Attention to detail

Catherine MacGillivray

 While many apartments on Seven Mile Beach have a similar layout and spectacular view, it’s the design details that make each of them unique.

This is most certainly the case at a residence in Water’s Edge residential complex where no expense has been spared on the interior decor.

The four-bedroom apartment has an understated elegance with an emphasis placed on quality finishes and attention to detail.

Interior design firm IDG was commissioned to remodel the upscale home using high-end materials to personalize the space for the owners.

“The design is an eclectic mix of finishes and colors that lean toward a contemporary use of products purposely contrasted with the more traditional elements of the interior architecture,” says Ashleigh Lund, director of IDG. “The client’s preference was for leathers, rich browns and warm colors so we incorporated those throughout.”

Artistic touches in the apartment also give a nod to living by the sea, with marine-themed murals, mosaics and colors strategically placed as design statements.


“While most of the finishes IDG used are exotic and not specific to the theme, the idea of being on the water was important to the client so our design team incorporated nuances of the sea throughout the space where it made sense to do so,” says Ashleigh.

This includes, opposite the entrance door, a mural of a jellyfish which was created by supplying a high-res image of the sea creature to a company that makes this specific wall treatment. It’s comprised of clear, beaded wallpaper that allows the colors of the photo image to come through while, at the same time, casting a subtle shimmer from the small beads when light bounces off the image.

There is also a mosaic on the floor in the entrance hall for which IDG worked with a company from Istanbul.

“We selected an image – in this case, an antiquated, stylized octopus made from small rough-cut stone pieces,” Ashleigh explains. “We then customized the color palette and dimensions to create the mosaic medallion.”


The walls themselves are a work of art, with coverings ranging from luxurious leather to mosaic tiles made out of horn.

In the master bedroom and media room, there are leather wall tiles sourced from Brazil.

“These tiles are designed to be placed on walls much like wallpaper but are not constructed the same way; they are individual pieces designed to work with our custom pattern and color palette, as in the media room,” Ashleigh explains.

“In the master bedroom, we chose a lightly textured ivory leather tile that perfectly matches the existing travertine floors. By doing this, we were able to add visual interest and depth to the walls while at the same time creating a more intimate setting in this large space.”

The wall treatment for the seating area in the master bedroom also came from Brazil and is composed of thin squares of polished horn, individually placed side by side then assembled together on large wood panels for installation. The finished look resembles mosaic tiles.


 The master bath is entirely composed from the Shading Blends collection, which is exclusive to Bisazza, a leading producer of glass mosaics, and fashioned from the finest mosaic tesserae.

“We worked with the company to create a custom dark-to-light shading palette that would best suit the specified areas, taking into account ceiling heights and spacial width,” says Ashleigh.

“This generous use of tiles is mainly found in high-end spas and notable hotel resorts throughout the world, but in this Water’s Edge penthouse – given the curved walls and open en suite bathroom – the dramatic impact worked visually well here.”

In the media room, IDG created a custom patchwork design for the large doors concealing the audio-visual system by using various colors, textures and tile sizes and incorporating larger, single-color tiles on the remaining walls. Not only does the leather help with sound absorption but it also creates a warm and intimate space appropriate for a media room.

“The idea of the patchwork wall cover came from the very large custom leather sectional sofa which is composed of individual modular pieces,” says Ashleigh.

“The tables are also composite pieces made from reclaimed wood. We paired four solid squares together in alternate finishes to enhance the patchwork design of the space and also to offer flexibility with the seating arrangements as the tables can be separated and moved around accordingly.”

The mosaic theme continues in the powder room where red coral is the main design element.


The mirrored cabinet was customized into a vanity unit and selected for its reflective quality in order for the coral to be seen through throughout the bathroom without interruption.

Likewise, the vanity mirror was chosen for its specific line design, which abstractly mimics the curves and angles of the coral branches.

“The client requested an above-counter vessel so we sourced a hand-blown glass basin in bright red that complements the mosaic tile,” explains Ashleigh.

The room designed for the clients’ son continues the underwater theme with a mural painted by local artist, Tansy Maki. The green basin was also custom-painted on island – a shade chosen to both complement and contrast the colors in the horizontal striped wall tiles in the bathroom.


The focus on design detail has been continued upwards to the ceilings where several chandeliers add glamour to the apartment’s stately ambiance.

The fabulous foyer chandelier is made from hand-blown Murano glass and its style is in keeping with the more traditional elements of the space it defines.

The dining room chandeliers, meanwhile, were sourced from Baker Lighting and are made with cascading mouth-blown Murano glass disks.

At 60 inches in diameter, the master bedroom chandelier is created from polished nickel and clear-cut crystal chains. This fixture is chic and contemporary yet still elegant, and the design is well suited for the space, complementing the mosaic tiles beautifully.



The main indoor living areas are minimalist and uncluttered with the sleek seating selected from a modern furniture company specializing in leather products chosen for their freestyle, circular lines to work with the curved walls in the great room architecture.

In contrast to the interior, the huge covered terrace which juts outs over Seven Mile Beach is busy and bright.

“We designed three separate spaces on the patio for mixed use,” explains Ashleigh. “The first was an oversized conversational lounge area, ideal for large social gatherings. The second space was a more private lounge area for intimate settings and, the third was a dining area able to seat 10 to 12 guests comfortably.

“We selected pieces that were fun as well as functional and continued this feeling throughout with the bright colors and patterns found in the fabrics – a special request from the clients.”

Overall, the attention to detail and various finishes throughout the apartment create an interesting visual story, ensuring that it is a one-of-a-kind residence on the beach.



Stephen Clarke