Amongst a glut of tiny shoebox apartments in Melbourne’s CBD, the cosy converted warehouse apartment of Melissa Avery and Christopher Lloyd is unique. For one thing, it has history. It’s housed in a small three-storey brick warehouse building, which was originally built in 1875. The Currie and Richards Warehouse now sits quietly among imposing residential towers and the various contemporary facades of RMIT, a steady and stoic reminder of the character and streetscape of 19th century Melbourne.

When she came across the apartment online nearly five years ago, Melissa was immediately drawn to it. She instantly fell in love with the high ceilings, pitched roof and period details here. Still, there was a lot of work to be done.

‘When we first moved in there were purple feature walls and pink floral wallpaper, complete with a beige laminate kitchen’ recalls Melissa. ‘Luckily for me I married the handiest man around – Chris is amazing and can make or do anything – over the next 3 years we gradually worked our way through each room doing all the work ourselves, finally finishing up by remodelling a whole new kitchen’. The pair also removed pink carpet to reveal beautiful hardwood floors, and brought back many of the period features in the building, such as exposed beams and the original sash window.

Inspired, in part, by a Scandinavian aesthetic, Melissa and Chris were keen to use neutral tones here, in an effort to make the space feel as bright and open as possible. A palette of pale greys and whites complements natural timber finishes, upon which the pair have layered a colourful smattering of soft furnishings and artwork. Many of the prints, paintings and drawings on display are by talented friends, past students, and some by Melissa herself.

Being based just moments from the Queen Victoria Market, Flagstaff Gardens, and the city’s many shops, restaurants and galleries really suits Melissa and Chris. They cite convenience and community as two of the best reasons for living in the city. ‘I initially thought living in the city would be a very isolating and solitary experience, actually it’s the opposite!’ Melissa says. ‘I know more of my neighbours here than I ever did living in the suburbs, there are lots of other like minded apartment dwellers in the area to catch up with for cocktails and Korean fried chicken!’.

The Melbourne apartment of Melissa Avery and Christopher Lloyd. Cushions from Gorman, Castle and Things, and vintage kilim cushions from Turkey. Panorama print on the left by Kozyndan. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area. Cushions by Gorman and Castle and Things. Vintage kilim rug from Turkey. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Living area. Cushions from Gorman, Castle and Things, and vintage kilim cushions from Turkey. Panorama print on the left by Kozyndan. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Kitchen details. Artwork by Ghostpatrol, Alessi juicer. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Christopher and Melissa in their Melbourne apartment. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Custom shelves. Top shelf includes gold spot vessel by Bridget Bodenham. Middle shelf includes Jonathan Adler Vase and Haws indoor watering can. Lower shelf includes Love/Hate apothecary jar by Jonathan Adler, Ellie Malin print, and Lavallier Emporim tripod pot. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Painting hanging on wall by Rosemarie Reber. Angus and Celeste hanging pot, illustration by Annie Portelli, lamp from IKEA. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Bedroom. Vintage Turkish kilim rug used as wall hanging, Castle and Things pillow case, Country Road duvet, and artwork by Rosemarie Reber. Photo – Annette O’Brien. Production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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