Fanuli: Where did you get started in design?
Meryl: In South Africa where I started my own interior design studio after working as a graphic designer and deciding that I definitely preferred interiors
Fanuli: What gives a design timelessness?
Meryl: Authenticity! I don’t slavishly follow trends, rather consider design elements for their intrinsic aesthetic value. If something is well designed, functional and beautiful, it should stand the test of time.
Fanuli: What about some of your broader design influences, who inspires your creative practice?
Meryl: Design influences are everywhere! In nature, art, architecture and everyday objects. I think travel is a great influencer as when you travel your mind is not occupied with the everyday and is therefore open to really seeing. There are many talented designers and architects whose work I admire, but no one in particular. We strive for originality!
Fanuli: What is your main priority when starting a project? Is there something that is fundamental to your practice that you consider first and foremost?
Meryl: Every project is different but the way we approach each one – within our practice – is to assess and consider everything we know about the project and then craft a concept that fills us with a sense of excitement at the possibilities. Until we get there, we don’t proceed.
Fanuli: What are you doing next, any particular future projects you’re excited about?
Meryl: We currently have some very exciting projects on the go that are diverse, challenging and interesting. The future projects are in the future and as yet unknown!
Fanuli: What projects are you currently working on?
Meryl: Homes in the city, the country, interstate and in China. I haven’t actually counted but I guess we have about 30 or so current projects.
Fanuli: What about your own home, do you have any treasured pieces?
Meryl: I’ve recently downsized, so I went through an assessment of all my belongings and pared down to things I really love to be surrounded by. There is still quite a lot in storage, waiting for a permanent home. I have some treasured artefacts – collected on my travels – a pair of Augusti side tables that will stay with me, a pair of early Japanese storage chests that are rare and beautiful – and many, many books. One man’s treasure is another man’s junk!!!
Fanuli: Favourite places to eat, drink and shop?
Meryl: I love eating and drinking locally in the many casual restaurants in McMahons Point, my favourite being Lavendre in Lavender Bay for wonderful new age Indian food. Milan is my favourite shopping city. What a wonderful visual feast it is! I don’t buy a lot, but whatever I do buy, becomes a favourite piece.
Fanuli: What’s something clients tend to overlook in the design process, and how do you overcome it?
Meryl: How long it takes! We take time at the beginning of a project to explain the process and manage client’s expectations.
Fanuli: What do you love most about what you do?
Meryl: I love the process of designing with my talented design team, working with architects and builders and the joy of exceeding our client’s expectations.