One of Uocmas Interior Design’s latest Melbourne projects is a beautiful apartment in Toorak by Senior Designer Candice Stroud. For clients who were downsizing, Candice has nailed a refined, inviting yet functional interior. Having been with Uocmas for over three years, Candice has been in industry for over eight working on an exceptional breadth of property styling and interior design projects. With a wealth of knowledge, I asked her to give us all the details on this breathtaking Toorak apartment as featured recently in Modern Home magazine.
What was your brief for this project?
The client sought a minimalist aesthetic with light oak timber details, contemporary, clean lines and a touch of luxury. The project involved a full fit out of all furnishings, window treatments, bespoke cabinetry, décor and lighting. With adult children who are in and out with overseas travel, the bedrooms needed to be refreshed as guest rooms for extended family.
What did the homeowners tell you about their personal taste?
The clients were keen to have a fresh start as they were downsizing from a large, grand home to a spacious three bedroom apartment. There weren’t any particular furniture items that they absolutely had to keep. One of the clients’ main focuses was on incorporating storage where possible and ensuring that furniture was of a high quality and customised to them. For that reason we commissioned bespoke cabinetry to tailor spaces to their needs.
What was the homeowner’s reaction to the finished product?
The homeowners were thrilled with the end result. Not only did the finished home provide them with the perfect transition to their new apartment but end the result offered a sophisticated style that they loved that was comfortable rather than pretentious. They were really proud of what the home had become and I know they were keen to show it off it to friends and extended family. The colour palette was just what they were after; light, bright and airy with some warmer greys and taupe undertones to ground the spaces. They find it all very easy to care for.
What was your inspiration for this interior?
I found inspiration from current Scandinavian interiors, but chose to add a contemporary, high end spin to that style to meet what the client wanted. Adding few sharper edges and polished finishes enhanced this scheme. The beautiful wide oak floors in the apartment had a lot to do with the direction of the style and really bring warmth to the space.
Tell us a little about the materials, accents and accessories used for this project.
I used a mix of natural and white painted oak with champagne finished metals and copper for the hard finishes. To add contemporary comfort, I used fabrics such as textured cotton and linen blends, balanced with hardwearing leather, hides, 100% New Zealand wool rugs and 100% linen bedding.
As a designer, what do you love about this interior?
I love the simple mix of clean lines with a hint of refinement that make these spaces inviting and relaxed. I love the fact that the client has the practicality of built in storage that are still a beautiful and detailed fixture in the home.
What is your favourite piece?
In the master bedroom – the elegant Oly Serena Bedside Table from Uocmas.
Which is your favourite room?
The combined family and dining room has to be the favourite, followed close second with the master bedroom. The family room has really met the full brief. The striking oak built in cabinetry perfectly houses the clients’ treasures and provides storage for all of their media devices, whilst providing a warm timber accent against stark white walls. The occasional chairs are a standout feature and also provide comfort with a higher back. The dining table by is perfect not only for adult children that come and go but entertaining friends and extended family. To finish it off, the pleated linen blend sheer drapes provide a beautiful softened feel to the space, and when the family is sitting down to a movie, the block out blinds hidden behind the sheers provide that extra privacy and comfort.
Can you tell us about the colour palette used?
The colour palette used was mostly lighter muted tones. Soft taupes and greys, hints of blues, lilac and a touch of charcoal. Metallics used in some silk embroidery and small furniture details add a high end edge.
Why did you choose this colour palette?
I chose this colour palette from both a direction from the clients desires for a soft bright & light space, and the colour tones the apartment lends itself to. With a lot of natural light streaming through the windows in the living/dining and kitchen space I wanted the beautiful floor boards and fresh finishes in the furniture to reflect that feeling of light and openness.
What are your top three tips for recreating this look?
1 // Select a simple contemporary shaped sofa on a high leg to create a sense of space. Use a light, textural fabric to soften the look of a square shaped sofa and make it more inviting.
2 // Bring in two or three beautiful detailed pieces that provide interest and a talking point. The Oly San Francisco bedside table add detail perfectly with mother of pearl and gold. The Max Sparrow barstools in champagne finished metal and light hide creates interest and enhances a sense of luxury.
3 // Use an interesting rug with a timeless design and soft colours to add sophistication and bring a netural space to life. 100% wool is soft underfoot for everyday comfort. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a piece you love. If it makes your heart skip a beat, it is worth it.
What was the biggest challenge for you in designing the interior of this house?
The overall design was a pleasure to work on and the clients were extremely open to ideas and excited to create a beautiful space to live in from start to finish. I would have to say my biggest challenge was creating a multipurpose room in the study. The clients wanted this room to be a home office with storage for a large collection of books and also include a sofabed to accommodate when the entire family is in Melbourne. The cabinetry needed to be user friendly and allow for these elements in the room. This was a fantastic challenge and one I enjoyed!
What is the focal point of the house?
I adore the dining setting for its simplicity and practicality, but I’d have to say the main focal point of the house is the stunning cabinetry in the family room. I love that it integrates seamlessly into the space whilst providing a practical solution, with warmth and beauty.