Australian Interior Design Awards

Residential decoration

On Saturday 17 May the Australian Interior Design Awards took place at the Sydney Hilton Hotel. Now in their eleventh year, the awards celebrate innovation and excellence in Australian interior design.

Loft Apartment

Described by the jury as “a truly exceptional apartment”, Loft Apartment in West Melbourne features a statuesque staircase through the centre of its spacious aesthetic. Stylish and distinctive, its design exudes a serene and unearthly appeal. All images and quotes via

This year Loft Apartment, a converted butter warehouse by Adrian Amore Architects, has taken out the premier award for interior design. Hailed for its spacious sculptured aesthetic and sophisticated style, Loft Apartment also took out the awards for Residential Design and Residential Best of State (VIC).

Loft Apartment and Flinders Lane Apartment

Located in a heritage-listed building in Melbourne’s CBD, Flinders Lane Apartment (Clare Cousins Architects) is one example of the focus on innovative urban design for compact space. Pictured here centre in between Loft Apartment (Adrian Amore Architects).

“The spatial planning within the apartment reveals the hand of the designer; a skilful hand that expertly creates and explores volume, plasticity and light, culminating in an interior that is invigorating, sumptuous and liveable.”

The Avenue, NSW (Arent&Pyke)

The Avenue, NSW (Arent&Pyke): An 1880’s terrace described by the jury as a “marriage of old and new. The home features clean, crisp interiors and a playful palette of colours and textures… the design creates a grand and vibrant home yet maintains a casual sense of family life”.

Judged anonymously by peer-review, the thirteen awards span from retail and hospitality design to workplace, public, residential and sustainable advancement. This year the jury received 400 entries, an increase of 10% on last year, with 148 designers shortlisted for the prestige. The jury of high profile industry names lauded the calibre of entries:

“The jury recognised in these projects new directions in interior design, including clever use of raw materials, a love of simplicity and restrained approach to design,” event manager Jacinta Reedy told Architecture & Design.

The Urban Coffee Farm & Brew Bar, VIC

Hassell created the Urban Coffee Farm & Brew Bar, a tropical coffee farm on the banks of the Yarra for the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The jury awarded them with the Sustainability Advancement Award: “Pallets, plants and shipping containers helped create a desirable and attractive space, while also addressing the ephemeral nature of installation in an intelligent manner.”

Jury member Susanna Bilardo, director of South Australia’s Enoki, told the Australian that several themes emerged in the residential decoration award. “We saw a strong graphic theme, with strong black and white prints. A 1970s theme. Very clean, very crisp white themes, as well as highly decorative block-colour themes,” she said.

Marine Parade Apartment QLD (James Dawson Interiors)

Commended for Residential Decoration the Marine Parade Apartment QLD (James Dawson Interiors) exhibits a Parisian influence with its clean lines and luxe textures. Its epic sophistication is undeniably seductive, with chic hand-drawn black and white wallpaper for visual interest.

A shift away from industrial to more sleek styles in hospitality design prompted jury member Paul Kelly, director of Paul Kelly Design (NSW) to comment, “I think the hospitality design industry has taken a leap forward. A lot of years previously there has been a following from ­Europe, but we seem to be developing our own style.”

Zumbo Melbourne (Elenberg Fraser)

Zumbo Melbourne (Elenberg Fraser) – Retail Design Award: described by the jury as a “decadent and tongue-in-cheek retail interior. It reflects patissier Adriano Zumbo’s own evolving, playful and experimental approach to creation… This is pure fantasy, indulgence and experimentation at its best and successfully creates a surprising and truly memorable retail experience.”

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.