I am SURE at least 95% of you would most definitely know of Sydney interior design darlings Juliette Arent & Sarah-Jane Pyke? … perhaps because these super talented ladies are so heavily featured in this month’s Real Living, I nearly fell of my seat with excitement!
This super stylish pair first came to my attention when Inside Out ran a beautiful story featuring Juliette’s STUNNING apartment. Totally my dream home! Arent & Pyke’s treatment of this fab Darling Point Apartment later won them a Best of State award for residential design in the 2009 Interior Design Awards – a huge achievement for this brilliant young design duo!
In the last few years A&P have also racked up lots of well-deserved press in magazines such as Belle and Home Beautiful.. there’s just something about their work that seems to capture the imagination! Juliette and Sarah-Jane’s projects have such unique personality and warmth about them – even their most polished homes are just so bright and friendly and inviting :)
I am so excited to share some of Juliette and Sarah-Jane’s work and insights here… big thanks to them both for such thoughtful answers – and the priceless Sydney shopping tips!
Tell me a little about your backgrounds – what path originally led you both to interior design, and to setting up your business together?
SJP – Our fascination for interiors arose in a similar way. Coincidentally, for us both, it was the wallpaper in our bedrooms as children that sparked both our imaginations. The colour, textures and finding the repeat in the pattern.
JA - In addition to the wallpaper which consisted of snow white and the seven dwarves, all my joinery was painted glossy yellow enamel…..like seriously egg yolky cadmium yellow!! My bedroom scheme (thank you Dad) left a lasting impression, I am still obsessed with all things yellow.
How is your business structured? – ie do you employ any regular staff or contractors at Arent & Pyke, and which significant tasks do you outsource?
SJP – Both of us work together on all the projects, that way every client gets the best of the practice. We have one full time designer, Sophie, working with us as well as contract designers when we need them. We outsource our book keeping & business administration so we can concentrate on the fun stuff.
What has been one of you favourite projects so far?
Our first project, the Coogee Beach residence, is still a favourite of ours. The brief was clear, we were really happy with the results and the client has become a friend, which is a great outcome.
What does a typical day at work involve at Arent & Pyke?
Every day is different, that’s what keeps us interested. Most days we meet with at least one client and spend some time discussing design for the different projects. We will be out on site once or twice a week, and always getting out to showrooms to source the latest in fabrics and furnishings. Coffee at Uliveto is a constant in any day!
How would you describe your sense of style in your own homes?
SJP – a bit haphazard! I love colour and have a slightly retro vibe at home. Lots of my furniture is vintage or classic like the Eames DCM dining chairs. Its very “lived-in” at my place. Its still a work in progress – I am still on the hunt for the perfect sofa.
JA – A sense of calm is what I strive for at home, but I also love lots of colour and pattern. In my bedroom I have a large heavily textured, brightly coloured painting by Guy Maestri that fills an entire wall, a vintage kilim in faded red, denim blue and orange purchased in Istanbul last year and a vintage armchair upholstered in jaffa coloured ikat silk from Uzbekistan.
Where do you turn for creative inspiration – travel, local and international design trends, magazines, books or the web etc?
We both love travelling – our trip to the Milan Furniture Fair last year was preceded by a week in Paris with fellow designers and stylists trawling the streets and markets, galleries and the odd discoteque!! Getting away from the day to day routine definitely opens our minds to new ideas, styles, influences……
Finding inspiration is not merely about looking at fabric and furniture showrooms…….being in another country – observing the light, the people the environment, nothing compares to that. Sarah-Jane travelled to Italy and France last year, I travelled to Greece and Turkey….
Which designers / creative people do you admire?
We both also admire Istanbul based furniture designers Autoban.
What would be your dream creative project?
A dream creative project would be one where the end result (perhaps in an exotic location!!) is then enjoyed by us, our friends and families. Happy and fulfilled lives are key to a successful business!!
What are you looking forward to?
SJP – I am feeling very optimistic about 2010. We have some gorgeous projects to complete this year and I’m looking forward to seeing it all come together
JA – Thrilled about a trip coming up with family and friends to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.
Your top 3 favourite shops in Sydney for home furnishings, finishes and/or fabrics?
What/where was the last great meal you ate in Sydney?
JA – I am very lucky, my partner is a creative genius in the kitchen. For me the best meals are always at home. When eating out, I always head to Fratelli Paradiso, I always enjoy the food and the experience of being there. Challis Avenue in Potts Point on a summers evening is dreamy.
Where would we find you on a typical Saturday morning?
JA - Stove top coffee and egg breakfast at home in my apartment in Tamarama, then down to the beach.
Sydney’s best kept secret?
E and M Greenfields for ribbons and pompoms!!