My favourite space: Small apartment, cosy living room gallery

Spread over three floors, Helen and Stephen Revill's Wellington loft apartment is light, warm and welcoming.
ELIZABETH GOODALL

Spread over three floors, Helen and Stephen Revill's Wellington loft apartment is light, warm and welcoming.

Helen and Stephen Revill's apartment in the old Hannahs factory in central Wellington has as many stories as it has storeys.

Helen's the first to say the imposing brick building that bisects Leeds Street looks like "a dark, satanic mill" from the outside. But inside, the mood is light, warm and welcoming.

With its exposed brick walls, steel bracing and steel window frames, brawny timber beams and floors, the building has been updated with plenty of its early 20th century industrial heritage left intact.

Helen and Stephen moved in six years ago, 15 years after the project's completion.

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"The apartment needed things doing to it after that time, but it had been very well maintained," says Helen. "These apartments are very, very well designed. I don't think they'd develop apartments like this today. There are 24 apartments in this block and each one is individually configured. They're all different. I have a sink in my butler's pantry - no one else has that."

The contemporary cuckoo clock from The Conran Shop is turned off.
ELIZABETH GOODALL

The contemporary cuckoo clock from The Conran Shop is turned off.

The Revills apartment is spread over the building's top three storeys, of which the piece de resistance is the expansive open-plan living area on the fourth floor, with its 7m-high stud, filled with the couple's collection of art and treasures.

What was your vision for this space? From the time we first saw the apartment, it was all about the space. There was an airy lightness about it. We just knew it was right for us. My daughter turned to me and said… you could live here mum. It definitely had a special feel. We just knew it would work.

What are the key features of this space? The main feature of the room really became the huge mirror, which I found by chance. It's over 2m high and is seriously screwed into the wall. It reflects the whole space and is just lovely. It somehow unifies everything.

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Rumble in the jungle cushion designed by Nellie Ryan
Rumble in the jungle cushion designed by Nellie Ryan
$110

What was the decorating process for this space? We began by painting everything in Resene 'Alabaster' as a backdrop for our things, which are eclectic and colourful. The idea was that the artworks would be the stars.

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Tell us about your art? We have had most of our artworks for a while now and they just naturally bond together. All the heavier, bold works sit against the heavy brick and the smaller pieces share the wall opposite the hall table.

The tall space is just a mix of interesting artworks from Toss Woollaston and Dick Frizzel to my daughter's childhood painting of our old dog. We slowly add to it as we climb higher and higher. I love it.

Helen accesses the apartment via an old, noisy but seemingly reliable lift.
ELIZABETH GOODALL

Helen accesses the apartment via an old, noisy but seemingly reliable lift.

What do you like best about this space?  We never feel hemmed in or claustrophobic and it is surprisingly very quiet. It's a really easy place to live. It could be the ceiling height or the large room itself.

How would you describe your decorating style? I think about my decorating style as if we've thrown everything up in the air - whoosh! - and it's all sitting where it's landed. For me, what I've done in the apartment isn't about interior decorating. It's bigger than that. It's about putting a beautiful space together.

 

Only a 7m stud could accommodate the 2.1m living room mirror: "I kept seeing it in the window at Corso de' Fiori; ...
ELIZABETH GOODALL

Only a 7m stud could accommodate the 2.1m living room mirror: "I kept seeing it in the window at Corso de' Fiori; eventually I went in and bought it. Stephen came home and said, 'Do you think we live in a chateau?'"

 

The steep stairs lead to the apartment's third bedroom/study; the artwork at the foot of the stairs was daughter Lucy's ...
ELIZABETH GOODALL

The steep stairs lead to the apartment's third bedroom/study; the artwork at the foot of the stairs was daughter Lucy's Level 1 NCEA painting.

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Abstract 4 By AC Abstract
Abstract 4 By AC Abstract
$29.00

 - NZ House & Garden

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