Name: Adrienne Moran
Location: West Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Size: 968 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 2 years
Adrienne's sweet apartment is in an old biscuit/cookie warehouse in the inner suburb of West Melbourne, not far from the city. While many warehouse developments lose a sense of history when sliced up in the design process — this block of apartments thankfully retained the beautiful original wooden floors and beams. The original staircases are intact as well, and you can get a sense of the nostalgia and history of this building.
Adrienne's apartment is located on the third floor and has great city skyline views. It is somewhat of an odd shape, but Adrienne has used the space well. Living by herself — with friends and family sometimes staying over — she has made the space into a two-bedroom home. Adrienne had the master bedroom designed and installed off to the side in the main living area, with clever storage built in via floor panels that lift up. There's a cast iron bed to relax on beside the galley style kitchen; for those wondering about the layout and function of a bed so close to the kitchen, Adrienne admits she isn't much of a cook!!
Her home is filled with amazing treasures and personal stories — such as the wooden box to the right of the front door. Adrienne grew up in Ireland, and the box was used on her father's boat to house a radio. They would be out on the water and her dad would use it to communicate with her mum back on dry land — the box protected the radio from water!
Another treasured item is the black cabinet in her "living room." From the depression era, it belonged to her grandmother and is made from old wooden orange crates, complete with a secret compartment.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: I am drawn to anything discarded, so my style is eclectic. I have called my home "The Nest" for a couple of key reasons. Firstly, I am like a bower bird, collecting anything that will intertwine to make a home cosy. Secondly, it is a place where my kids are always welcome to return to…within limits! I love hard rubbish days. I frequently stop the car and jump out to see if treasure is hiding. Rarely do I continue without something getting stuffed in the boot. I like to repurpose things from my past.
Inspiration: "Make do and mend." The key box at the front door was actually my dad's walkie-talkie box, which he used when out fishing on his boat. He made this when I was about three, how and why it came to Australia with us is beyond me but I am so happy it did. I open it and can still smell the lake where we used to fish, it is a happy memory box AND a key box. It was a bit damaged at the hinges so I fixed it. We have become a society so quick to throw things away if they break. I think this is changing thanks to Pinterest and such, the answers are there, just ask the google!
Favorite Element: The light changes the focus as the sun moves through the sky. As for a full moon, it dances across the floorboards. Well done windows!
Biggest Challenge: Hanging my swing to ensure I wasn't going to exit the building via the windows!
What Friends Say: They immediately say it feels like a cosy home. They also go quiet for prolonged periods of time as they wander through and explore the curios. Everything has a story, which makes it a place of interest. It helps them "get" me, the jigsaw of whimsy comes together. No one is allowed to leave without having a turn on the swing. It looks good, but feels like you are flying over the city as you look up and out, thrilling.
Biggest Embarrassment: The risks of high density living: I had made a romantic dinner for a date. He went to the bathroom only to find the bath, yes, the bath, regurgitating the entire building's sewerage! This is why we pay body corporate fees….was sorted quickly but I don't think he ever recovered. Credit to him, he was a complete gentleman throughout the incident.
Proudest DIY: All of it, I love a project. My bed was a necessity to cater for my serious long-term spinal injury. I needed a bed where it was easiest for me to drop and roll in and out of the sleep zone. I didn't want it to look like a rehabilitation space so I did hours of research. I've always wanted to live on a boat and this gave me the idea of built in storage. I call it my "floordrobe." The sunken mattress is surrounded by floorboards that lift to reveal an amazing amour of storage. Credit goes to Sam Oddie, creator of this masterpiece. I threw a couple of sketches his way and he came back with an artwork worth of the National Gallery of Victoria!
The logistics of the build were just as challenging as the design. How does a carpenter bring his drop saw and all the other heavy duty equipment into such a small space and create at the same time?
Luckily, my car space is next to the lift in the basement and Sam was able to set up there. He did go the extra mile and ferry the longer pieces of the frame up via the fire escape as they were too long for the lift. He is a master craftsman. Every day I find something about my bed to marvel at.
The details are reflective of the passion Sam has for his craft. He is one of those people who can turn his hand to anything. Watch out for his artwork, fine line drawings of whimsical dragons and castles, mesmerising.
Biggest Indulgence: My swing. I would not class it as an indulgence though, rather a necessity. I believe a home should be filled with things that make you happy, that make you tick each day. My swing is where all my thinking happens; life-changing decisions have hatched there. I have mastered drinking coffee while swaying to and fro as I get ready for the day ahead in my mind. I bought it from a company in England and had it shipped out. Best purchase I have ever made.
Best Advice: Be true to yourself and your style. It may not fit the current "look" but who cares, if it makes you happy, do it! I see it as I see fashion. We glow from the inside when we wear something we like/have a connection with. The same goes for the environment we call home. Fill it with meaning from the heart and it will always exude a warm welcome.
Dream Sources: My parents — they have always been resourceful. My mother can make/sew/create/paint anything. She is the original up-cycler! They are a source for how I approach a task, how I plan and execute it. I think "how would they do it?" and go from there. I love Pinterest. Check out my page, "The Nesting Momma"…there's that bird thing again!