LONG-DIS­TANCE CALL­ING

Liv­ing in Los An­ge­les didn’t stop Mel­bourne-born de­signer Hugh Lane from con­duct­ing a full re­fur­bish on this apart­ment back home.

VOGUE Living Australia - - Apartments - By An­nemarie Kiely

WHEN HUGH LANE first landed in Los An­ge­les in the late 1990s, he deemed it “an ab­so­lute dump”, but in­con­gru­ously de­ter­mined that he wanted to live there. “It was a city of gritty romance and ro­bust op­ti­mism,” the Mel­bourne-born de­signer now re­calls. “There was the won­der ma­chine of Hol­ly­wood, all that un­known Vic­to­rian his­tory and of course the cli­mate — I haven’t had a cold in four years.” Self-de­scrib­ing as a late-bloomer with a box-tick­ing agenda of first buy­ing a home in Mel­bourne be­fore mov­ing to California, Lane took a lengthy 15 years to re­alise the de­sired re­lo­ca­tion, but when he fi­nally did, in 2013, the young de­signer landed right in the LA dream. “I have just come from a Laut­ner house, one of his mas­ter­pieces,” he says of the sto­ried Amer­i­can ar­chi­tect who fash­ioned an ex­u­ber­ant style of or­ganic modernism. “I’ve been part of a three-year restoration of Sil­ver­top. It’s what Aus­tralian de­sign­ers dream of when mov­ing to LA, but I never thought it would just hap­pen.” And yet Lane, an alum­nus of Mel­bourne firms Hecker Phe­lan & Guthrie and KPDO, had honed such holis­tic de­sign skills in the ser­vice of Paul Hecker and Kerry Phe­lan that Amer­i­can prac­tices must have per­ceived him the anoma­lous prize. “Most LA in­te­rior de­sign­ers don’t do in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture,” he says, wax­ing lyri­cal about the ex­cel­lence of Aus­tralian ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors. “Yes, I’m liv­ing the dream, but I want to be liv­ing my own dream, not some­one else’s.” That long­ing was re­cently re­quited in this Mel­bourne apart­ment — two con­joined prop­er­ties pur­chased off the plan by a client cou­ple whose Toorak house the de­signer had re­fur­bished six years ago. As Lane re­calls it, they were down­siz­ing from that large home into a Bates Smart-de­signed ‘tower of power’, in which they needed the full fit-out and fur­nish. ››

‹‹ No mat­ter that Lane now lived in LA and would have to con­cep­tu­alise schemes long-dis­tance for rooms that were yet to ma­te­ri­alise. They had en­joyed the pre­vi­ous work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Lane and wanted him to do it. “I didn’t see the apart­ment un­til the day be­fore the in­stal­la­tion,” the de­signer says. “I was de­sign­ing blind, but with the knowl­edge of stan­dards ac­quired while work­ing on multi-res­i­den­tial projects in Aus­tralia.” En­vis­ag­ing an in­te­rior that af­fected the air of a life fully lived, Lane re­moved all ex­ist­ing car­pets and cold LED lights and con­trived a retro lux­ury with vin­tage finds and fully cus­tomised fur­nish­ings — all hand­crafted in LA. From the sand­blasted, ebonised oak din­ing ta­ble, on a con­vex­ing gold base, to the mid-cen­tury craft­ing of the cock­tail bar, Lane de­tailed with an “or­ganic glam­our” that in­stantly im­parted age. On this im­plied vin­tage base of dark woods and dusty greens and gold, he lay­ered fine art and ’50s light­ing found at LA flea mar­kets and estate sales. “I have no in­tel­lec­tual snob­bery about where things come from,” he says, in­form­ing that the clients brought only three things from their old home. “I look only at the qual­ity, the love that has gone into mak­ing some­thing and the patina it has de­vel­oped.” His pas­sion for the dis­card of LA’s hal­cyon de­sign pe­ri­ods has de­vel­oped into California Found and Made, a unique con­cept that com­bines the ef­fi­cien­cies of ecom­merce — 100-piece col­lec­tions of hand-picked LA vin­tage sell­ing online, ev­ery six months — with a one-week pop-up in Syd­ney or Mel­bourne. Watch this space! Visit hugh­lane.com. au; foun­dand­made.store

this page, from top: De­signer Hugh Lane. In the DIN­ING ROOM, bar cab­i­net de­sign and fab­ri­ca­tion by Hugh Lane; He­lios ta­ble lamp by Julien Bar­rault; Papilio Dar­danus art­work by Dario Preger; Vari­a­tions on a Theme (2010) art­work by John Bartlett from...

Pho­tographed by Sharyn Cairns

In the en­try of this Mel­bourne apart­ment de­signed by Hugh Lane, Kelly Wearstler foot­stool; Ap­pa­ra­tus Stu­dio Censer in­cense burner from Cri­te­ria Col­lec­tion (on shelf); vin­tage Cristal Arte mir­ror from Orange Fur­ni­ture, Los An­ge­les; rug de­signed by Hugh...

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