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Apartment with eclectic designs and finishes by Michael Habachy

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A wood veneer kitchen, black powder room and classic and modern bathrooms feature in this high-end city unit

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Traditional, transitional or contemporary – it's not always easy to classify a decor as one style or another. Often a balance of accents produces the most personal outcome.

This was the case for the kitchen, bathrooms and powder room in this apartment interior by designer Michael Habachy. You know your client will be looking for a one-off aesthetic when he's the proud owner of a limited-edition Wraith Rolls Royce with Swarovski crystals hand-sewn into the roof lining, says Habachy.

"He was moving from a traditional home but wanted this unit to have a more eclectic feel, but without being too modern. The four quite different decors in this unit have in common a celebration of drama and fine detail. In some cases, they also respond to specific tastes, as with the daughter's bathroom.

"The family kitchen is designed along bold, modern lines. However, I feel minimalist spaces today don't have to be stark – instead a layering of elements or a particular material emphasis can create interest. Here, the distinctive and vibrant Macassar ebony veneer on the cabinet walls and island front is all cut from the same tree to ensure tonal consistency, although as it is a completely natural product, there are still variations. The relatively small wood strips are in bookmatched and sequenced veneer."

Most appliances are fully integrated and they are all positioned along one wall for a sleek, simple look. The Calacatta fretwork mosaic backsplash with its pale tones and understated Greek key pattern, provides a visual contrast to the exotic orange-and-black grained cabinetry.


A sparkling lamp over the island is another focus of this space. It is covered with hundreds of multi-faceted crystals, bringing an interesting and unusual touch to the setting.

The powder room offers some definite drama that responds to the owner's request to "make it rock and roll".

"Here we repurposed Calacatta slabs left over from the kitchen as a vanity base," Habachy says. "On this pedestal, a square black basalt sink is teamed with the waterfall-like Kubist faucet. We had to work prevent the water from spraying everywhere, but the effect is worth it."

The tiny room features an accent wall of black tiles made up of glass, mosaics, and stainless steel. Venetian plaster provides a smooth finish for the other walls and all surface textures are accentuated by the twinkling light fixture, adorned with Baccarat crystals sourced in Italy.

"In contrast to the powder room, the teenage daughter's bathroom has a softer, semi-traditional feel, but with modern touches. For example, the classic wallpaper and Art Deco-style mirror are balanced by a custom Neo-classical vanity that we designed. The piece was inspired by the work of the Mid-Century modern furniture designer Tommi Parzinger. This room's cream palette was inspired by the soft tones of the marble vanity countertop."

The master bathroom also has a transitional feel. As with most pieces seen throughout the interior, the elongated double vanity in black lacquered maple was designed by Habachy .

For the vanity backsplash, custom-made beveled mirror tiles were laid diagonally and scaled to finish in precise half triangles. These are in smoked mirror glass, contrasting the two framed makeup mirrors in clear mirror glass.

The pattern formed by the mirrorwork is repeated as criss-crosses on the cabinet door fronts, and more prominently by the pattern of tiles on the floor – as if a shadow from the mirror had been thrown onto the polished marble.

"Stainless steel inserts at intersecting points between the tiles bring another touch of bling," says Habachy. "And more sparkle comes from a row of crystals suspended on threads in front of the sheers. These give the impression they are actually interlaced into the curtaining."

First published date: 31 March 2015

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Credit List

Kitchen, bathroom, and interior designer Michael Habachy ASID, Habachy Designs
Kitchen cabinetry Custom Karpaty cabinets in Macassar ebony
Countertop Island, Calacatta marble; perimeter, leathered black granite
Flooring Engineered floors by Shaw in black
Backsplash Walker Zanger tile and Calacatta fretwork mosaic from Studio Moderne
Lighting Capital Lighting
Kitchen sink Blanco Precis
Faucets Kubista in black chrome from Lacava
Oven, cooktop, microwave Wolf
Ventilation Best Cirrus
Refrigeration Sub-Zero
Wine cooler Thermador
Dishwasher Miele Futura Crystal Master bathroom
Vanity White lacquered maple cabinets by Karpaty Cabinets
Vanity countertop Calacatta
Basin Black basalt vessel sink by Eden Bath
Mirror Custom beveled, in smoke
Drapes Ripplefold white sheers by Lutron Entry powder room
Wall tiles Black marble mosaic from Floor & Decor
Vanity countertop and flooring Calacatta white marble from Marmi Natural Stone