Blainey North shortlisted in SBID Awards for Sydney penthouse design

Blainey North shortlisted in SBID Awards for Sydney penthouse design
Blainey North shortlisted in SBID Awards for Sydney penthouse design

The Sydney CBD apartment of property developer John Boyd and his wife Marly has been described as the most impressive penthouse in Australia.

It is now gaining international recognition, having been announced as a finalist in the SBID International Design Awards 2016 in the residential design category costing over £1 million.

The bespoke decor was undertaken by the Sydney interior decorator, Blainey North.

Competition for the coveted prize comes from all over the world. The public can vote.

There's an apartment in One Hyde Park in London, the world's most luxurious residential apartment complex, among the finalists, as is the Haibo Sheshan Villa in Shanghai.

The prize is even being sought by the designers who fitted out a luxury 40 metre boat, formerly owned by fashion designer Roberto Cavlli.

The Boyd's apartment sits 43 storey's high above the ANZ Castlereagh Street office block which John Boyd sold to Grocon in 2013, while keeping the penthouse that overlooks Hyde Park.

Everything inside the three level apartment is custom made, including what's been described as the biggest rug in the southern hemisphere which was hand-sew back together as one piece.

North had only been contacted by Boyd with the intention of buying some of her custom-designed furniture, but after seeing the bare space she convinced the Boyd's to let her design it.

“I feel really comfortable designing this scale,” she told The Australian's Wish Magazine.

“The idea I tabled with them at [the first meeting] is that I felt there needed to be some sort of connecting [motif] and so we developed this idea of the black ribbon.

"It outlines and connects all of the different levels,” North explains.

She reckons the apartment even has a Batman feel to it, with the black ribbon effect which is made of wood with six coats of lacquer.

It comes down from the ceilings, traces the windows, turns into the bar unit, becomes the balustrade of the staircase and runs into the bedrooms where it becomes the bedside tables.

It ends on the top floor with its pool and cabana.

“We have been talking about Batman all through the design process,” North added.

“When you drive into the basement, you come into your own private lift and ride up into your apartment above a bank, which has views all around the city. 

"It is totally private, it’s totally secure and it’s kind of like this life in the sky in the middle of the city.”

The project adds to North's already impressive portfolio, having previously been commissioned for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's 798 sqm amalgamated penthouse high above Lavender Bay.

She's also designed office space for actor Russell Crowe.

She’s also been billionaire James Packer's preferred decorator overseeing the re-opening of the Conservatory buffet restaurant at Crown Casino in Melbourne. 

North, who married Russell Crowe’s personal assistant, Keith Rodger in 2011, is a fan of art deco.

Indeed her first home – sold in 2010 to model Lara Bingle at $882,000 – was in an art deco Darling Point apartment complex.

It was a renovated, one-bedroom unit with views which North had paid $700,000.

John Boyd's wife, Marly says Blainey had a much greater vision for the apartment as a whole entity.

"It has personality, it has homeliness, but it also pays great respect to the architecture which was always important to us.” 

Visitors are apparently greeted in the entrance hall with a built-in floor-to-ceiling wine fridge full of the world’s best bubbles.

"You will always be offered a glass of champagne," says Marly when you visit the Boyds’ incredible home in the sky.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph.

Penthouses Design Awards

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