Earthly DELIGHTS
Belle Magazine Australia|December/January 2022
Melbourne designer Emily Gillis converted her compact apartment into a tranquil and adaptable living environment that is full of tone-on-tone elegance.
CARLI PHILIPS

This page The walnut table was a collaboration between Emily and artist Zachary Frankel, who also made the white sculpture. ‘Vide Poche Rond’ and ‘Trio’ candleholder, both from Studio Henry Wilson. ‘Joe’ sofa from MCM House with ‘The Bed Cover’ in Natural from Elias Mercantile et Charvet Editions, replica Pierre Jeanneret ‘Chandigarh’ dining chairs from The Feelter and vintage timber telephone chair. ‘Daphine Terra Classic’ floor lamp from Lumina. Akari ‘21A’ pendant light. ‘Etoile’ rug in Dusk from Armadillo.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

In the leafy Melbourne suburb of South Yarra in Boon Wurrung Country. It’s close to the CBD, Royal Botanic Gardens, Birrarung (Yarra) River and Prahran Market with some of the best-preserved, handsomely decorated 19th-century Victorian terrace houses and Art Deco apartments. My block was built in the 1970s and has a glass atrium that frames the building’s entrance.

WHAT INITIALLY APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT THE APARTMENT AND WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE?

It’s an inner-city dweller’s dream: handy to the shops, parks and the river. I recently spent a year in Europe and was influenced by more compact styles of living. While my apartment is small I made key changes to open it up. Having great windows that provide a lot of natural light also helps. I replaced the 1970s carpets and tiles with European oak floorboards from Bowens which instantly made the space feel larger. I chose a mineral paint in warm white for the walls, which is finely grained to create a sense of soft movement, and exchanged the ancient vertical blinds with soft roman blinds and sheer linen curtains. It’s like a small sanctuary amid a bustling community. New banquette seating built by Stevens Waters under the window features a cosy reading nook and hidden storage, an in-built Botticino marble dining table replaces a wall, and a poky bathroom has been reimagined as a ‘day spa’ with Moroccan zellige tiling, a custom travertine wash trough and cobblestone floor.

WHAT INFORMED THE SELECTION OF FURNITURE, ART AND FINISHES?

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