• Trends & Inspo  • The Concept for my CBD Design Client: Chic City Escape
dusty pink sofa in city apartment with grey armchair

The Concept for my CBD Design Client: Chic City Escape

The world of interior design here in Australia can be so secretive. Nobody wants to share their intel! Ask an interior designer where they sourced something from for a client and they’ll guard the information like it’s their first-born child.

But not in TLC land. In my world, it’s all about passing the information around. To me, interior designers have more value than just their supplier list. So what’s the harm in telling you where something is from? It’s never bothered me to be completely transparent.

In light of that, today I wanted to share with you some of the mood boards I prepared for my latest client, whose job I’m calling ‘Chic City Escape’. I tend to name all of my design projects, come to think of it. I have another at the moment called ‘Hamptons Oasis’ and another called ‘Beachside Brohemian’. I like to think it gives you a taste of what’s to come when I present my concept to you as a client.

sophisticated city apartment inspiration board

A Recipe for Sophisticated Apartment Design

So the boards I’m showing you today channel sophisticated apartment design. Nothing too high-end (I always go for something approachable), but definitely a design that feels a little special.

The clients visit the apartment on weekends as they live a few hours outside of the city. So when they come in to see a sports game or the theatre, this is where they’ll hang. And so I wanted it to feel cosy and inviting, but chic and elevated.

As my female client spends more time here, I definitely included some softer, traditionally feminine elements (though admittedly I do hate deeming design masc or fem). The apartment was quite dark, with charcoal grey walls and such a sense of heaviness about it. So the mission was to lighten it up, as well as improve the floorplan and make it feel like a true escape. We don’t want somewhere to just dump down for the weekend. We want this to feel like an impressive hotel. But a hotel that represents and celebrates who lives there, too.

I’ve gotta say, this client is a dream to work with. She’s not only lovely but she absolutely trusts the vision I have for the space. I’ll share details of the vision below as well as what inspired the colour palette for the home.

aboriginal artwork with purple and yellow colours

The Design Plan and Must-Haves

The inspiration for the colour palette came from an aboriginal painting the client bought years ago on travels around Australia. She was eager to make it work in the apartment, which is going to have a white and grey base to make it feel lighter. I was actually chuffed to have a client present an inspiration point, and it was a nice challenge to find a way to make it work.

You can see the painting in the image above. I decided to pull the dusty blue and lavender tones from it, along with some minor hints of black and grey. These will become the accent colours for the apartment.

Outside of working in the art, I decided to also include the following into my sophisticated apartment design:

  • Give the client a stylish recliner, which was a must-have piece (thanks Plush!)
  • Replace the dated roller blinds with some silhouette shades (Luxaflex for the win)
  • Paint all internal walls white to hide the abundance of angles on internal ceilings (Dulux Lexicon)
  • Install a gorgeous sheer curtain in the master bedroom to soften the space
  • Introduce a sense of luxury through velvet dining and occasional chairs (from Globewest)
  • Install two big walls of dazzling blue and soft grey wallpaper to add impact and interest

sophisticated city apartment mood board living room with floral wallpaper

The Progress so Far

We’ve just had my go-to team for painting, Richmond Painting and Decorating, finish up on the internal walls. Next comes window treatments and wallpaper. Then ordering all of the products.

It’s a few months off being finished thanks to lead times (don’t you hate waiting? The worst part!), but it will all come together before we know it.

As the client lives a few hours away, this is going to be one of those projects where I can do a big reveal like you see on the design shows. Walk the client in… cover her eyes… and reveal. I cannot wait for that day to arrive.

I have a really good feeling about this one, and the client has been so trusting. This is honestly the best part of the job: when clients trust you’ll make it good, and when you know it’s going to be phenomenal.

I’ll be posting updates along the way on my Instagram account which you can follow here. Insta stories is where I showcase all of the behind-the-scenes stuff, so do follow along. I’ll be photographing the space when it’s done too, so stick around for that as well.

master bedroom sophisticated city apartment mood baord with grey upholstered headboard

Want to Know More?

If you’re keen to book me in for an interior design consult at your place, click here and we can have a chat.

And if you have any questions about this sophisticated apartment design concept, or where particular pieces are from, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below and I can sort you out.

Happy decorating!

chris carroll post sig

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He's also spent time on TV, on Channel 10's Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7's Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

  • Kerry Clayton


    I just love your style Chris. So beautiful

    1 August, 2019
  • Molly


    love the indigenous art work and the concept Chris. You are amazing

    24 September, 2019
  • Jan


    That City chic apt is simply stuning, my god i love the pink sofa and all accessories selected. I love a dreamy bedroom and you have hit the nail on the head, Your client must be very pleased.

    26 September, 2019

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