It all started with the letterbox. My letterbox, to be exact: I’d come home and seen a piece of dark, heavy-weight card poking like a cheeky tongue from its lid. Picking it up, I saw it was an event flyer for a neighbourhood day in Brunswick East – my new suburb. Come one and all, it invited – experience a day out in Brunswick and meet with friends and neighbours. At the bottom of the flyer, I saw the logo for a property developer I’d been observing for some time: Little Projects.
At that moment, I knew that the real estate ‘game’ in Melbourne had changed: here was a developer who was actively giving back to the community, who cared about quality and paid attention to detail. Coming from a real estate background myself, this invitation and the sensibilities behind it delighted me – absolutely. Usually real estate marketing is all cheaply printed DL flyers, ‘just listeds’ and ‘just solds’ – brash branding which has everything to do with the company and nothing to do with the community. In my hand, I held a beautifully designed and executed flyer (and accompanying community activation) that quietly, confidently differentiated itself from others. Barely branded, it was about the community and not the company. This was a business I wanted to collaborate with.
Fast forward seven months, and that collaboration is a reality. And what a beautiful one. In what I hope will be a memorable, inspiring and truly Melbourne series of blogs that you enjoy and share, I present Ruby Slipper x Little Projects: The Installation. Partnering with Little Projects and celebrating the release of their newest development Central South Yarra – Ruby Slipper has this week moved into their beautiful 26th-floor apartment which has been furnished with incredible taste by the talented team at The Real Estate Stylists. Having grown in three years from a small sister-run real estate styling firm to the legends of Instagram interior lust they have become, TRES pulled out all the stops in furnishing our home for the week. Bespoke furniture, commissioned artworks, pulling together the best of interiors to rival even the most fastidious Pinterest-board – let me say that team Ruby Slipper will indeed be sad to leave our new home come the end of this week.
In many ways, the pictures we’ve captured here speak for themselves: the quality of both attention to building detail by Little Projects and the clever eye of TRES have resulted in something quite magical. So – just like all new residents at Central South Yarra gifted with their embossed welcome guide – we want you to make yourself at home, and to consider what living in Melbourne today means. It no longer means the three bedroom home on a quarter acre block. Demographics have shifted, the city continues to grow and apartment living is increasingly popular. And not just for singletons either: taking a more European approach to living, we now see couples, families with tiny tots and teens and retirees deciding that apartment living offers them the flexibility – and location – they demand. The Australian dream is indeed changed. And it’s not hard to see why, really – from the wraparound balcony where we took tea as we began our Ruby Slipper x Little Projects adventure yesterday to the loungeroom with the incredibly soft Jardan ‘Wilfred’ couch overlooking the city where we are now perched and writing this blog – apartment living doesn’t mean uniformity or being unable express yourself or your aesthetic. Quite the opposite, as the blog series to come shares with you.
Beginning the Ruby Slipper x Little Projects adventure before the living room’s dreamy, large artwork – ‘Island Hopper’ by Michael Bond at Fenton & Fenton, commissioned specifically for this residence by Lucy Fenton.
Sometimes a modern apartment high in the clouds can feel austere – but not in this case. A gentle interpretation of , mindfully designed Melbourne living, The Real Estate Stylists have built an environment which melds contemporary furnishings with natural elements – soft woods, full-size plantings, art books and wantable accessories. Here, the Norm Wire Bowl from Top3 By Design with Baja Floor Lamp by Thomas Gannan and Cabinet by Inside Out Living supplied by TRES.
The loungeroom is furnished in textures and materials that reflect current trends, pared back with classic furniture pieces which add weight to the bright, lofty zone. Our favorites include the Round Box Top Ottoman by Arthur G, the Norr11 Mammoth Chair by Meizai and the Marly Dining Table by GlobeWest.
When we first brainstormed our Installation with Little Projects, we wanted a place that reflected the creative energy of Ruby Slipper not only as a blog, but as a business. As many of you know, in addition to being an arts and culture writer – I run a successful digital and social strategy agency – also named Ruby Slipper. I wanted to bring my assistant, Emma, with me and work from the beautifully finished apartment at Central South Yarra – to truly inhabit the space in a meaningful way. Fittingly, TRES and Little Projects created a study space for us to write from which ticks every box. From the dramatic grid removable wallpaper by The Wall Sticker Company to the large-scale photograph piece ‘She’ by The Artwork Stylist, this room is my dream study.
A bin too good for your rubbish: Menu Wire Bin in Copper by Top3 by Design
Elegant objects in natural elements of marble, copper and wood: Marble Wall Clock from Top3 By Design.
This is Ruby Slipper – Iolanthe Gabrie and Emma Edwards working from Central South Yarra.
Every good study needs a soft chair for brainstorming – just like this grey Pianca Dialogo Armchair from Meizai. Bonus points for artfully curated books from My Bookshop by Corrie Perkin wrapped in the lustworthy Assemblages Book Girth Belt from Lightly.
And now, I welcome you to my boudoir. No funny business, mind you. Just a quiet place to rejuvenate from the 26th floor, looking north over the glittering Yarra, past the factories of Richmond and towards the grey mountains in the distance. A true pool of quietude assembled from finery, it features floating hand-blown Dinted Orb Pendants from my old studio mate, Mark Douglass Design – their opaque aubergine enhancing the plum Status Bed (made to order) by Arthur G.
Two of my favourite tomes – Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Art of Travel (and one I’ve yet to read) rest on the aptly-named Cloud Blanket by Jardan. Made of Patagonian wool in Argentina, no less. Dream on.
Reading: Chloe Sevigny from My Bookshop by Corrie Perkin. Wearing: Mister Zimi Montana Catalina skirt.
Sweet dreams are made of this: 100% Linen Sheets from In the Sac.
Fresh and modern, The Artwork Stylist’s Lake Life taken on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
So there you have it – the first chapter of Ruby Slipper x Little Projects: The Installation. Still to come on the blog – commissioned artwork, lounge living, bathroom luxury and a kitchen to pop on your dream home Pinterest board.
Like what you’ve seen? For behind-the-scenes access to our Installation so far, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @iolantherubyslipper.