Supersizing Their SanctuaryHerald Sun, Peter Farago - Published July 2015
A group of buyers has discovered a way of supersizing their new apartments.
As the average size of off-the-plan one and two bedroom apartments in Melbourne falls, some buyers have looked to combine two smaller apartments to create a larger home.
It's a practice that buyers of penthouse and sub-penthouse apartments have used in the past to create massive luxury innter-city pads, but now more buyers are cottoning on to the benefits on lower floors or in low-rise developments.
And developers and architects are happy to accommodate their clients' grand plans, giving buyers an enlarged shell to fit their custom home.
Research shows the average size of new one and two bedroom apartments in Melbourne has been shrinking.
A State Government discussion paper on apartment design estimated 61 per cent of new two bedroom units - the most popular being marketing in Melbourne - were between 56 and 70 sqm.
Dina Gatsios is already shopping for furniture despite construction of her apartment in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, not set to be completed until 2016.
"I still want to continue living in an apartment because it gives me a whole different lifestyle than what a house does. That's more to do with maintenance than anything else," Ms Gatsios said.
"What I've also acknowledged is I wanted to put two together to give me a bigger living area and much more entertainment."
The foundations of 181 are taking shape opposite Albert Park. The 10-storey Pace development offers 160 apartments with interior design by Sue Carr, of Carr Design.
Twenty per cent of the building has been sold to people buying two apartments and amalgamating them.
"I've got two bedrooms, two bathrooms. It also has allowed me the ability to put as much lighta s possible in the apartment. For instance, in the main bedroom, which overlooks Albert Park, my window into the lounge area is all glazed.
The initial two-bedroom apartment contains Ms Gatsios's kitchen, dining and living zones, with a scullery behind the kitchen.
"For me, it makes it as different as possible and as luxurious as possible. The boys were happy to help."
Ms Gatsios is paying $1.2 million for the 130 sqm apartment but admits some of her finishes have increased the final price.