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A range of silver tones, from gun-metal grey to charcoal, reflect a masculine influence in the interior design of this city bachelor pad

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Interiors that evolve over the years can provide plenty of character – and a touch of nostalgia. But they're probably not the best solution for young, single apartment-dwellers today. The apartment featured on these pages illustrates another approach to interior design – the designer was given carte blanche to come up with a contemporary look.

Designer Anna Douglass of Hare & Klein Interior Design says a few parameters were established. The owner wanted a reasonably masculine look, and needed to be able to accommodate overnight guests.

"As the apartment is on the waterfront, it was also important that the furnishings didn't detract from the view," she says. "In addition, the long shape of the living area needed to be taken into consideration."

Douglass says selecting a 2.8m-long sofa and complementary chaise fitted the bill in more than one regard. The modular sofa provides extra sleeping accommodation, but also wraps around one corner, helping to anchor the end wall of the apartment. Positioning the open-ended chaise opposite the sofa helps to sectionalisethe room without blocking it off from the rest of the space, she says.

"To complement the existing dark grey carpet and off-white walls, we opted for sofa fabrics and cushions with a slightly gold undertone. The warm neutrals balance the grey and black palette of the carpet, furniture and accessories."

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Textures also add visual interest. While the sofas are upholstered in a velvet-look fabric, the cushions include checked and striped designs in spun and raw silks.

"The raw silk has a more subtle sheen and provides a textural lift," says Douglass. "The subtle differences in shades and fabrics also prevent a monochromatic look."

Black African spears and dark wenge-coloured furniture, which includes an antique Chinese chest and an entertainment unit, complete the look of this area.

Two armchairs and matching ottomans were placed midway between the living and dining areas, creating a second seating area. This was done as a way to break up the space, says Douglass.

"The room was too long for a single seating area, so we have defined a second casual area, which looks straight out through sliding glass doors to the view."

Beyond these chairs, the dining room can be closed off with large sliding doors. It also features dark wood furniture and charcoal-coloured chairs.

"Here, we chose a large, bright orange-toned painting to warm up the greys and contrast the monochromatic look. It also provides a visual full-stop on the end wall," says Douglass.

First published date: 23 May 2004

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Credit List

Designers Anna Douglass and Meryl Hare, Hare & Klein Interior Design (Sydney)
Sofa The Cape by Jardan in Fabiano from Roylston House
Chaise Sabre by GMack in Chicago Gunmetal from Mokum Textiles
Cushions Hare & Klein designs in silks from Robert Allen range, I Redelman Silk Trader and Andrew Martin range from Unique Fabrics
Chairs and ottomans Hare & Klein designs, manufactured by Aaron Upholstery in Rubino Cinder from Roylston House
Water hyacinth furniture Equator Homewares
Outdoor dining table Cotswold Furniture