This Australia Rental Apartment Wows With a Burgundy Kitchen and Bold Blue Tiled Bathroom

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Living and dining space featuring a vintage 12-seater oval dining table bought from gumtree for $99 and painted a dark charcoal, with custom powder-coated dining chairs in eucalyptus green. The Mid-Century Modern cocktail cabinet was bought at Waverly Antique bazaar and restored. There's also a vintage Mid-century black leather three-seater sofa, vintage 1970s chrome and black glass coffee table, Bentwood bar stools, and plant children.

Name: Samuel Clarke and two friends
Location: Flemington (Melbourne), Victoria, Australia
Type of home: Apartment
Size: Square footage not known
Years lived in: 3.5 years, renting

Samuel Clarke, Melbourne-based furniture buyer and Creative Director for Valiant, invites you inside his Flemington home. One of nine residences in a cleverly converted former refrigeration factory, the double level, three-bedroom home features large open-plan living with original wall-to-wall factory windows. “It was one of the first things I fell in love with; all that natural light streaming through those beautiful louver windows! I knew my plant babies would be very happy there,” says Samuel.

Bedroom. Vintage Bamboo and rattan bedhead, vintage brass gooseneck bankers lamp, granite and wood side table, linen by bed threads.

Samuel, raised in Adelaide, Australia, has been working in the world of Interiors for the last seven years, and most recently with Valiant as the Buyer and Creative Director of their Interiors, Events and Corporate furniture hire and styling services. “I love what I do with Valiant. As one of the leading furniture hirers in Australia, the furniture I design and purchase is bought with a view to be used again and again, in a range of different event and interior schemes, resulting in endless opportunities to create unique spaces whilst reducing waste and strengthening the growing circular economy.”

Family Room. Vintage Persian rug, 1960s teak and glass coffee table, leather butterfly chair from Globewest, hand-made beaded wire gemsbok head from South Africa, vintage credenza from eBay.

Samuel’s own personal tastes are rooted in a similar sustainable ethos—with the lion’s share of his personal furniture collection from vintage or second hand sources. “I love to buy vintage. I love the thrill of the hunt—finding an old piece that is truly unique, giving it a little love and a new home where it can be appreciated and revered once more. I travel several times a year to various furniture shows around the world. I find a lot of my inspiration comes from these places and from times gone by. I love collecting pieces along the way that have such a rich story to tell.”

Kitchen. Vintage bentwood bar stools were restored and painted black. Above the cabinets: a monument to the wines we can’t afford to forget. Collections of cookbooks and various oddities collected from travels. Original 1990s laminate kitchen with corrugated iron details. With the blessing from the landlord, I changed the cupboard handles and painted the backsplash from mustard yellow (!) to matte black. I removed the original fridge casing to open up the kitchen and make it a more functional, social space.

Samuel initially moved in to his home with friends, who, with the blessing from their landlord, joined forces to transform the space. “When we moved in, every wall was a different primary color. It was enough to give anyone a migraine! We started off by painting the walls a crisp white, updating the window dressings, changing the kitchen handles, and removing the chunky fridge casing to open up the kitchen to make it a more functional, social space. Being a rental, I knew I had to work with the bones of the mid ’90s renovations, but I didn’t want to go too far with the industrial style. I chose a muted color palette to work alongside the bold blue and burgundy of the kitchen, and softened the corrugated metal with some rich 1970s shapes and textures. I believe the resulting look is playful and collected without being too ‘eclectic.’”

In the large open plan living area, a restored Art Deco twelve-seater dining table flanks the plant-filled windowsill, providing the set for the many dinner parties hosted. The lounge seating is centered around the record player and the evolving record collection, and the large breakfast bar plays host to many a morning fry-up.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Playful, collected, considered, resourceful, tailored.

What is your favorite room and why? Without doubt, the open-plan living and dining space. I love to entertain. Dinner parties that turn into cocktail parties that turn into Sunday morning fry ups. There’s a seat and a space for everyone!

Living room Natuzzi Salotti Modern floorlamp, vintage drawers by Kalmar furniture, 1970s chrome and glass coffee table, Atollo table lamp, record player and evolving record collection.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? My Natuzzi Salotti floor lamp. It has the perfect balance of Scandinavian and Japanese design sensibility.

Any advice for creating a home you love? When it came to furnishing and layout, I wanted to create a space centred around the things I love! Design, nature, music, friends, food and travel. I used furniture style, colour and material to tie the look together.