A 585-Square-Foot Melbourne Apartment Doesn’t Feel Small at All, Thanks to a Mezzanine

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Name: Tim Thorpe
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Size: 585 square feet

Describe your home’s decor style in 5 words: Bold elements that mask imperfection

What’s your favorite thing about your home? My Melbourne CBD apartment is part of a boutique heritage block nestled in between (and almost engulfed by) high-rise office and residential buildings. I love how it forms part of Melbourne’s skyscape and provides a vantage point from which I can admire the city’s history and observe its future in the making, all while watching TV.

What’s your least favorite thing about your home? All that damn city skyscape blocks my natural light. And they keep on adding extra floors on top of existing so-called heritage buildings, so the shadows are getting longer.

How does the space itself and the decor reflect the region (if it does)? The exterior of my late Victorian block is very much as it was when Melbourne was enjoying post-gold rush prosperity. The interior was stripped and altered several times over the 20th century. Due to lack of funds and will to do a period restoration job, my apartment happily reflects the general hodgepodge of styles from different eras that characterize Melbourne’s intriguing streets and lanes.

What’s your best small space trick? ‘The Mezz’. I needed to create some definition for my apartment entry but didn’t have the space to muck about. No area can go unused so my timber mezzanine (‘the mezz’) defines the apartment entry, provides storage, and triples as a glorified coat and hat rack. It can even be used as a sleeping loft.

What’s the most recent thing you’ve bought for your home? A little stovetop kettle. When the old plug-in one died I thought, ‘Why use an electric one when I have an induction stovetop?’ It frees up valuable workbench real estate and has an impressive penetrating whistle, which belies its size.

What’s the one thing that makes your space feel like home? Not one thing, but one person. Through what she calls an ‘intervention’ my inspirational and no-nonsense friend Melissa Compagnoni first set about pulling up old carpet and assisting with a de-clutter, then finding tradespeople, sourcing materials, and generally doing all the things I was too lazy or nervous to do in order to realize my somewhat imprecise vision.

This submission’s responses were edited for length and clarity.