Pocket Condo

August 5, 2021
A calm and balanced feeling permeates Paul Cohen’s compact apartment in McMahons Point.

            Pocket Condo

Perched above Lavender Bay, the sweeping views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and beyond, give this home an instant sense of majesty and serenity. The location is further enhanced by a warm, nature-inspired interior, which features a Poliform kitchen and custom robes, as well as elegant furniture pieces selected by Paul from the Poliform collection. 

With an interior designed by himself an Australian designer, and lecturer in design - the home echoes his personal aesthetic - a love of balance, proportion and minimalism. Reminiscing about the renovation Paul says he was quite mindful of creating a natural feeling inside the apartment.

“I moved in for short time to get a feeling for the space. It was always my intention to renovate, and Poliform was always front of mind.

I feel like the design, for those products, are the sort of level I that I like and being a designer myself, I think Italians do design very well. Half the design is in the detail,” Cohen says. The stainless-steel topped Phoenix kitchen – cool and minimal, is warmed up by the mid brown Elm veneer which adds texture and a longitudinal, wood grain. In the kitchen-dining area, cool white tones, and premium grey appliances (all designed by Paul) punctuate the space.

“I really liked this particular kitchen. Poliform had it on display and I instantly fell in love with it. In fact, the entire design of this place was based around this kitchen,” says Paul. Introducing warm toned floorboards and a timber panelled feature wall in the bedroom, Paul has carried the tone of Poliform’s elm finish to the rest of the home. With particular attention to detail and a modern, minimal style, the home is unified by classic pieces that make the most of the wonderful views. 

Being just 66 sqm, each design decision was made to enhance a spacious, and harmonious feeling. As Paul admits, his apartment had to be a soothing mix of form and function, maximising the sense of ease in his ultimately downsized, but sky-high pad. The apartment, situated in an older block, was always destined for a complete renovation when Paul down-sized from a large waterside development of his own in Cammeray at the end of 2017. 

Moving into this size apartment was a natural next step for the designer who wanted a beautifully appointed space, that still felt warm and welcoming. “Here the value is that you get very high quality for a small space. I think this is where Poliform residential can be really good. Yes it's premium, but you are getting such a great product and quality. Everything has worn very, very well.” Taking just over one year to complete the project, Paul Cohen worked directly with Meredith Ong at Poliform Sydney to create his ideal apartment, to his exact specifications. 

“The installers were incredible," he recalls. “They measured up about three times before they installed. I put in stringent requests with them and we had limited ceiling heights to work with. So we designed the ceiling in the bedroom to fit this cabinet and we had to work with heights that would fit into the lift.” It was a precision job for this industrial designer, who appreciates both Poliform’s high quality and the way it wears over time. 

Paul admits he loved his Poliform experience so much that it became ‘contagious’ and he extended his order from just a kitchen – to beautiful a green silk rug, the Mondrian couch, a Standford chair in tan leather, a customised Senzafine robe, two Dream side tables for his master bedroom, a Poliform Arca bed with ample storage, a compact Trevi dining table, and white New Entry hallway robes. 

Being someone who knows a lot about the creation of high-end residential appliances Paul says he appreciated Poliform’s precision. Having worked with international companies including Siemens in China and Breville at home, as well as several overseas premium brands to create minimalist toasters, kettle, knives and coffee machines for very particular,contemporary clients, he likes his lines light and his volumes maximised, products that when complete are free of extraneous detail. 

Underfloor heating, ceiling height strip lighting, a transparent walk-in-robe in the master bedroom and white or tonal side tables in melamine or marble were all selected to recede from view, open up the space and expand the living space; visually.

Discover the products featured in this home

Desgined by Paul Cohen

Photography by Tom Ferguson

Poliform Phoenix kitchen with longitudinal elm veneer finish and Poliform Harmony stool.
Left: Phoenix kitchen with Harmony Stool pulled up to the bench. Right: Poliform inserts, customised for the small format kitchen bench.
Left: Poliform Ego walk in robe and right the Arca bed and Dream side table also by Poliform.
Poliform's Mondrian sofa and Stanford armchair all feature in the McMahons Point apartment along with the Poliform Frame rug in olive green bamboo and silk.