Fanuli: Where did you grow up and what path led you to interior design?
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and emigrated to Sydney with my husband, Robin, in 1985. I wanted to be an interior designer from the age of 8. I don’t think I knew the term “designer/decorator” but I had a keen eye for detail, and aesthetics and always took in my surroundings, examining, furniture, lighting, fabrics, flooring, textures etc etc.
When I was about 8 I went to visit family friends in their newly built and beautifully appointed home. I was enthralled by the beauty and knew then that that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up., make people’s homes look fabulous. I painted, sketched and pottered (pottery) right throughout my school career and childhood until I studied Interior Design at a college after I graduated from school, in Johannesburg. As a child, I was constantly redecorating my bedroom.
Fanuli: What has been one of your favourite projects you have worked on? And what kind of brief were you given for this project?
I love all our projects for different reasons. But one of my favourite projects, is Cowper Wharf. We have worked with the clients for many years on two of their homes. There is a lot of trust, respect and affection for each other (that is me, my team and the clients) and we get on really well. They gave me a lot of design freedom once we had established the brief. They take design risks and let me run with my ideas, whilst contributing to the overall look and feel. The location being on the water in Woolloomooloo is also very special, and this added to making it a special project.
Another favourite project was Caulfield Residence in Melbourne. The clients asked us to source and specify art whilst designing the interiors. Almost all the furniture is bespoke and made in Australia. The outcome is very pleasing and cohesive.