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Industrial chic in Brisbane

06 July 2020

The focus was to create kitchen, living and bar/games areas that flowed and were usable as one space yet still defined separately.

The Refinery Penthouse is a loft-style penthouse duplex situated in Brisbane’s historic CSR Sugar Refinery Building in the vibrant inner-city Brisbane riverfront suburb of New Farm.

Anju Designs’ clients had lived in the apartment for ten years and wanted a complete makeover.

The couple’s brief was to inject a contemporary, industrial feel into the apartment, whilst maintaining its historic charm. Penny Middlemiss, co-founder of Anju Designs, centralised all living areas and included lots of colour while paying respect to the heritage of the building. 

The owners love to entertain, so a focus was to create kitchen, living and bar/games areas that flowed and were usable as one space yet still defined separately. This entailed a complete internal re-build of these spaces.


The couple’s brief was to inject a contemporary, industrial feel into the apartment.

The kitchen was given generous proportions and a custom single-pour concrete kitchen bench, and butler’s pantry hidden behind a custom-made steel contemporary take on a barn door. A bar was custom-built in, along with other elements to maximise the space and add to the contemporary and industrial feel that Penny wanted to create.

A new solid oak floor was installed – custom-made in Europe with a wire brush finish. Some of the existing brick walls had been covered over, so they were stripped back to reveal the original red brick. All new furniture was sourced for her clients, with the sole exception of the dining table, which stayed as it had sentimental value.


The kitchen was given generous proportions and a custom single-pour concrete kitchen bench.

The addition of a sliding steel and glass door was ANju’s contemporary twist on a barn door. Other features included repairing and repointing the brick walls to frame the views of the river, and the installation of an antique ship’s wheel which was mounted on the exposed brick wall as a focus point.

The apartment is one of a few apartments in The Refinery that is allowed a balcony due to its heritage-listed status.

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