Five of the best young-gun interior designers to watch

Five of the best young-gun interior designers to watch

Local designers desperate for reforms to protect their workDesigners share the inspiration behind projectsThe interior trends dominating 2017
Nanjing Night Net

They’re the rising stars of interior design creating exciting new spaces in which to live, work and shop. Their work has the design world talking and the awards flooding in.

Here they shine a light on the projects that have put them on centre stage, revealing how they marry the creative process with their client’s vision. David Flack of Flack Studio in Melbourne

After just two years in his own studio, the young Swinburne graduate has retail, residential and overseas clients lining up to be ”Flackified”.

They find him through Instagram (he has 52,000 followers) and through word of mouth. With 18 projects on the go and another 20 in the wings, the future is bright for this creative dynamo who describes himself as ”slightly bonkers”.

Explaining his ethos, aka to ”Flackify”, his goal is to inject playfulness into exquisitely executed, textural detail. To create warm spaces and refined, beautifully edited rooms that celebrate heritage as well as natural surroundings.

When it comes to Flacktastic homes, David nominates a kitchen in Armidale where he used layers of brass, oak and marble to create ”casual grandeur”.

A lounge room in a ’70s Elsternwick home was modernised while paying homage to its original post-war style, using custom joinery (with a caramel stain that took a month to perfect) and statement artwork.

In a ”monotone” country home in Bendigo, Flack gave the space a signature colour hit using a blue rug from his own bespoke range.

“We are always contemporary but there is always a nod to another era – there’s always a twist or a turn and punches of colour. We definitely have our own style, people either love it or hate it,” says Flack, who designed the new Caravan restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, and has begun a large retail project in Shanghai.

Flack credits mentors Kerry Phelan and Fiona Lynch as influential in his success, which has been acknowledged with three places on the short-list of this year’s Australian Interior Design Awards.

“Every project looks different because of architecture but ultimately I want people turning the page of a magazine and saying that’s a Flack Studio design – we have a very strong language and look.” Claire Stevens of CSID in Brisbane

It didn’t take long for Claire Stevens’ talent to start turning heads. She was named Head of School on graduating from the Queensland University of Technology’s Bachelor in Interior Design, and, a year later, nabbed the Design Institute of Australia’s Emerging Student Designer award.

She went out on her own five years ago and has a portfolio of elegant and dazzling transformations under her belt. She’s in demand to work on everything from detail-rich, family-sized “Queenslanders” to Brisbane’s explosion in apartment developments.

Bringing clever design concepts to the rituals of daily life is a philosophy that informs most of her residential work. The ‘Indooroopilly residence’ by Claire Stevens Interior Design.Photo: Daniel Maddock

“Certain drawers that fit certain things like phones or keys, bathrooms and wardrobes that reflect people’s rituals, cupboards that include a place to plug in a vacuum cleaner, somewhere specific to put your shoes when you walk in the house – it’s about incorporating mundane things you do every day into a design,” said Claire.

A West End apartment project aimed to transform a ”cookie cutter” look by injecting some personality.

“In one long room we created three separate spaces with cabinetry to define a living area, dining and a library nook,” said Stevens. “It also provided a platform for displaying objects and artwork.”

A dream kitchen in an Indooroopilly Queenslander kept original timber detail in a contemporary update, resulting in a relaxed, luxe tropical vibe. “One of the joys of working with Queenslanders is they have a lovely sense of nostalgia and you don’t have to lose that if you modernise.” Cushla McFadden, Chloe Matters and Jade Nottage of TomMarkHenry in Sydney

Until now, grabbing the paper, shopping for sausages or waiting for your fish and chips could hardly be described as high-end design “experiences”.

But that was before this talent powerhouse got hold of three shops in Sydney that are wowing customers from Barangaroo to Double Bay. Architects at TomMarkHenry: Chloe Matters, Jade Nottage and Cushla McFadden. Photo: Damian Bennett

Bondi’s Best, a seafood takeaway and restaurant, now has a custom see-through fridge doubling as a work of art; the 1888 Butcher in Double Bay has turned the traditionally hidden ”prep” room into something of a theatre through the use of large windows; while workers at Barangaroo have their daily visit to a convenience store elevated with stone, arched shapes and elegant lighting.

“Our response to the briefs really challenged the perception of what those spaces should look and feel like,” said Cushla McFadden, who met her partners while all students.

“We thrive on and value the human connection – so we want customers to walk into a space and feel something different. We like to figure out how we can get customers to engage in a site and have that moment to appreciate the design, rather than just walk in and out.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.