This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Achieving Work/Life Balance

Quoted

This afternoon we explore the idea of ‘work/life balance’. Is it ACTUALLY attainable? Our interviewees – stylist, author, and creative director/co-owner of The Establishment StudiosTamara Maynes, and founder and director of Nest ArchitectsEmilio Fuscaldo – think so, though they’re both refreshingly realistic about it.

Read on for insights into staying in-tune with yourself, and being clear on your priorities, while trying to remain a little flexible, too.

31st July, 2017

The founder and director of Nest Architects, Emilio Fuscaldo is also a father-of-two. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Tamara Maynes is a stylist, author, and creative director/co-owner of The Establishment Studios. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design File

‘For me, my workload begins to feels unhealthy if I haven’t been selective enough about what I’ve committed to,’ says Tamara Maynes. The Melbourne-based freelance image stylist specialises in art direction and set design. She is also an author, and the creative director/co-owner of The Establishment Studios – a location-style photographic studio and prop house in Melbourne.

‘Originally, I was apprehensive about taking on the studio, as I knew something else would have to give,’ recalls Tamara. ‘The result was deciding to close the door on my commercial making practise, and allow it to become a slow personal one… a scary decision, but one that felt right and has allowed me to be more present in it.’

Finding her way into her field through lots of volunteering and work experience rather than formal study, Tamara is no stranger to long working hours. An average week sees her working more than 60! She feels fortunate that her co-owner responsibilities are shared with business partner and studio manager, Carly Spooner, with whom she regularly talks through everything, from financial decisions and fine-tuning operations, to broader vision and growth.

‘My non-work life definitely gets less of my time, but to be honest, I love what I do to the point where work, for the most part, actually fulfils the majority of my personal interests – in an unconventional sense I actually feel balanced,’ Tamara explains. Despite her busy week, she tries to remain flexible, taking an hour/day/weekend off whenever she needs time out, whether that be to potter around at home, or to lose herself in the gardening or craft.

The founder and director of Nest Architects, Emilio Fuscaldo is also a father-of-two. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

Aside from helming his successful architecture firm, Emilio Fuscaldo is father to two young children, with his partner who is also pursuing her own career goals. ‘I need to balance the needs of the office against the needs of my family, and my own desire to be a great Dad and partner’ he says.

How does he go about this? ‘I’ve worked hard at creating a really supportive environment in the office, where staff can be open and honest about their personal commitments. As a result, we’re nimble enough to help each other out when our personal commitments get in the way of our workday,’ tells Emilio. This translates into four-day work weeks, flexible work hours and a non-competitive work culture. ‘These simple things ensure that all of us value our lives outside of work, and are supported when pursuing those interests and responsibilities.’ He adds.

Though that’s already a strong effort, Emilio is first to admit that it’s paramount to be continually assessing and striving for that all-elusive ‘balance’. ‘The ongoing challenge for me personally is to make sure that I have enough time out of the office to support my partner when she’s busy and spend enough time with my kids – so that they see me not as a babysitter, but a committed and dedicated Dad.’

View Comments

Similar Stories

Quoted

Tips on Motivating Teams

We take two minutes with two incredibly accomplished creative professionals: Amanda Henderson of Gloss Creative, and Berry Liberman of Small...
Elle Murrell

Quoted

Ideas on Productivity

A new short and snappy series of inspiring quotes from our fave local creatives.
The Design Files

Quoted

Top Creative Apps

Inspiring intel from our favourite local creatives.
The Design Files

This Week

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Colourful Extension Inspired By Clinker Bricks

Wowowa’s Presto House is a vivid and respectful addition to a 1930s art deco home made from 'clinker' bricks.

Shopping

8 Local Creatives Making Furniture That Doubles As Art

Meet our favourite designers and makers pushing the limits of traditional furniture with their sculptural and striking pieces!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Architecture

A Mindful Multi-Generational Family Home In Clifton Hill

The sculptural Esplanade House by Clare Cousins Architects shows how even the most modern builds can respect their heritage surrounds.
Christina Karras
  13 hours ago

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Interior Design Trade Event Returns To Melbourne

Decor + Design will take over the Melbourne Exhibition Centre later this month, with more than 250 brands on show and a line-up of interior
Sponsored

Food

Julia's Irresistible Double Chocolate + Tahini Brownies

Is there anything more irresistible than a brownie? We think not! Especially Julia's, which come with double the chocolate, and a nutty swir...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

A Stylist + Podcaster’s Layered, Textured Seaside Home

Kerrie-Ann Jones’ renovated retro pad in Sydney’s southern beaches is a sun-drenched dream home!

Architecture

The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors

House Gezellig by Studio Prineas reflects their clients’ love for modernist design principles and collection of fine art.

Art

Artist Cressida Campbell Is Finally Getting The Spotlight She Deserves

A new exhibition at the NGA brings together more than 140 works from the artist's life and unique practice.

Gardens

A Hawthorn Home Enveloped In Dreamy, Layered Gardens

This new family home is brought to life with lush gardens designed by Peachy Green – reminiscent of a flowering ‘woody meadow’!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A ‘Jarring’ Victorian Home Resolved With Colour, Art, + Joinery

A previously mismatched Victorian home in Mosman, NSW, resolved by Ioanna Lennox Interiors with colour, art, and joinery.
Amelia Barnes
  5 hours ago

Similar Stories

Quoted

Tips on Motivating Teams

Amanda Henderson of Gloss Creative, and Berry Liberman of Small Giants share food-for-thought on motivating their respective teams.
Elle Murrell

Quoted

Ideas on Productivity

A new short and snappy series of inspiring quotes from our fave local creatives.
The Design Files

Quoted

Top Creative Apps

Inspiring intel from our favourite local creatives.
The Design Files

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net