Ellen and Sam at One Wilson Ave, Brunswick
Photography by Derek Swalwell
Hello, please tell us about yourself, your background and how you first found out about Milieu?
Ellen: We found out about Milieu by chance. Sam’s sister and her husband had been looking to buy in the Wilson Avenue development and, knowing that we wished to relocate to the Brunswick area, suggested we have a look at it also. At the time, we were living in a two-bedroom duplex. Some of its design flaws became particularly apparent during the lockdowns associated with the pandemic. The southerly aspect meant it was quite dark—we always seemed to have the lights on, whatever the time of day. In addition, we didn’t have quite enough space. At Wilson Ave we now have an extra bedroom, open plan living, a very large outdoor terrace and a fantastic northern aspect.
Was buying off the plan something you ever imagined doing?
Ellen: Purchasing off the plan was not something we had ever considered. We had always associated the concept with very large developments surrounded by similar blocks of identical apartments, often located on main roads. Having seen some of these developments stall for indefinite periods we also felt that buying off a plan could potentially involve an element of risk.
"Maintenance was also a consideration—we wanted to enjoy the space without spending too much time on the jobs usually associated with living in an older house."
What were your main considerations when finding your new home?
Ellen: We wanted somewhere with a northern aspect and plenty of light, located close to public transport and shops. We were also keen to have a bit more room than we had in the house we had been living in, but we didn’t want something that felt too big. Maintenance was also a consideration—we wanted to enjoy the space without spending too much time on the jobs usually associated with living in an older house.
How did you find the process of buying off the plan through the Milieu Sales team?
Ellen: The process of buying off the plan was relatively easy. We dealt directly with the Milieu Sales team throughout the whole process, from purchase right through to settlement. We found them to be helpful and happy to answer any queries we had along the way.
"The feeling of space is enhanced by a number of design features: taller than average ceiling heights, wide corridors, pale timber floors, the flexibility of the spaces and the generous terrace."
What do you like most about your apartment's design?
Ellen: We love the light and airy feeling and the wonderful expanse of sky that is visible from the predominately north-facing windows. The western aspect not only ensures that the apartment remains warm but provides us with a view of some beautiful sunsets. The feeling of space is enhanced by a number of design features: taller than average ceiling heights, wide corridors, pale timber floors, the flexibility of the spaces and the generous outdoor terrace.
Was moving into Wilson Avenue a lifestyle change, what have you enjoyed, what has surprised you?
Ellen: Moving to Wilson Avenue was definitely a lifestyle change. A number of our friends assumed that moving to an apartment meant that we were downsizing, but in fact, we have upsized—or re-sized—we now have that extra room that we had been wanting and, as a bonus, an extra bathroom! We had no experience of apartment living. We are enjoying the feeling of being in the centre of things, but at the same time, are often surprised at how quiet it can be—especially considering the proximity of the building to busy Sydney Road.
"We love the light and airy feeling and the wonderful expanse of sky that is visible from the predominately north-facing windows."
What do you think defines good development and successful apartment living in Melbourne?
Ellen: Small apartment buildings in which the configuration of apartments, with only a handful of apartments per floor and amenities—such as roof gardens and communal areas—encourage a sense of community.
What do you think are the most important qualities in a home?
Ellen: Light and a feeling of spaciousness, even in a small space, are essential.