QUA L I TY cont rol
W HAT HAS INFORMED AND INSPIRED YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY AND AESTHETIC? I have always been inspired by beautiful architecture and interiors, and the way they in uence our lives. The beauty of the natural world, travel, fashion and art are my muses. I’m inspired by natural light, and the colour palettes of landscape, sky and sea. Travel, and sourcing oneoff pieces from other cultures is a passion too. Frequent trips to the US, Asia and Europe keep my design perspective broad and my projects fresh. The Noguchi Museum in New York, Dries Van Noten’s colourways, and Rick Owens’s monolithic new agship store in New York are some of my current favourites. IS THERE A COMMON ELEMENT OR APPROACH THAT RUNS THROUGH YOUR WORK? Each building and brief we work on is unique, so my designs are individual, rather than re ecting one particular style. Functionality, quality and beauty are my principles. Well-laid out, generous spaces and natural light are crucial. Quality rather than quantity guides me in selecting materials, ttings, furniture and artwork. Beauty is always a goal ... for its ability to ease the mind, lift the spirits, and for the pure, lasting pleasure it brings. WHAT INITIALLY APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT THE SITE OF YOUR STUDIO, A ND W HAT D ID THE A LTERATIONS ENTAIL? Our studio is on the ground oor of a heritage Victorian terrace in Potts Point. I’ve always liked the area, its energy and creative mix of the high and low. We chose this building for its lovely facade and fourmetre-high ceilings. I also liked the idea of being on the ground oor, with parking, and the option to have large doors opening onto a sheltered courtyard. Then the work really began. The interiors were close to derelict – dark, damp, full of rubble and broken furniture. We opened up the heritage-listed front rooms, and maximised their view to the street and new courtyard. The back half of the building was re-designed and re-built. Demolishing a hefty structural wall provided beautiful light, scale and spaciousness. Oversized French doors open in front of the granite Japanese fountain, bringing serenity to the studio. All services were renewed, a new oor slab poured and laid with Spanish limestone. A fully equipped kitchen with stunning emerald marble bridges the old and new. The glass ‘conservatory’ roof and huge steelframed door bring the small, lush courtyard garden into the space visually. We carefully selected feature lighting, such as the 1970s Stilnovo wall lights in the studio, keeping the ceilings clean.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE COMPLETED SPACE? Our studio combines two types of interiors: the heritage-listed front reception rooms have a rich, bohemian feel, with 1920s Chinoiserie overtones. The studio spaces and new kitchen and bathroom are zen, and nature inspired – a wonderful place to be and work every day! WHAT ARE SOME FAVOURITE DESIGN ELEMENTS? The courtyard garden with its palms, and antique Japanese water feature gives a wonderful calmness to the studio. The Spanish limestone ooring and the overscaled French doors give a fantastic sense of space and openness. So does the steel-framed glass roof, and huge pivot door which make the kitchen a light- lled conservatory. The dramatic emerald marble was love at rst sight for me, and I planned the kitchen and bathroom schemes around it. The rich atmosphere of the rooms and the jewel-coloured nishes are a great contrast to the simplicity of the studio. Elements from different times and cultures create an inspiring ambience. A 1920s Persian rug, large Noguchi pendant, chartreuse silk curtains, 1960s Knoll table, and Chinoiserie elements are a surprisingly harmonious mix. Finally, the connection to nature in such an urban setting is inspiring. WHAT IS THE ETHOS BEHIND YOUR WORK AND HOW IS IT REFLECTED IN THE DESIGN OF THE SPACE? My ethos is to bring out the best in any building I design, to highlight its assets and mitigate its shortcomings. To create interiors that function seamlessly and feel great to be in. IS THERE A PARTICULAR ARCHITECTURAL ERA OR STYLE THAT RESONATES WITH YOU? My style is very eclectic. Many eras and styles resonate with me, and I combine in uences instinctively to suit each space until rooms feel atmospheric and ‘right’. WHICH D ESIGNERS AND ARTISTS DO YOU ADMIRE? Right now, the top of my lists are Isay Weinfeld and Carlo Scarpa for architecture; Studio Ko and Joseph Dirand for interiors; Brâncusi and Rothko for art; Madeleine Castaing, and Yves Saint Laurent’s interiors from the 1950s to the 1970s. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE COMING
YEAR? ARE THERE ANY NEW DIRECTIONS YOU'D LIKE TO PURSUE? We’re working on a waterfront house in Point Piper with a very casual, earthy aesthetic. As far as new directions go – I’m interested in incorporating more Asian pieces into my work. Most excitingly, I’m looking into small-scale real estate developments with a business partner, focusing on renovating unique, heritage properties.