Over decades of work I have determined two important principles that guide my design – proportions and storage. Finding the right proportions so they harmonise with my client’s physicality allows me to create spaces they feel comfortable in. The relationship between a person and the height of their kitchen bench, for instance, is a decision with real ramifications for how they feel using it. Through conversations with my clients I learn about their lifestyle and spatial requirements, designing spaces to suit them. This is a process that involves understanding the significant effect that subtle design differences can have upon how people use a space.
Effectively doing this is related to my second guiding principle – storage, creating the right spaces within a home that allow for a tidy efficiency that enhances surrounding areas. My understanding of storage comes through discussions with clients – how they use their possessions and appliances, and how we can create space for them without becoming too restrictive. Smarter storage means there is an easy place to hide daily mess and allows my clients to comfortably live in and personalise their houses. This allows spaces to be dynamic, for instance a kitchen island goes from food preparation area to study space to social and back to food preparation over the course of an evening.
Through a continual conversation with clients to understand how proportions and storage can fit within their design, I create a house that grows and changes along with its occupants, making an environment that is dynamic and responsive to the lives within it.
An example of how storage can transform a space: In a small Bondi Apartment, I designed cabinetry in the living room to house a bar fridge, washer, dryer and clothes rack, as well as a small window. This freed up space in the rest of the apartment and meant normally obtrusive appliances could be hidden away.