Apartments designed for people,
not investors

Words by Tiffany Jade
Photography by Derek Swalwell

When Nicole and Patrick Johnson-Devery purchased their 2 bedroom Milieu apartment off-the-plan back in 2015 they were officially ending their property purchase journey after a complete about-face on what they had initially thought they wanted most from a home.

Like many young families, Nicole and Patrick had gone through the ringer of the property market and, having decided that suburban living was not for them, became strongly united by their desire to find a design focused property within their inner urban community. It was important to them both that they retain the plentiful public amenity and desirable lifestyle they loved. Basically, they were opting to embrace the allure of all the prospects apartment living offered, and to the connected, vibrant buzz that residing in close proximity to a city brings. A residential model that is quickly gaining traction among families who recognise the perks of multi-residential living in a city as cosmopolitan as Melbourne.

“We flipped our mindset on a smaller place” says Patrick, of their decision to purchase in Milieu’s North Fitzroy development. Designed by Fieldwork Architects and elevated by the beautifully tactile materiality of Flack’s interiors, the Devery’s were drawn to the buildings superb design elements and enviable location which seamlessly aligned with their “buy once, buy well” philosophy when it came to finding the perfect home. “Everything was right” says Nicole, of the light flooded apartment.

Nicole and Patrick have managed to beautifully encapsulate the concept of a minimal life and, along with their children Ludi (11) and Quinn (9), and their Boston Terrier Johnny, have created a home that is so cohesive as to be almost poetic. The open plan living and kitchen share a light colour palette and a highly considered joinery and furniture arrangement that see’s everything in its rightful place. Nicole reflects on their move from a townhouse to their new apartment as the beginning of a new lifestyle that stems from a holistic practise that is fast becoming a norm by todays social standards. The family went through a purging of all their belongings that proved to be liberating and highly conducive to the new standard of living the family were wanting.

The Dervery’s apartment is bookended by a light and spacious entry void - with luscious greenery at its centre, curved staircases against the linear facade, eye-catching tiled flooring, and midcentury charm - and a large private terrace featuring the signature white mesh shutters that make up the iconic facade of the building. The apartments lofty, sun dappled aspect, with views across the rooftops of North Fitzroy, contributes to an aesthetic that is open and unquestionably connected to the community that lies beyond the building. This kindred relationship between private and public, interior and exterior, contributes immensely to the apartments profound sense of liveability.

“I never want to leave this apartment” say Patrick who see’s the longevity of their home as having multifaceted potential as a forever home after kids have flown the coop, or as a possible future option for Ludi and Quinn to share if they end up studying at one of the university’s nearby.

Until then, the Dervery’s continue to embrace the uniqueness of their home in terms of aesthetic, as well as the countless amenities they have gained - literally on their doorstep - in opting to remain within their inner north-side Melbourne community. This decision is proving to be a sound one with a discerning lesson for others as we collectively move towards future proofing Melbourne’s residential landscape.

This profile was first published as part of the upcoming Neometro-Milieu collaboration at Wilson Avenue, Brunswick. For more information about the project, please register your interest or call Patrick Cooney on 0408 527 248.

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