Interior Life: Alex Kidd on style, built beauty and what's on trend
The Potts point designer on early-morning inspiration, built beauty and the thrill (and challenge) of renovating her own home.
Tell us about something you have encountered lately that has inspired you?
I have never been a morning person, I dream of waking before anyone else and having a cup of tea in the silence, but this never happens. I have in the last week, just moved back in to my home after an extensive 2-year renovation and I am being woken by the most magnificent sunrises. The light and the colours are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Not only are my days being inspired by this light and energy, but my palettes at work have changed with more colour dawning!
It really is true … we are inspired by the simplest and most unsuspecting of things.
What are some dominant trends you are seeing this year?
Salone del mobile Milan has recently finished. A platform for the design world to share the latest trends and releases. The fair showcased Bauhaus centennial exhibiting raw and earthy materials including stones, terracottas and coloured clays. And joy, oh joy … corduroy and boucle textiles are just around the corner. But for things closer to home and perhaps more relevant, rattan is making a comeback along with bold geometric shapes. Sydney is still obsessed with kitchen and bathroom renovations and trends here are limitless. We are seeing a swing back to natural materials, stones, renewable timbers and handmade tiles.
Describe your personal design aesthetic.
I don’t believe I have an identifiable design aesthetic. But, I am a true Libran osculating between modern and clean, eclectic and classic. I am however consistent with my fixation on balance, harmony, symmetry and beauty. I love to create spaces that are ’felt’ not just seen - well considered spaces that enhance the inhabitants’ lives - responding to the brief and the site, and embracing them with practicality and beauty.
What was the last interior space you encountered that made a real impact on you? Has it changed your approach to design?
My visit to Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute in La Jolla California forever changed my idea of decoration. That a built form could be so breathtakingly beautiful with little to no adornment, and instantly felt calm and arresting, had a real impact on me.
It was the perfect equation of balance, repetition and harmony, with bold materials that are monumental and harsh but somehow impart quiet and calm. The exquisite mix of travertine, concrete and teak may not have started my love affair with natural materials but it certainly cemented it [pun intended].
Tell us about a project you have worked on lately.
My own home. I have recently renovated my home from a 1-bedroom bachelor pad to a family home experiencing all the feelings and pressures of renovating first hand. Suffice to say I think I am the worst client ever! It has however, been a complete joy to embark on the process with my family.
We recently completed a home for a family in Randwick with similar growing pains. They loved their neighbourhood, but with a growing family could no longer function happily in their semi. We tackled this brief with the extension and alteration of their home adding a second level and much needed bedrooms, family space and storage.
It was a complete pleasure to work with them, to think about their priorities, how they would like to live and to gain an understanding of how their environment can affect mood and family dynamic.