An Art Deco Inspired Apartment in an Old Soap Factory

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Our original artwork by Megan Weston takes centre stage in our dining room. It’s based on an aerial image of the Hollywood Hills and really sets the tone for our great room. It’s painted on a mirror and reflects the stunning view of the city of Melbourne. (Image credit: Urban Angles)

Name: Julia & Sasha
Location: Melbourne, Australia
The basics: Owned, sold after 6 months — 260 square meters, 2,798 square feet

While competing on an Australian home reno show, The Block (side note: can we get this show on Netflix pretty please?!) Julia and Sasha updated this historic property with some old Hollywood inspired glam. Luxurious fixtures and rich fabrics give the space seriously sumptuous vibes.

Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: My partner Sasha and I were lucky enough to be cast on Australia’s biggest renovation show in 2016. The Block challenges contestants to build an apartment from scratch in 10 grueling weeks. This apartment is the result of our blood, sweat, and many, many tears.

We named her Lady Hollywood because she’s chic, theatrical, and ready for her close up. She stands proud in an old Art Deco Soap Factory in Port Melbourne. Before we stepped foot inside, the building hadn’t been touched in over 60 years. It was a crumbling behemoth bound to heritage laws, and we were tasked with giving her a sympathetic makeover.

We aren’t huge lovers of Art Deco but we wanted to pay our respects to the era, so we developed a monochrome palette with gold, pink, and blue accents. These elements are prominent in Hollywood Regency, so we channeled our inner Kelly Wearstler and built the home of our dreams.

The property has a luxe, feminine vibe and flows seamlessly from front to back. We used marble in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry for continuity and blended both classic and contemporary elements. It works beautifully as a whole and feels very grown up. The Melbourne Central Business District is less than half a mile away and the views from the apartment are incredible.

What is your favorite room and why? The family bathroom. We call it The Little Mermaid bathroom because of the striking fish scale tiles. It’s incredibly decadent and the gold tapware tips it over the edge.

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? The ceiling height. It’s 9-foot but a 12-foot ceiling would add drama.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? (Include links if you have them!) Our incredible artwork by Megan Weston. She’s the master of her craft in Australia and the piece she created for us is awe-inspiring. It takes centre stage in the great room and is the first thing visitors comment on. Every time you look at it, you see something new and it’s utterly bewitching.

Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Frances Stevens, the character played by Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief.

Julia and Sasha’s words of wisdom: We’re all about creating a home that flows seamlessly from front to back. Develop a color and material palette and draw from it in every space. We used shaker cabinetry throughout for continuity, and marble tiles in different shapes. It enabled the rooms to feel connected without being too same-same.

Your home should speak to who you are, so make sure you either love or can make use of every element. Also remember not every room has to be a star. There are quieter moments in every home (typically bedrooms), so save your wow moments for the kitchen, living, dining, and bathroom.

Thanks, Julia & Sasha !

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