Chris Glanville and Megan Burns met as undergrads at Sydney University while studying architecture. Working together in small groups, they knew straight away that they had a similar approach to design, and a laidback attitude which respected, yet didn’t pedestal, their craft.
The pair both worked briefly for other architecture and design firms, before starting their own in 2012. Megan had been offered her first project (the Manly penthouse apartment of her boyfriend’s parents) and immediately brought Chris on to help, and cm studio was born!
In 2014, they won the Interior Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the emerging designer category, having only the one project to their name. The duo didn’t even buy tickets to the event until the last minute, when they got a call from an organiser, gently suggesting they might want to be there. ‘We weren’t making money at that early stage, and were thinking, two hundred bucks for a ticket? Bugger that!’ laughs Chris.
Since then, cm studio has gained a strong following through social media and word-of-mouth. They have also attracted clients by hosting open home events that allow the public to experience their spaces in the flesh, a visual and tactile experience that doesn’t always translate in photos.
Chris and Megan aim to create ‘simple, minimalist spaces’, prioritising their natural instincts when it comes to reinventing a space. The result is a design approach which responds respectfully to the existing context of a home’s heritage and location; marrying a sense of ‘softness’ with the linearity of the modern. ‘By the end of the design stage with all our jobs there needs to be this moment of, ‘I want to move into this place,’ says Megan. ‘If we’re not convinced, then the client isn’t going to be,’ adds Chris.