Interior design duo Handelsmann + Khaw have garnered a reputation for realising residential spaces cocooned in calm and quietude. It’s where the outside world becomes ever so slightly more diminutive in the best possible way. Elizabeth Bay Apartment harnesses this same essence. Its threshold delineating a tangible shift in atmosphere as one crosses from the salt-infused urban Sydney breeze to an apartment that can only be described in juxtapositions; spacious intimacy, eclectic timelessness and uncompromising softness.
Overlooking Sydney Harbour, Elizabeth Bay Apartment is a residence sheathed in a suffused golden light and dreamy ambience. Balancing contemporary liveability with domestic nostalgia, the home is a culmination of textures, greenery, bespoke furniture, joyously unpredictable styling and tranquil schematics. Belgian charm has informed a subdued palette of soft edges and velvety surfaces; each alteration placing the integrity of the user at the core.
The three-bedroom apartment, once a decidedly non-domestic space, has been imbued with a simplistic purity through a design language of warmth and distilled lustre. The yellow has been bleached out of floorboards, marble cladding was torn from the fireplace, and all surfaces – floors, walls and ceilings – brought into a unified scheme Tania Handelsmann and Gillian Khaw define as ‘dusty plaster.’
Featured artwork by Gabrielle Corni.
Much of the furniture in Elizabeth Bay Apartment has been custom made, including the living room sofa. Living room artwork by Sally Gabori. Daphine lamp by Tommaso Cimini.
An Otsumigaki finish — a clay and lime premixed plaster — brings a textural quality to walls. An earthiness that naturally aligns with the verdant atmosphere of a winter garden which has been coaxed into a new future relevance. Once divided by a frameless glass separation, an exterior garden language has been introduced through the incorporation of steel-framed doors and sparse furnishing. The winter garden, with its abiding retro beauty, serves to also draw the eye out to the exterior foliage in a reserve across the street, connecting the apartment with its streetscape.
Adjacent to the interior garden, a space has been converted into a library, complete with a rolling ladder and an eclectic charm that seamlessly continues the intrepid styling throughout.
Elizabeth Bay Apartment channels both the nostalgic charm that distinguishes the work of Handelsmann + Khaw and an entirely unique set of client-driven intents. One that begs stories from quirky objects and artwork and reflects the personalities of those who carry out their lives within the whimsy of this Sydney apartment.
The bench seat in the master bedroom is from Water Tiger.