Moody hues: 1906

Amber Road’s renovation of this small, inner-Sydney apartment is a work of art. The recently transformed one-bedroom home is resplendent in bespoke features, sculptural elements and artisanal vignettes. The hand of the designer, or in this case the hands of practice co-directors – and sisters – Yasmine Ghoniem and Katy Svalbe are well and truly evident, from the most grand to the smallest of details. Theirs is an aesthetic distinguished by rich colour and delicious materiality, of which this project is an artful exemplar.

“I guess there’s an underlying artistic thread that weaves through all of our work that makes it colourful and very sculptural,” says interior designer Yasmine. “It’s about creating a warm minimalism, which is simple yet well considered – so when we do the space planning, the interiors become quite architectural in their own right.”

While some of the design decisions were informed by the limitations of the eighty-square-metre floor space, Amber Road’s approach was primarily based around the curation of things for everyday use by a client who was entering a new phase in his life and was essentially starting from scratch. In the ensuite, the designers worked with what they had and, instead of enforcing a light, airy quality, turned the room’s lack of available natural light into a strength. The resulting space is dark and moody, with a custom basin and tapered blade wall, both in hand-poured terrazzo, and a custom oversized mirror all coming together in a highly appealing, film noir-esque ambience. The furnishings may be brand new, but Yasmine and Katy have made sure to personalize the scheme, peppering it with details and finishes that reflect the client’s character. The basin’s pink terrazzo, for instance, is a nod to his love of wearing pops of bright colour and specifically his pink-framed spectacles.

This one-bedroom home is resplendent in bespoke features, sculptural elements and artisanal vignettes.

This one-bedroom home is resplendent in bespoke features, sculptural elements and artisanal vignettes.

Image: Felix Forest

The compact living areas were likewise a test of the designers’ skills, and the kitchen, in particular, is where they best flaunt a balance between form and function. A custom marble-topped island is not only an exquisite piece of furniture, but also hides the services, which had to run up one of the legs from beneath a new raised floor because core drilling into the existing slab wasn’t possible. The kitchen and dining space is a carefully edited tapestry of materials, whose inherent qualities have been allowed to shine through, from the splashback in ruby-hued marble to the timber-batten room divider.

For Yasmine, the kitchen and bathroom are the two most important spaces in any home, not to mention the most used. “They should be celebrated because this is either where you prepare for the day ahead, or prepare your meals,” she notes. “So why not make them as beautiful as they can be? I also believe these two spaces are good representations of how you can make the ordinary not ordinary.”

Products and materials

Internal walls
Plastered walls painted in Dulux ‘Vivid White’; Hand-poured terrazzo tapered blade wall with custom hand basin
Custom-coloured terrazzo floor tiles by Terrazzo Australian Marble
Custom recessed vanity cabinet with split face in solid ebony timber by Jonathan West; custom Super White marble island benchtop and splashback in ‘Red Ruby’ by Mediterranean Marble and Granite
Sphera Sole Mini round wall light in custom colour; Sphera Binario track lighting
Tapware and fittings
Hand-poured pink terrazzo hand basin; Astra Walker tapware in ‘Ice Grey’ finish; Custom Super White marble sink by Mediterranean Marble and Granite
Fisher and Paykel integrated fridge; Smeg dishwasher and cooktop; Miele built-in oven with microwave; Siemens rangehood
Caroma Liano Wall Faced Invisi Series II toilet suite
Custom loose vanity mirror with ochre-stained timber base and smoked, wedged mirror; custom wall-hung, dual-colour mirror with powdercoated metal surround; ceramic vessels handmade by builder’s mother; custom robes by Amber Road
Custom timber and glass dining table by Jonathan West


Interior designer
Amber Road
Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Yasmine Ghoniem
Builder Promena Projects
Joinery Jonathan West
Site Details
Location Sydney,  NSW,  Australia
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2019
Category Residential
Type Apartments, Bathrooms, Kitchens



Published online: 4 Nov 2019
Words: Leanne Amodeo
Images: Felix Forest


Houses: Kitchens + Bathrooms, June 2019

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