Perched high on the cliffs in the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, this penthouse condo with its stylish “cocktails-at-five” mood reflects the talents of Australian designer Steven Stewart. The quiet inner-city dwelling suits his client’s busy lifestyle. As a bonus, it’s also an ideal meeting spot for friends to gather before heading out for a late dinner at one of the area’s fabulous restaurants.
Spacious and airy, chic open-plan living and dining rooms lead to outdoor entertaining areas as well as stunning, unobstructed views of the city and its brightly lit Story Bridge.
Although it’s an optical illusion, it almost feels that the illuminated bridge—which crosses the Brisbane River, connecting the city’s northern and southern suburbs— is within easy reach.
In the dining room, eight alabaster leather chairs border the gleaming black table, ready to accommodate the owner’s frequent dinner parties. Two vintage Chinese vases from a local antiques dealer sit on top. “We purposely chose white vases to add a spark,” says Steven.
Despite its ultra-urban vibe, the burgeoning neighbourhood of New Farm gets its name from the city’s early years as a rural community. “Since this is the condo’s only penthouse,” says Steven, “it’s affectionately called the New Farm Penthouse.”
The towering metal sculpture, purchased by the owner in Italy, strikes a pose against Brisbane’s evening skies.
“Black and gold Chinoiserie provides a stunning backdrop to the luxury textiles and finishes,” says designer Steven Stewart.
A gleaming bar cabinet with glass shelves and mirror backing displays crystal wine goblets, ready to oblige a future soirée. The decorative details of the chinoiserie work beautifully against the dark and dramatic interior accents. Steven explains the term Chinoiserie is a French word that means ‘in the Chinese taste’ and describes a European style of decorative detail, wildly popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Clearly, it’s still fashionable today.
Bedroom walls are seductively panelled in a sophisticated silk textile, custom-dyed to match the paint finish on adjacent walls. Not only does the treatment create a cozy environment for sleeping, it’s an effective way to dampen noise as well. Underfoot is a cozy taupe carpet.
“Bedrooms don’t experience the same heavy use as say, the kitchen, so I took the opportunity to use more extravagant materials,” the designer enthuses.
In addition to carrying the home’s industrial colour scheme throughout, Steven introduces a Chinese motif on the decorative pillows to echo the chinoise elements throughout the condo. The faux fur throw adds a welcome layer of luxury.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KYLIE HOOD