Repurposed and renovated buildings are some of my favourite streetscapes to look upon. To me, there is not much more exciting than giving new meaning and life to unexpected spaces around a city. In Brisbane, the Teneriffe Woolstore Apartments are a beautiful example of this. With due respect and highlight to history, blending modern architecture into the the authentic features of the buildings, Teneriffe is one of the most sought after areas to live in Brisbane.
My dear friend and talented interior designer, Jaime Muller lives in an apartment on Macquarie St, with her husband Darren, and their two delightful children Harvey and Ada. Her home is welcoming, stylish. I have visited Jaime here for many cups of tea, parties and gatherings, and have loved it every time. As they are selling the property I thought it time to capture the beauty of the building and the essence of what has made it their home for so long.
First purchased in 2009, Jaime and Darren have called this beautiful place home on and off for a number of years. But family has increased in number, and so their space must too accordingly.
Jaime being an artist and designer, fell in love with the architecture, in particular the high ceilings and three arched windows. Some of Brisbane's tram tracks used to run right underneath where we sit in the conservatory space, between the archways forming the exterior of the building, and original windows of the building, which have been kept within the apartment.
Jaime would have loved to redo the arch windows with cedar frames, but as circumstances often do, have not allowed that project to go ahead. At almost 200sqm, the apartment has such generous living space, and people have often said they could turn the conservatory into two rooms. But to her, the triple arches are the most significant feature. Splitting this up with a wall would break the the sacred rule of thirds, and although I think rules should sometimes be broken, in this case, I totally agree that it should stand. These beautiful windows allow natural light to flood all the way into the apartment. Many of the other occupancies enjoy only a single large rectangular window, and the ground floor are the only apartments to have arched windows. This makes this space a really unique design within the building.
They have undertaken a few other renovations though. Originally, the apartment had just two bedrooms, but they've created a third bedroom by putting in extra partitions and glass. This maximises the potential for sale, and opens it up to a market of people with slightly larger families or requirements for room.
Jaime and Darren also put in all new carpet, oak flooring and feature wall, and extended the kitchen to accommodate the larger fridge, which has all seamlessly enhanced an already amazing space.
The Mullers are humble, generous and loving people, who value family and connection, good style and quality, and this is reflected in their home environment. Even as my daughter and I spent time with Jaime, Harvey and Ada for this interview, we were welcomed, and nothing was any trouble.
Children can certainly challenge your patience when you appreciate order and detail, with clean lines and space. I feel like Jaime has quite a relaxed approach to mess, although she mentions that she finally conceded to Harvey rubbing his 'banana hands' on one of the glass doors, as if it has perhaps been a test to her design eye on a previous occasion. I think Harvey has inherited this eye for pattern and detail, I caught him lining up his sandwich crusts in perfect order along the kitchen bench. What a beautiful moment.
The thing I love the most about this place is the natural light. Jaime says thats what made it feel like a home to her upon their first viewing. She loves the volume in the conservatory, giving you plenty of room to breath. In a fairly densely populated location, this is refreshing and rare. Perhaps the only downside to this gorgeous inner city apartment is the lack of outdoor space. For family sanity Jaime and Darren are now looking to move into a home with a back yard. They will miss the location, being so close to good cafes, the river and transport to the city, but Jaime in her current role as stay-at-home-mum will benefit a lot from a bit of extra space for messy activities and running free.
One of Jaime's favourite pieces is the gorgeous green Chesterfield set, inherited from her grandparents, it definitely brings a comfortable luxury that suits the Woolstore setting, and the sentiment behind it makes it so much more special.
This home is warm and just full enough with pieces of furniture and art that have been collected along their life together so far. A more minimal approach to furnishing really shows off the materials. Brick, wood and original metal beams against white walls and windows are feature enough in themselves. Jaime says if she was starting from scratch, she probably wouldn't choose many of the things they have. I think we all get a little tired of our surroundings at times, especially when there are so many beautiful things available for our homes! As we discuss design and style, I very much appreciate that we share a desire for good design, and in fact what Jaime said about her own preferences really sums up the heart of a passionate creative.
(All photos by me.)