Renowned Melbourne-based interior architect Edwina Glenn shares the inspiration behind the interior styling of George + Powlett’s penthouse apartment, with scale being the most important design element to consider when curating furniture and artwork for the home.
Tell us about the furniture and artwork you have curated for the George + Powlett penthouse?
The most important aspect for me was to select pieces from a broad range of international and Australian design houses.
This included a combination of traditional and signature design pieces, such as classic linen upholstery and Mario Bellini’s 1970s Cab Chairs, which were used to create a look that felt warm and collated in the context of this home.
I was also fortunate to source a selection of artwork from the Federal Government’s prized art collection through Artbank Australia.
What was your selection process and the inspiration behind your approach?
My aim was to complement the contemporary architectural language of George + Powlett with a warmth and sensibility befitting of a Melbourne winter.
Larger key pieces were selected first to establish the right tone, before curating smaller design pieces such as the custom-made Calacatta Vagli marble coffee table.
Collating the artwork to create a backdrop for the overall design aesthetic was the final step. There’s a strong sense of light and depth to George + Powlett, an aspect that has been explored through the architectural design of the building, and I wanted to complement this through the furniture and artwork I curated.
Are there any key Australian or international brands?
I believe it is incredibly important to support Australian design and manufacturing and this is something I incorporate throughout my work. We are doing things here in Australia that are unlike anywhere else in the world and we are lucky to have such a wonderful pool of talent to draw from.
Jardan Tasmanian oak timber pieces were selected for the Cararra marble paved lobby to complement the work of renowned Melbourne artist Sally Ross. I also sourced bar stools and bedside tables from one of my favourite Melbourne designer’s Grazia Materia of Grazia and Co.
What are some of the stand out pieces you chose for the penthouse? Is there anything you wanted to emphasise through the styling of this space?
The study table lamp by Gino Sarfatti, designed in 1951 for Arteluce, is one of my favourite pieces; the vivid blue shade and brass base is particularly eye-catching. The glass mosaic and Carrara marble en suite is another personal favourite for its contemporary and serene take on a traditional Italian palette.
I hope that this eclectic collection of curated furniture, lighting, artwork and objects express my enjoyment of not one singular design style or aesthetic but a love of both historical and contemporary design.
Were there any key colours or palettes you wanted to incorporate and why?
Muted grey tones alongside deep blues and olive greens always appeal to me as a way of connecting with the landscape in an apartment setting.
What are the most important elements of the design process?
Scale is the most important design element. Selecting the right size furniture is critical in a spectacular penthouse such as the one at George + Powlett. This is especially true for downsizers who want to minimise their furniture and accessory pieces. I would recommend retaining the things you love but only when the scale is appropriate.
What do you think is the most important aspect of the downsizing process? Is there a foolproof formula that will help alleviate any stress?
Downsizing should feel liberating. It is an opportunity to experience a simplified lifestyle in an exciting new area without the maintenance and cleaning that come with owning a larger house and garden.
Use the move as an opportunity to clear out the excess and only bring the pieces that really bring you joy. Invest in the right scale furniture pieces and don’t be afraid to move on from some of your existing furniture pieces that feel heavy and out of scale in your new home.