The Big Group co-founders Chyka and Bruce Keebaugh were looking for investment properties when they came across this new apartment development in Richmond. A mate was building the project, and the couple ended up falling in love with the site, so they decided to live there themselves!

Originally two separate apartments, the couple bought both and merged them into a single giant space, allowing ample room for parties on the 35 metre long terrace, and a huge dressing room!

The apartment is now Chyka and Bruce’s city base, which they live in part time, dividing their time between here and their sprawling weekender on the Mornington Peninsula.

Chyka reimagined the standard interiors in the design phase, replacing nearly all the sinks, joinery, taps and handles in the process. ‘‘Our powder room now has a chinoiserie armoire bought in Boston, a gold sink we found in Morocco, a black toilet (from Bunnings!), and houses one of our best paintings by Gaston La Touché!,’ Bruce says.

The floor plan has also been significantly altered by Bruce (in collaboration with MAArchitects who designed the building), to include fewer internal walls. ‘We used glass French doors throughout to ensure the spaces were open and seen, but could be closed off if required,’ he says.

The couple are big art and decor collectors, which Bruce credits to Chyka’s eye for unique pieces. ‘Her very special gift is the ability to be able to curate all this “stuff” in a manner which provides warmth, joy and comfort, and creates a home where the pieces feel alive and coherent,’ says Bruce. ‘There is not an item within all these collections that Chyka couldn’t tell you a story about – from where it was bought to why.’

Several of the couple’s treasured artworks have informed the wider interior design scheme, such as the green-toned Nicholas Harding painting that inspired the deep jewel shade on study walls. Meanwhile, a custom rug from Morocco aligns all the colours of this area into the hallway, and works with the soft green and pinks in the 1896 Cuban tea chest from Graham Geddes.

The power couple describe their finished home as layered, eccentric and warm – filled with a lifetime of collections of antiques, treasures and ceramics!

In response to the challenges of this year, The Big Group have recently launched a brand new venture, The Commons at Ormond Collective – a beautiful garden restaurant and bar, inspired by the great terraces and outdoor dining spaces of Europe and America. The perfect venue for festive celebrations  this summer!

Bruce and Chyka at home. Lamp by Andrew Gourlay. ‘Morning Owl’ by Joshua Yeldham. Painting above fireplace by Paul Ryan. Chandelier and dining chairs from Graham Geddes. Sofas from Restoration Hardware. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

So many grapefruits! Antique silver tea set from Kozminsky. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Dining stools from Graham Geddes. Velvet and linens from Tigger Hall. The kitchen island bench is topped with stone from Signorino, and the splashback is Bianco Carrara from CDK Stone. Verve Oak 190 floorboards in Alto from Winspear Group. The walls are painted with half-strength Natural White from Dulux. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Chandeliers, dining stools and wooden curio table from Graham Geddes. French copper pots from Peninsula Antiques. Wicker lampshades from Amazon. A series of silver cloches passed down through the family. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Painting by Imants Tillers. Lamps by Andrew Gourlay. Sofas from Restoration Hardware. The Spanish sideboard and blue and white china are family heirlooms. Rug was custom made Morocco. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Antique leather table from Mossgreen. Metal floral installation by Milanese artist Erbavoglio. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Bookcase from Graham Geddes. Coffee table and sofas from Restoration Hardware. Lamps by Andrew Gourlay. Rugs custom-made in Morocco. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

‘The Blob’ by Dale Frank. ‘Yours and Mine’ by Todd Hunter. A portrait of Chyka’s mother by Vanessa Siney. Harvey Swivel chairs and sofa from Grazia & Co. Rugs custom-made in Turkey. Coffee and side tables form Restoration Hardware. Walls painted with Victoria  & French Wash Valkyne from Porters Paints. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Harvey Swivel chairs and sofa from Grazia & Co. Glass vases from Fenton and Fenton. Vase from William Somona Home. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Painting by Nicholas Harding. Chairs by Tamsin Johnson covered in De La Tour linen fabric by Paolo Moschino. Desk and green ornamental birds from Graham Geddes. Clock from Peninsula Antiques. Gold wall sconces from Aerin. Rugs custom made Turkey. Walls painted in Maiden Hair Porter’s Paints. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

The dressing room is clad in charcoal oak laminate veneer (Evenex timber) from Elton Group. Silk carpet from Carpet World in Mornington. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Painting by Kate Bergin. Pink sofa by Tamsin Johnson covered in DECOMEL fabric (colour 19). Side table from Restoration Hardware. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Rug custom-made in Turkey. Handpainted Cuban tea chest and Hanh urns from Graham Geddes. Green bucket from Edward Clark Antiques. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

A collection of Moroccan slippers Chyka bought in Marrakesh. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Custom chair from Graham Geddes upholstered in fabric from Tigger Hall. Bedding linen from Tigger Hall. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Mirrors from Cromwell Interiors. Lamps from Pigott’s Store. Side tables from Coote & Co. Bed head by Heatherly Design covered in Luilor fabric (Tortuga) from Tigger Hall. Monogrammed Egyptian cotton bed linen from ABC Store in New York. Maddison wallpaper (Sea Glass) from Rose Tarlow. Madison sheer curtains (Sea Glass) from Rose Tarlow. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

Outdoor dining table chairs from Restoration Hardware. Green tamegroute pots from Morocco. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

There’s ample room for parties on the 35 metre long terrace. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Lucy Feagins.

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