Follow your instincts

Follow you instincts

This is the home of our DevelophHer and BuildHer Kirsty Ristevski and her family. Kirsty is a passionate boutique residential Property Developer. She shows us that sometimes in life (and Developing), you just need to follow your instincts.

Kirsty and her partner, Alex, purchased the property in 2017 as a potential 4-storey apartment development opportunity. It was situated on a commercial site with 3 street frontages between Albert Park Village and St Vincent Gardens. 

They managed to purchase off market by making contact with the owners, via the commercial agent. As luck would have it, they had a lot in common with the owners. This helped build a relationship which ultimately ended in them owing the site. 

This is a great example of being proactive and going for what you believe in. You never know unless you try! As women who have an Interior Design skill (when timing and circumstance permits) renovating your home is a great way to showcase your work.

Why and how this property came about

The Ristevski’s had moved many times over the 10 years prior to this renovation. They had lived overseas and fully developed a number of properties.

They now had 2 young boys and a 3 year old labradoodle to take into consideration. So, they decided the timing wasn’t right to go full steam into a commercial development.

Instead, they saw the opportunity to make the most of the site’s incredible location near the bay. Being a stone’s throw from the local primary school, and moments from the local tennis club in Albert Park, they knew exactly what they needed to do. Follow their instincts. 

They decided to turn their project into a home with a completely separate, fully-fitted 1 bedroom short stay accommodation. Kirsty says “It would be fun to run, and could provide a solid income stream.” We like your thinking!! They followed their instincts and look where it got them.

“A home designed for living, for growing, for fun, for entertaining. A unique, unexpected home. A home for making memories.”


The renovation took place between 2018 – 2020 with the majority of the internal work taking 6 months. A further 6 months was taken to complete the build.

There was a single-fronted terrace also on the title which was converted into 1-bedroom cottage accommodation. 

This enabled Kirsty and her family to provide themselves with an Airbnb income on the side – win, win!

The Team

Design & styling: Kirsty Ristevski @miss.sneakypeek 

Style Assist: Ivy Huang @homes_by_ivy

Build: Michael Crewes @braceconstruct

Photos: Dylan James Photography @dylanjamesphoto


As a Designer, Kirsty likes to work with a building’s bones. This allowed a combination of the history of this site, along with its imminent new purpose to determine the design direction.

“The design & build process was fluid, fast, FUN and incredibly rewarding – especially as Mick (from @braceconstruct) was so adept at working with our vision!”

With influences from hotel experiences at home and abroad, you can really see this in the finished product. For example, the concept for the ‘kitch-bar’ originally evolving from a stay at the fabulous Kit Kemp-designed Ham Yard hotel in London.

Another key influence in the design of this home is the work of one of Australia’s best:  the most-fabulous and ever-so-lovely David Flack of @flackstudio_. His ability to play on colour, fun, livability and accentuating the bones of a property.

About the Home

There’s so much to love about this home that Kirsty has created. As we mentioned earlier, the kitchen bar, for one, is next level! Some of the other unique touches comprise of colour changing carpets, original concrete ceilings, and the cinema room has a lovely moody feel to it. 

It’s not all about the adults though, the children have a net to hang from and the dog has a mouse’s house! The growing teenagers can also work out in their own gym.

Upstairs the parents have their own floor with city lights AND their own WFH street-level office. Who wouldn’t love that in this day and age??

One of the stand-out features, though, is a marbled Flinders Street Station wall. Having visited Earp Brothers (formerly Bespoke Tile & Stone) Kirsty wondered where this huge marble tiled mural she remembered had been relocated. Long story short, she was able to purchase said mural and now it wraps around her living room wall.

“This is a commercial property where we’ve worked within the existing structure (& ugly exterior) to convert the interior into a fun, incredibly livable home, with a surprising mix of texture through experimentation with materials, where form ultimately meets function. It’s the best home we’ve lived in by far – and the last one we renovated was hard to beat! We’re moving in no hurry (#famouslastwords)”

So much thought and detail has gone into this build, from piecing the tile puzzle together in the garden, to lighting up the staircase. You can really tell how much time and effort Kirsty and her family have put into the planning of their home. At the end of the day, only you know what you want and need out of a home and to be able to say you’re not moving in a hurry is testament to say you got it right!

What’s Next?

With a huge set of experience in Marketing and Interior Design she is also the Creative Director at Melbourne-based digital furnishing startup, FURNISHD.

We look forward to seeing what Kirsty has up her sleeve in her future developments!!

If you can relate to Kirsty’s story and want to learn more about Developing for Profit, book in a free 20 call Here. You can become a Buildher by joining Here.

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