the convenience of small spaces and swapping food with neighbours
— at
Nightingale Studios
Nightingale Anstey — Laneway
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Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a Filipina from Manila, Philippines. I moved to Australia in 2019. I work as a full-time theatre nurse specialising in neurosurgery and thoracics in one of the private hospitals in Melbourne. I am new to owning a home.  I enjoy eating out and trying new cafes and restaurants, so much so that I have an Instagram account solely for food (@kixeatsmelbs). I have a partner but we live apart. We live in separate Nightingale apartments. You may say we're 'apartners'.

How did you find out about Nightingale, and what aspects of the Nightingale approach most appealed to you?

I heard about Nightingale through my partner on our first date, when I was here on holiday in 2018. He was already a Nightingale purchaser then. When I officially moved here for work, I attended a Nightingale tour and that convinced me to ballot for Nightingale Anstey.

Aside from being well-designed, the sustainability aspect is what drew me to Nightingale. The community aspect I didn’t think of as much since I’m a bit introverted, but since I’ve moved here I’m really happy about having a community, especially since I don’t have any family in Australia.

How do you find the size of your Teilhaus apartment? 

This is my first time living alone, so this place is actually quite big for me. In Manila I lived with my family all my life (moving out is not a thing there) and then when I moved to Singapore for five years I had a roommate (literally we shared a room!) and then when I moved here I had flatmates. So being independent, in my own apartment which I bought myself, is pretty liberating. 

I like that when you enter a Teilhaus, you can see everything. I don’t think a really big place is for me because I wouldn’t be able to use the space properly. This is very accessible, and easy to clean. When I do a late shift and then start early the next day, I just drop my bag, shower, sleep, wake up, and go. 

What’s your favourite part of your apartment design? 

My bathroom. It makes me so happy. I like that it has a window and it’s bright, and the terrazzo is beautiful, together with the white wall, the concrete basin and the white curtain and the brass rail. I like all the brass fittings, with the patina slowly showing.

How do visitors react when they see your apartment? 

Whenever friends come over the first thing they say is, ‘Your apartment’s really warm’, and they take off their jackets straight away. Then I tell them how much the hydronic heating costs and they’re like, ‘What?!’ It’s only something like $7 per quarter. Then once they get over the warmth, they’ll say ‘Oh it’s really beautiful, everything is so well made.’ 

How are you finding the induction cooktop?

Good! It’s really amazing because it's so easy to clean, and boiling water is also really quick. It takes a minute for a full pot. And I like the ‘warming’ option as well, to keep your food warm. And the timer. Love it. 

How has living at Anstey impacted your ability to live more sustainably?

I’m already the more environmentally friendly person in my group of friends, and being here has encouraged me to be more that person. I’m part of the ‘garbage gang’. It’s a subcommittee at Anstey for recycling and waste. We’re still in the process of establishing our plans. The goal is to improve education regarding waste management, like how to dispose of waste properly, and make recycling easy for all residents. I really tried to be in that group because I wanted to learn more about it.

Have you got to know your neighbours?

I was a bit anxious meeting my neighbours because I'm the shy type who won’t really ask people questions, because I feel like it’s invasive. But now I really appreciate it because my neighbours are amazing, they’re all really nice and helpful and kind. Sometimes when I bake something, I'll message everyone to see if they want some, and then I’ll wrap it up for them and knock on their door and we’ll have a little chat. I’m also part of the Nightingale Anstey Laneway gardening group and it has been a great way to get to know my neighbours too. We’ve started planting in our veggie patch. So far the plants are all alive.

What are your top local spots?

For bagels, I like Mile End Bagels. I like the cafe Sani in Brunswick East – I really love their coffee and their almond croissants. Bar Texaco has a nice spicy margarita. Lux Foundry I like going to when it’s sunny. The new ramen place, Gomi Ramen, serves really yummy vegetarian ramen. Hotel Railway is also a go-to place for drinks and good ol' pub food. They also play nice music and the space is beautiful.

First published in
August 2022