Q: What inspired you to become a building designer?
KSW: My mum and dad ran a cabinetmaking business which meant I was always surrounded by wonderful homes and beautiful architecture. Because of this I developed a deep love for building design and dreamt of becoming an architect at a very young age. After gaining the school results I needed for university, I decided that I wanted a job and study at TAFE for my qualifications instead.
I was really lucky to get a job as a draftsperson straight out of school at Ross Griffin Homes, which was a well-known boutique style building company in Perth at the time. As the youngest employee everyone took me under their wing and gave me endless opportunities to develop my skills. I knew deep down I wanted to do more design work but the knowledge I obtained in the first few years around the construction process was invaluable.
Q: How do you offset opposing design options in a home?
KSW: My early inspiration came from Singapore architecture which formed my design aspirations to create minimalistic designs with clean lines inside and out. I love mid-century homes that have a lot of glazing and humble front elevations. Keeping things square means maximum functionality for the space, as well as generating a unique and modern look for most rooms of the home.
I do my best to incorporate these into my projects but I often find that offsetting them with soft curves helps to make the space feel more homely and is a wonderful transitional element between rooms.
Colour also has a massive impact on the overall design and space. For example, when working on the Mosman Park home, the owners’ daughter requested that her ensuite feature pastel pink tiles while the rest of the home used moody black cabinets and grey tiling. We offset this with copper tapware within the daughter’s bathroom and also splashed pink décor throughout the home to marry the spaces together and to soften the other dark features. The spaces worked harmoniously together with references to the lighter shades and subtle inclusions of circular features.