidden gem.
- Gleadell Street Market – It’s a weekly fresh food market, since 1873!
- Laikon Deli – Greek deli run by 3 generations of the same family. Cheese, small goods and home made meals.
- A Thousand Blessings – Great coffee and interesting healthy food choices, as well as delicious home made cakes and slices.
- The Fair Foodstore – Another great coffee option – light and bright atmosphere in an old corner store. Lovely, well thought out breakfast dishes as well.
- Big Boy BBQ – Love the American down south style music, and the pulled pork or burgers!
- Tree of Us – Best burgers in Richmond!
- Nhu Lan – A favourite for Banh Mi on Victoria Street and only $4!
- Jinda Thai – A favourite for Thai food. Make sure you book!