Making It Personal
See how to design an apartment for your own unique style like our resident in Queensland.
Exquisitely eclectic, this Brisbane apartment has been customised to reflect the owner’s unique style – and their mobility needs.
When visitors arrive at Chrissie & Sam Buchanan’s striking apartment at Mirvac’s Tennyson Reach, they are drawn in by the couple’s brilliant flair for colour and their collection of eye-catching furniture and art. Less noticeable are the subtle modifications made to accommodate Sam’s mobility issues.“ When we were looking to downsize from our family home we knew we would need to work with a property partner who could accommodate our design sensibilities, but also create a home that is easy for someone in a wheelchair,” says Chrissie.
“One of the great attractions of Mirvac was that they were so willing to adapt the apartment for our needs – they made initial changes to entry points, added ramps to our balcony and the internal courtyard for easy access, plus adapted the island bench in the kitchen and basin access in the bathroom. The apartment’s practical open-plan design already suited us, but these changes just make our life that much easier.”
“Little modifications like having the taps at the side of the basin, rather than the back, make a huge difference for people with mobility issues.”
“It’s a very friendly community and quite a few of us residents have become great friends and enjoy meeting together regularly.” Chrissie says that the community facilities were also a major draw card in their purchase. “I use the gym and love the fact I can work out in an immaculate, air-conditioned facility that opens at 5am each day and has TV screens on the cardio machines,” she said. We have a café on site that is open from 7.30am so that has become a popular place to meet friends and family. It is easy for visitors to park right out the front of the building.
“We also have a volunteer group to help with aspects of the private and public gardens around the buildings which has been a lovely way to interact with each other. There are quite a few golfers and tennis players among us who organize games from time to time.
“Natural light and solar orientation are so important to the feel of a home, not just to show off our collection but also for practicality”
Passionate about architecture, interior design and travel as well as avid collectors of furniture and antiques, the couple have amassed their collection over 48 years of marriage. They also inherited several key pieces from beloved relatives.
“We imported bespoke furnishing fabrics for 15 years and in every home we own we decorate it as an extension of our personality and indulge our love of design”. “In this apartment we have wallpapered every single wall in the apartment and added a bespoke water feature to the courtyard.
“We bought off the plan, so we were able to choose the interior palette, we chose the lighter of the two neutral schemes available and it’s testament to Mirvac’s good design that it works so well with our bright and bold decorating taste.”
The Buchanan’s previously resided on acreage outside of Brisbane, so the luxury of space and natural light was a necessity when looking for their next move. “Natural light and solar orientation are so important to the feel of a home, not just to show off our collection but also for practicality, our apartment is cool in summer and warm in winter. This comes down to good design. We also get brilliant air flow,” says Chrissie. The fact that the couple could keep their Bishon Friese dog, Freddie, was also very important.
“Freddie has come to know a lot of our neighbours and we regularly walk around the area and stop and talk to other dog owners and meet new people.
“Most of all, I just really enjoy the informal and impromptu get-togethers the residents have.” The Buchanon’s recently celebrated a decade in the apartment, and have no intention of ever moving. “We are definitely staying at Tennyson Reach for the long term. We love it just as much now as we did the day we moved in,” says Chrissie.”