In this interview Suzie Hunt talks about style, residential architecture, interiors and the process of designing a home.
What sort of projects do you work on?
Right now I’m pretty busy with residential projects. I’m doing a lot of contemporary new-build projects, either alterations and additions to existing houses, or heritage listed properties in Perth and the South-West.
How would you define your style?
That’s a question I get asked a lot. I usually turn it around and say, tell me about your style. That’s what I am really interested in. What do you like? What do you hate? It’s not really about my style. My role is to understand what you want, your personal vision and your needs. I want to design something that’s full of your personality – not mine. So when I’m designing your home, I want to create something you and your family will love to live in. That’s why no two houses I design are ever the same.
How do you develop the design?
I like to be flexible in my design approach. I work with my clients to develop as many sketch design options as we need until we are all comfortable with the preferred option.
From there, with the help of engineers, we take the sketch design to the next level. At this point we also start talking to local authorities about planning approval and start to consider the interior design.
What is your approach to interior design?
Architecture and interior design are totally integrated in the way I work – it saves you time and money, and gives you a more resolved home.
To me a house becomes a home when the interior design reflects the family that lives in it. Not the designer. So I’ll help you with every aspect of your interiors including furniture design, soft furnishings and lighting selections. Sometimes I like to leave walls and spaces free for you to fill with your favourite furniture. Perhaps you’ll go on an overseas holiday and find something special, or you might receive a special piece of furniture from a loved relative. There is no right or wrong piece if it reflects your personality.
I try to make the daunting but important task of selecting materials easier for you. We often prepare interior design options, sample boards with materials and present them in the comfort of our office. This saves you time and running around. We also can visit supplier warehouses when it’s helpful.
Tell me more about environmental sustainability and passive design.
Good architecture is sustainable. The three elements of sustainable design that guide me throughout the project are passive design considerations, choice of materials and integration of renewable energies.
Passive design considerations influence the initial orientation of your home to capture sea breezes, the sun in winter and shade in summer and is closely related to the selection and design of the landscaping. I choose materials for their enduring quality and we like to seamlessly integrate renewable energies including water collection, waste treatment and solar power. Sustainable architecture will save money and create a more comfortable place to live.
Source: Suzanne Hunt Architect