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

Avoiding Archi-Speak With CM Studio

Studio Visit

Creating warm, simple spaces is at the heart of Sydney-based cm studio’s approach. In under six years, this young architecture and design firm has already gained a rep for understated reinvention.

Today we chat to close friends Chris Glanville and Megan Burns at their Rushcutters Bay studio – refreshingly, sans archi-speak!

12th February, 2018

Close friends and creative partners Megan Burns and Chris Glanville of architecture and design firm cm studio. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Bright and airy Cranbrook project kitchen. Photo – courtesy of cm studio.

The exterior of the Oatley project, by cm studio. Photo – courtesy of cm studio.

The bathroom of their Cranbrook project. Photo – courtesy of cm studio.

And the Cranbrook project bedroom. Photo – courtesy of cm studio.

‘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. Photo – Jacqui Turk for The Design Files.

Interiors of cm studio’s Hargrave project. Photo – courtesy of cm studio.

Freya Latona
Monday 12th February 2018

‘By the end of the design stage, there needs to be this moment of, “I want to move into this place!”‘ – Megan Burns.

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.

Stay tuned for cm studio’s second collaboration with Project 82, released later this year.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Dominique Brammah · Senior Designer, Arent&Pyke

The pragmatic interior designer talks train make-up-ing, Big Sky Dreaming, and falling off the 'textbook' path.
Elle Murrell

Interiors

A Nod To The Australian Aesthetic In South Korea

Melbourne's Flack Studio brings some serious colour to sensational Seoul eatery, Caravan Hapejong.

Creative People

Introducing Design Stables

A collective of eight Perth design studios come together with a common belief in the power of collaboration. 

This Week

News

An Abstract Art Biennale Celebrating Female Artists From Victoria

See ‘Of Colour and Light’ – an exhibition of 50 emerging and established female artists – on now at West End Art Space.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

Sustainable Homes

A Former Corner Store Turned Sustainable Family Home

A dilapidated, Federation-era shopfront is transformed into a truly unique, energy efficient home by CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Stays

This New Byron Bay Hinterland Accomodation Is Equal Parts Luxury + Rustic

Book your stay at The Perch – a beautifully renovated 1970s property in Bangalow, NSW.

Studio Visit

The Award-Winning Student Ceramicist Suspending Time In Clay

Bell Carver is the recipient of the inaugural Shelley Simpson Ceramics Prize (and $10,000 in prize money!) - a new award for emerging cerami...

Homes

Emily Green's Joyous Family Home, Filled With Local Makers’ Work

The fun and colour-filled Reservoir family home of designer and Pinky's store co-owner, Emily Green, and teacher Louis Turner.

Architecture

This Lower North Shore Family House Feels Like A Permanent Vacation!

Two grand palm trees on entry provide a strong identity for the Whisper House, designed by Manolev Architects.

Art

11 Affordable, Emerging Painters You Should Know!

From landscapes and surrealism to portraits and abstract art, these local artists are going BIG places.

News

Patricia Piccinini And Alpha60 Join Forces On A New Collaboration

The celebrated Australian artist and local fashion legends launch a new series of textiles titled ‘Hugs’, which are now installe...
Sponsored

News

A New Book About The Wonderful, Colourful World Of Ken Done Is Here

The legendary Australian artist is celebrated with a new book by Thames & Hudson, ‘Ken Done: Art, Design, Life’.

Interiors

A Social Sydney Home Elevated By Garden Views + On Point Decoration!

Following an architectural renovation by Welsh + Major, celebrated design studio Arent&Pyke elevate this Sydney home with a stunning array o...

Creative People

Behind The Scenes Of 'Rone In Geelong’ – Opening This Weekend!

See a retrospective of artist Rone's work to date at Geelong Gallery from Saturday February 27 to Sunday May 16, 2021.

On The Market

An Interior Designer’s Glamorous Victorian Pad Hits The Market!

Chelsea Hing’s apartment in an 1890s Italianate mansion in St Kilda East is up for sale. This is *the one*!

News

A Group Show Combining Ceramics + Still-Life Under One Roof!

Ceramicist Grace Brown joins artistic forces with figurative artist Margaret Voterakis for a new exhibition at Modern Times, ‘Utopian Purs...
Sasha Aarons

News

'Giant' by Evi O Opens At Saint Cloche

Artist Evi O showcases her largest paintings to date in new exhibition Giant, on now at Saint Cloche.

Similar Stories

Dream Job

Dominique Brammah · Senior Designer, Arent&Pyke

The pragmatic interior designer talks train make-up-ing, Big Sky Dreaming, and falling off the 'textbook' path.
Elle Murrell

Interiors

A Nod To The Australian Aesthetic In South Korea

Melbourne's Flack Studio brings some serious colour to sensational Seoul eatery, Caravan Hapejong.

Creative People

Introducing Design Stables

A collective of eight Perth design studios come together with a common belief in the power of collaboration. 

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.