Inside $1.6m ‘noir-inspired’ apartment where even the toilet paper is black

Richard Duce, pictured inset with his Picasso paintings, at the renovated Surfers Paradise apartment.
Gold Coast property boss Richard Duce is in the black after selling his noir-inspired luxury beachfront apartment for almost twice what he paid.
The bold Surfers Paradise pad decked out in floor-to-ceiling black sold under the hammer for $1.582m — with the new owner also taking home a bonus Picasso artwork valued at $300,000.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit at 1202/20 The Esplanade was marketed by Lucy Cole, of Lucy Cole Prestige Properties.
Mr Duce, an acquisitions manager for prominent developer Leda Holdings, purchased the 12th floor property for $765,000 in 2018.
Floor to ceiling black
Panoramic ocean views
He transformed its interiors in dark and dramatic style, with polished tiled floors, upholstered walls, kitchen cabinetry and even a spa in the main bedroom all in black.
Ms Cole said the owner offered up an added incentive at the auction, with the buyer to take their pick of one of three lithographs by pioneering Cubist artist Picasso.
Auctioneer Richard Keeley fielded offers from 5 registered bidders, with a total of 58 bids received before the hammer fell.
Ms Cole said the Toowoomba-based buyer was “very happy” to receive the unexpected addition to his newly purchased holiday home — though where it will be displayed has not been confirmed.
Richard Duce with some of the pieces from his art collection. Picture: Tertius Pickard
With the signed Picasso the buyer selected. Picture: Tertius Pickard
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Mr Duce, an avid collector and former owner of shop Rare and Famous Memorabilia at Chevron Island, had earlier sought to sell the paintings as they clashed with the home’s quirky decor — even the toilet paper was black.
He obtained the Picasso artworks around 2003. Two were signed in 1955 and 1954.
The north-east facing apartment in the sought-after Zenith building was considered a rare gem, offering 133 sqm of floorspace with spectacular ocean and city skyline views.
The apartment is on the 12th floor of the Zenith building
“A prized ‘02’ apartment is rarely available,” Ms Cole said.
“The interior is tastefully decorated to perfectly complement its unique position and aspect, adding to its charm and character, with top-of-the-range appliances, superior fittings, and quality furniture throughout.
“The Zenith apartments are very sought after because of their beachfront location and resort facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, a gym and tennis court, all within walking distance to the centre of Surfers Paradise, its cafes, restaurants, and famous Surf Club.”

The spa was delivered by helicopter
The master bedroom with black spa and plush wall

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