Black magic

Cameron Comer opts for the dark side with a moody back­drop that sets the scene for his fun dec­o­rat­ing style, writes Louise Surette

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - com­erand­ the­giantart­pro­ PHOTOS: CHRIS GROENHOUT

IN STARK con­trast to the sur­round­ing modern high-rises that hover above, Cameron Comer’s cosy Art Deco apart­ment in Mel­bourne stands out as an ode to art and colour.

The in­te­rior de­signer wasn’t con­tem­plat­ing buy­ing any­thing when he came across the 1930s two-bed­room apart­ment, which, al­though sur­rounded by hus­tle and bus­tle, is a sur­pris­ingly quiet and pri­vate space.

“It was my favourite build­ing in the area and it was the style of apart­ment I liked,” Mr Comer said.

“I love the nearby parks and the high-rises. There is such an in­ter­est­ing mix here.”

Hav­ing al­ways wanted to live in a black apart­ment, Mr Comer knew the look would suit the space and this was his chance. He trans­formed the plain, cream walls and added graphic black lines to the ceil­ing.

“No one was do­ing it at the time,” he said of the bold dec­o­rat­ing de­ci­sion he made when he moved in 12 years ago.

“What I love about it is that it makes the space quite warm and al­lows ev­ery­thing else to re­ally stand out.”

Among the stand­outs is an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of art, cus­tom-made fur­ni­ture and dec­o­ra­tive pieces, many of which are spe­cial gifts, child­hood pieces and sou­venirs col­lected over the years.

Touches of de­light­ful whimsy are dot­ted around the space and in­clude a dough­nut stool, a col­lec­tion of fast­food toys and the odd gar­den gnome, as well.

“I spend a lot of time and en­ergy search­ing for things that are hard to get,” he said.

“I choose colours that are dis­con­tin­ued be­cause they are the ones ev­ery­one isn’t us­ing any more.”

An in­te­rior de­signer at Comer & King, which has a dis­tinct ho­tel lux slant to many of its projects, Mr Comer said his home was where he could cre­ate his own in­di­vid­ual style, which was hard to de­fine.

“I’m cer­tainly not trendy and, in fact, I go out of my way to make sure what I’m do­ing in my home isn’t fash­ion­able,” he said. “I think my style is sim­ply

dec­o­ra­tive but also fun. In­te­ri­ors should be fun and it shouldn’t be taken too se­ri­ously.”

His in­te­ri­ors work, as well as a few other de­sign en­deav­ours in­clud­ing The Gi­ant Art Project, which sells af­ford­able art in a range of for­mats, means Mr Comer’s work life and home life col­lide quite reg­u­larly. Case in point is his large main bed­room, which acts as a place to sleep and as an of­fice.

As for the sec­ond bed­room, Mr Comer was able to turn this into his own dress­ing room. Com­plete with his sig­na­ture black walls, the lux­u­ri­ous space al­lows him to show­case his or­gan­i­sa­tional know-how.

“I’ve al­ways wanted a dress­ing room and I love be­ing able to have ev­ery­thing on show,” he said.

Mr Comer has plans to update the bath­room and kitchen but find­ing the time is tricky. “I do prob­a­bly work too much but I love it,” he said. “It’s not sav­ing lives but it re­ally is nice to change peo­ple’s en­vi­ron­ment and how they live. It’s im­por­tant to love where you live. Ev­ery day I still smile when I walk in my home.”

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