interior designer brendan wong

It's interesting to see someone's interior design work in a "real" home. Over the years I've observed many examples of Brendan Wong's work - he is well-known in the design community. (The wider public got to know him too for his role in the Australian series of Queer Eye For A Straight Guy, introducing design to the participants of the show; he was also a production designer). But it was an interesting to watch how he transformed a friend's place. The home has Brendan's stamp, but he's also made a place that's entirely livable and reflects the taste of the owners who live there, too. Brendan studied interior design and architecture at university and worked in London and studied in France before returning to Australia to grow his practice here.

Which five words best describe you? Observant, creative, grounded, understated - and also overstated.
What was your first career job and what path have you taken since?
I started my career in corporate design, working in Australia and London on projects ranging from retail stores to the BBC Studios in
Portland Place
. I then founded my own design studio in Sydney where we focus on private residential projects.
What's the best lesson you've learnt along the way? Always remember the bigger picture. In our studio we often delve deeply into the detail - whether it’s resolving ceiling junctions perfectly or what combination of stitching details we will use on soft furnishings. It’s easier to persist with the time and effort required with tradespeople and artisans if we can keep in mind the bigger design intent of the project.
What's your proudest career achievement? I took a few years out to complete my Masters of Interior Architecture through a research-based written dissertation. Compared to the practice of say architecture or fine arts, interiors is a relatively new profession and it requires ongoing contribution to the research and knowledge base for future generations.
What's been your best decision? To spend time living in France. It’s a country so rich in history but they have a fabulous way of integrating contemporary aspects into that traditional envelope. I couldn’t even walk down to my corner patisserie in Paris without being constantly amazed at the most beautiful letterbox slots and doorbells along the way.
Who inspires you? I’m inspired by a rather eclectic mix of artists: Dale Frank, Philip Wolfhagen, Robert Dickerson, Sam Taylor-Wood.

What are you passionate about? Travel. Experiences such as crawling through the Giza pyramids in Egypt help me to understand the nuances of geometry, scale and proportions. Walking along the coastline in Amalfi Italy brings out the most beautiful colours, which are perfectly contrasted one against the next. I always think I’d like to return to amazing destinations but there are so many different ones to explore.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Andy Warhol- at Studio 54!
What dream do you still want to fulfill? I would love to design the interior for a boat. Whether it’s a sail or power yacht, there is such beautiful symmetry in the external form of boat and I think working within that would be a great opportunity. I really enjoy getting into minute design detail and boat interiors are one place that demand careful design resolution. A similar but less tangible dream would be to design the interior for an airship- such a fabulous method of travel!

What are you reading? Interior Decoration: a guide to furnishing the Australian home written by Margaret Lord in 1944. One of her recommendations reads: For rest and relaxation you shall need some easy chairs and perhaps a settee... I want to repeat the maxim that it would be foolish for a family who play a game of cards every evening to have to reorganise the room in order to do this. Hilarious!

images brendan wong