Fanuli: Where did you get started in design?
When I was 16, art and fashion design were my passions, so my mother took me to an open day at Sydney College of the Arts. By chance, I saw the interior design campus and was immediately drawn to the work there.
I completed the interior design degree straight after school and worked during uni and for some years afterwards with Pia Francesca Interior Design in Sydney’s east. Pia was inspiring as a woman running her own design business and has incredible poise and style, so it was a lucky start in the industry for me. From there I almost fell into opening my own company. That’s 21 years ago now! My first project was to design a showroom for Miele appliances. Generally, though, I’ve focused on residential projects – they’re where my heart is. It’s been inspiring, sometimes challenging, but always fascinating ride!
Fanuli: What gives a design timelessness?
In the same way that a good suit remains in fashion, interiors can be timeless if they are well proportioned, employ good materials, and suit the people they are built for.
Fanuli: What about some of your broader design influences, who inspires your creative practice?
I have always been inspired by beautiful architecture and interiors, and the way they influence our lives. The beauty of the natural world, travel, fashion and art are my muses.
I’m inspired by the ever-changing quality of natural light, and the colour palettes of landscape, sky and sea. Most mornings I get down to the beach at Tamarama, where I live. It’s an important part of my day. I recharge and get some of my best ideas there.
Travel and sourcing one-off furniture and objects from other cultures has always been a passion too. Frequent trips to America, Asia and Europe keep my design perspective broad and my projects fresh. I’m heading to the Milan Salone, Paris’ antique markets, Marrakesh and London in April, which will be incredibly inspiring.
Art and fashion are strong influences on me. The Noguchi Museum in New York, fashion designer Dries Van Noten’s colourways, and Rick Owen’s monolithic flagship store in New York are some of my current favourites.
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?
Strong, highly functional planning is always the starting point of any project. Well laid out, generous spaces and natural light are crucial to the overall quality of interiors. A strong foundation allows rooms to function smoothly and look beautiful.
Each building and brief we work on are a unique combination, so my designs are also individual, rather than reflecting one particular style.
Functionality, quality and beauty are my long-standing design principles. Quality rather than quantity guides me in selecting materials, fittings, furniture and artwork. Good quality materials and workmanship give longevity and aesthetic appeal and save time, energy and cost in the long run.
Beauty is always my prime goal…for its ability to ease the mind, lift the spirit, and for the pure, lasting pleasure it brings