I have a few things in common with Nick Shelton, founder and publisher of Broadsheet. We’re a similar age (more or less!), we both ventured into the world of online publishing at a similar time, and we’re both Fitzroy locals!

It wasn’t until I recently visited Nick’s beautiful apartment, to record this insightful podcast conversation last year, that these similarities became apparent. It also became very quickly apparent that Nick’s place definitely needed to feature on The Design Files – luckily for us, he willingly obliged!

As is often the case, this enviable inner city apartment was not discovered via a straightforward real estate listing. It was a casual office conversation with a work colleague, who happened to be the wife of Melbourne architect Dominic Pandolfini, that led Nick to discover the place. He explains ‘Emily was working at Broadsheet at the time, and told us about this amazing place Dominic was working on. She mentioned they were looking for tenants, so we popped by for a viewing that week.’ The apartment had Nick, and partner Catherine Graves (marketing director at Genero) at hello. Despite it being ‘still very much a construction site’, the couple immediately jumped at the opportunity to live here.

Built in the 1860s, the site was originally a residential property, before being converted to a Union Hotel (pub) from 1880 to 1912. After this period of merriment, the building had a range of occupants, as a workshop for metal workers, copper-smiths and engravers. Material evidence of this history now shines through the polished concrete slab on the ground floor.

Pandolfini’s renovation in 2014 brought the dilapidated space back to life, and converted the building into two apartments. For Nick and Catherine, the ‘underlying architecture of the house is so strong, with a mixture of old and new’, and this identity helped to guide the interior aesthetics. The couple explain ‘we tend to lean towards clean, modern lines, but the ancient Persian rug also doesn’t seem out of place at all.’

Their home isn’t overly curated or prescribed, and the pair explain ‘we haven’t restricted ourselves to a specific era or palette, we only buy things we love.’ In addition to the beloved Loom rug and Cassina sofa, Nick and Catherine have amassed an impressive collection of artworks from local friends. The walls are adorned with pieces by Rhys Gorgol, Billie Justice Thompson and Nick Hawker.

Despite being a stone’s throw from some of the best cafes and restaurants in Melbourne, the kitchen is the focus in this home. Nick and Catherine explain ‘for a Fitzroy apartment, to have such a big kitchen is really special’. They love to cook and entertain, spilling out onto their lush rooftop terrace when weather permits.

For Nick and Catherine, being based in the heart of Fitzroy is a dream. They’re right in the thick of Melbourne’s vibrant inner North, but the clever apartment layout and robust materials palette here ensures their home is a quiet refuge from the city bustle. ‘When the door closes behind us, we could be a million miles away’ they enthuse. Living the dream!

The Fitzroy apartment of Broadsheet founder + publisher Nick Shelton and Genero marketing director Catherine Graves. Artwork on left: original exhibition poster by Cy Twombly. Artwork on right: ‘F – Of Course’ by Rhys Gorgol. Artwork just visible: Poster for the Bavarian State Opera by Craig and Karl. Rug from Loom. Frame Sideboard by Pastoe. Mayfair table lamp by Koda Lighting. Mantis floor lamp. Cassina Mex Cube sofa. Jardan side table. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The living room. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Agnes bookshelf by Kay + Stemmer. Doll table lamp by Foscarini. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Bookshelf goals! Japanese brush painting created by Catherine (in primary school!). Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Looking into the kitchen and dining area. Artwork on back wall: Calendar, monthly bulletin for The Builders Arms by TCYK. Photo on left wall by Nic Hawker. Agnes bookshelf by Kay + Stemmer. Navy table by Jardan. No 18 dining chairs by Thonet. Modernica planter. Chair in distance is La Corbusier, by Thonet. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Catherine and Nick in their living room. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The dining room. Artwork by Nic Hawker. Agnes bookshelf by Kay + Stemmer. Navy table by Jardan. No 18 dining chairs by Thonet. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Mattiazzi Osso stools. Coun tray Vide Pouche by Henry Wilson. Hay paper towel roll. Mud Australia vase in Dust. Ikea water jug. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

‘The glass bridge which connects the old building lets an incredible amount of light through to us and also our neighbours underneath, who have internal courtyards on either side’, tells Nicks. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Artwork: ‘White T-Shirt’ by Billie Justice Thomson. Tab floor lamp by Flos. Agnes side table by Kay + Stemmer. Bed linen by In Bed Store and Abode. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

An amazing inner-city rooftop situation! The garden was planted by Nick and Catherine with ‘lots of advice’ from Andy Walker of Pop Plants. Linear table by Tait. Volley chairs by Tait.Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The interior renovation left the original façade untouched, retaining the patina accumulating over 150 years. Photo – Caitlin Mills. Styling – Annie Portelli.

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