As a self-proclaimed adventurer, Crystal Fong says the pandemic pushed her to look for a new adventure closer to home; buying a house.
She had her eye on a new Fitzroy apartment building from award-winning Melbourne architects, Edition Office, but knew all the apartments were spoken for and thought she’d ‘always have to admire the building from a distance’.
‘Then, someone had a change of heart and pulled out of the move,’ Crystal says. ‘It was 36 hours from inspection to negotiations to signing on the dotted line.’
While she already had the building on her radar, it was ultimately the light, spacious and safe feeling she got from the space that got her over the line so quickly.
‘I’m a space cadet by default, so I love having a high ceiling to stare into. It feels open yet private,’ Crystal added. ‘It instantly felt like the kind of place I’d want to come home to. Also, my place is a bunker (below ground), and my doors are wide open most of the time. So, I can hear the pulse of the neighbourhood.’
The contemporary home features an intriguing mezzanine level, six-metre-high ceilings and a striking concrete exterior designed to fit in with Fitzroy’s edgy surrounds.
Meanwhile inside, the design’s pared-back interiors and grey walls allow Crystal’s 1970s-inspired colour palette of ‘burnt orange, powder blue and lots and lots of gold’ to shine – literally and figuratively! The dramatic teal kitchen, complete with an amazing green marble splash-back, is standout feature in its own right.
She calls her eclectic yet polished style ‘ugly beautiful’. And unique pieces like a velvet sofa from Mood Objects and an Alvar Aalto lamp from ANIBOU Furniture have only helped enhance the property’s ‘excellent entertaining den’.
‘The house is filled with plants, velvet, wood, concrete, mirrored surfaces… and there’s a lot of brass,’ Crystal notes.
‘Every piece has a backstory, including my favourite artwork by my talented friend, Andzrej Nowicki. The piece he did for me came with a playlist and had some hidden symbols that only come out when I’m in an altered state. I’ve set the house up with special lighting, so it turns orange at about 8pm.’
There’s plenty of quiet corners to enjoy throughout the apartment, from the bedroom to the views of the outdoor courtyard via the expansive floor-to-ceiling glass doors, but Crystal says her guests seem drawn to the home’s perfectly moody, cosy atmosphere.
‘I love seeing my friends find comfort in this space. No one wants to leave.’
You can follow Crystal on Instagram here.
A chic blend of vintage and contemporary furniture helps complete the home. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
Crystal calls her home’s style ‘ugly beautiful’. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
The apartment is on the basement floor of the building, with incredible six-metre-high ceilings! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
A look at the impressive mezzanine level. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
And the moody teal kitchen! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
Crystal says she’s not sure the exact size of her apartment, but puts it somewhere around 120sq m. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
Inside, she’s filled the space with furniture from local makers, like Curated Spaces and Mood Objects. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
A quiet corner in her bedroom. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
Plenty of integrated storage help make apartment living a breeze. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
‘We studied the materiality of Fitzroy’s historic buildings, their relief patterns, the composition of windows and doors to the facade, and the rhythm of party walls that line the streetscape,’ Edition Office director Aaron Roberts explains. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit
It even has a home office! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit