Real Home: A Parisian Inspired Apartment In South Yarra

When your other home is a French chateau, I imagine anything else would feel rather ordinary in comparison. But it’;s certainly not the case with this fabulous abode. Dividing their time between Melbourne and France, the owners of this expansive Melbourne apartment enlisted interior designer David Hicks to imbue it with Parisian grandeur and boy did he nail the brief.

Lounge room
Lounge room – the antique Louis armchairs feature Hermès fabric

“The family split their time between Melbourne and France, where they own a chateau in Normandy. We wanted to ensure the client’s personal connection with France was evident, and it was important to tell this story during the design process,” says David Hicks of the South Yarra residence.


“We wanted to reinstate the majesty of grand old Parisian apartments, something that is rarely found in residential apartments these days. Our aim was to revive the expert craftsmanship and nostalgia of a bygone era and to preserve tradition but with aspects of contemporary design,” says David.

Living area
Chevron French oak parquetry adorns the floors

“As one of the most striking spaces, the entry hall consists of curved travertine paneling, patterned flooring and oak doors with custom brass inlay. The adjacent staircase, which runs throughout the building, was designed to appear as if it had existed for several decades,” says David of the building that is home to 3 other apartments.

The gorgeous staircase

“One of our favourite design features would have to be the raw oak chevron parquetry floors, as they create a backdrop for the statement furniture throughout the home, as well as the wall-to-wall calacatta oro marble,” says David. The family’s large French antique collection is put to good use in the apartment too with Mongolian lambs’ wool bench seats and several large chandeliers featuring alongside among many other treasures.


“The striking lounge sofas and the Louis armchairs complete with Hermès fabric truly stand out for us, as well as the juxtaposition of old meets new. Each item exudes so much character, adding even more depth to the residence,” says David.

Dining room
Dining room

Photography: Mark Roper

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