The pied-a-terre — a French word for “foot on the ground”— is commonly known as a smaller second home in the city. It’s a concept frequented in Europe and even the US, but a French phrase not as readily taken up here in Australia. As lead designer of Infinite Design Studio Michelle Macarounas puts it, “the idea of living in a small space is not common for Australians”. But for a couple looking for a glamorous downsize while in Sydney, a small, clutter-free space was in order — and it was Infinite Design Studio who delivered.
Spending plenty of time offshore for work and travel, the owners of this Sydney apartment wanted a well-thought out place to return to. The original penthouse was built in the 1980s and while fortunate with views, it was chopped into smaller rooms that blocked opportunity for natural light. But when Michelle locked eyes on the home, she saw a whole lot of potential. Surrounded by trees, her first impression was to open up every angle to the vista and dappled sunlight. Immediately, she took to removing a number of walls, to reconfigure the rooms and allow “for a better flow of the space”.
By creating a clean slate, Infinite Design Studio were able to layer the space with rich materiality of textured veneers, stone, grass cloth wallpaper and smoked mirror; all a nod to the green surrounds.“The space feels very much like a boutique hotel”, Michelle said. This was also to create a moody experience as soon as you enter the abode — that Michelle describes as a “sensory boost”. But it was storage that posed a real issue for the petite penthouse. For this, Infinite Design Studio have hidden doors and concealed units at all ends of the home, careful to not overcrowd each space. With the aim to make each space work harder, not larger, Infinite Design Studio have taken time to consider quality objects to fill the home — including Spence and Lyda’s award-winning Innate Lounge Chair Night.
While it may be scaled for size, this Sydney Pied-a-Terre surpasses in style. It’s a point Infinite Design Studio have made loud and clear: downsizing is not a dirty word — in fact it’s an elegant entry into a luxurious city lifestyle.
‘This space is small, compact and very well planned… When creating the concept we often referred to Japanese references.’
— Michelle Macarounas, Infinite Design Studio
Downsizing in scale, but upgrading in luxurious designer details.