Appointed Associate of Bijl Architecture in 2015, Vanessa has been working with Melonie Bayl-Smith and the team since 2010. Here she shares her interior design inspiration, working style and influences.
What is your role at Bijl Architecture?
My title at Bijl is Interior Design/ Associate, but you could also call me the Library Manager and CAD Manager!
When were you first inspired to become an interior designer?
Through my love for traditional Japanese design – the love of multi-use space, clever storage, traditional methods of construction and natural materials. I also wanted to use my skill and love for drawing and being creative.
I chose to be an interior designer’s assistant for one week in high school for work experience and have never looked back (apart from brief moments where the good Asian daughter in me contemplated becoming an accountant!).
How do the interiors integrate with the architecture at Bijl?
Interiors is integrated from the get-go. This is crucial in ensuring a well-rounded project that flows. The general spatial arrangement - as well as the arrangement of the client's most prized possessions - are important factors in creating a house that the client loves.
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as clean, minimal and subtle. I like designing to ensure that spaces can be used for years to come.
I like to ensure spaces are flexible but can also meet the needs of specific tasks. In the end, becoming an interior designer was about being able to make a difference in how people interact with space – to make people more comfortable, healthy and happy.
I also like industrial quirk but it does take a certain type of client to be able to apply this.
How much of your work is integrating the client’s style?
I would say most of my work is about integrating the client’s style. I am a strong believer in ensuring that the design is about the end user, not only meeting their unique needs but also providing emotional and physical comfort.
How do you keep up to date with the latest interiors trends?
I don’t necessarily believe in sticking to the latest trends but it is important to know what new products are available. We attend trade shows, read publications and keep up to date with what is available.
The past twelve month was definitely retro revival with patterned tiles, pink/ green combinations and revamping loved classics of furniture.
What is your style prediction for next year?
For 2015/16, my style prediction is that the love of patterns and contrasting colours is going to continue.
People will want to continue to warm up the popular industrial chic.