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Bright white walls provide a simple but effective background for the monochromatic colour scheme and furnishings in this apartment

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Often, simple ideas are the most effective. With a strictly limited colour palette and a few carefully selected classic pieces of furniture, the resulting interior can be distinctive and original.

Interior designer Christine Tsingelidis of Jado Decor recently completely renovated a 130 sq m city apartment for its bachelor owner. Comprising a combined kitchen and living room, separate dining area, two bedrooms and a bathroom, the apartment is very compact.

"The owner asked Jado to create a clean-lined, uncluttered, sophisticated New York look. He likes to throw parties, and his brief was to renovate the space primarily to look good. Issues of practicality and function were secondary," the designer says.

The owner's preference was to have as little colour as possible in the apartment, so Tsingelidis opted for a monochromatic interior scheme, with most furnishings and surfaces finished in variations of black, silver and grey.

"Because space was fairly restricted, we decided to paint all the walls, doors, ceilings and architraves a brilliant white. The effect of this is to make the whole apartment appear larger, and to create an airy, breezy atmosphere. It also provided us with a very simple but effective background to decorate against," says Tsingelidis.

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To create layers of interest within each area, the designer has introduced furniture and fabrics in a variety of styles and textures – all in the same three or four shades selected from the black, silver or grey spectrum of colours. Even the artworks on the walls feature these tones.

Furniture, in a combination of both modern and classic styles, reflects the taste and interests of the client, says the designer.

Two classic Louis-period chairs in the living area have been given a modern twist: the legs are finished in a high-gloss black lacquer, and the seat backs and cushions are upholstered in a self-striped velvet fabric. A glass-topped coffee table helps the living space appear spacious and uncluttered, and ensures that the animal print rug under it can be seen easily. Chrome-dipped legs on the table introduce a contemporary note.

A sumptuous-looking, feather-filled sofa has been upholstered in a charcoal velvet fabric. Exposed legs add to the clean lines and uncluttered appearance of the living space.

In the living area, black, grey and pale silver-striped satin curtains provide another element that adds richness and depth to the interior.

In keeping with the monochromatic theme, the kitchen cabinetry is finished in a high-gloss black lacquer and teamed with stainless steel appliances. White-veined black marquina marble benchtops also have a glossy, highly polished finish.

A small separate dining room opens off the kitchen. Furnishings have been limited to a glass-topped dining table with extra-large chairs and a huge mirror covering one wall of the room. The chairs are upholstered in black velvet to match seating in the living room.

Dark charcoal porcelain tiles cover the floors in most of the apartment. Having a single surface helps keep the interior uncomplicated, and ensures the spaces flow better. The bathroom floor also features this tile but, as a variation, it has been laid in a brick pattern on the walls and bath surround.

Dominating the bedroom is a Christopher Guy bed with a black velvet-padded bedhead. A specially designed bold black-and-white striped carpet draws attention away from its size, while mirrored panels on the wardrobe doors reflect the room, making it appear larger and more open.

First published date: 19 May 2010

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Credit List

Interior designer Jado Decor (Melbourne)
Furniture Supplied by Jado Decor
Tiles Porcelain
Upholstery fabric Warwick Fabrics
Bed linen Sheridan; bolster in black velvet from Warwick Fabrics
Television Pioneer
Home automation, speakers Bose
Kitchen benchtops Marquina marble
Splashback Black glass
Oven, cooktop, ventilation, microwave, dishwasher Miele
Refrigeration Jenn-Air