Interior designer James Dawson of
James Dawson Interior Design has established himself as one of Australia's leading talents. The Brisbane-based designer was awarded Best Of State Queensland-Residential Design in the 2014 Australian Interior Design Awards and his work has appeared in international and local publications including Vogue Living, Belle, Home Design, Grand Designs and Metropolitan Home Malaysia.
Today, James discusses the upcoming trends for 2016 and how to create a well-constructed interior.
First of all, what would the top 10 apps be for interior designers to use?
I would say the top 10 apps are
A lot of people would say your designs capture space and light successfully, why do you think these two elements are important within design?
Light and space are important factors for any home. Creating the illusion of space is an important part within my designs, especially for apartment living. Appropriate lighting (natural or featured) will make all of the difference in order to achieve the best possible result. A successful way of creating a luxury finish is to incorporate a combination of delicate fabric curtains, mirrors and edit out your house – cut out any unnecessary accessories and keep your colour tones monochromatic with pops of colour in the right spaces. By doing this it will create the illusion that walls are wider and higher which helps to create that desired sense of space. Incorporating these elements into your design it will keep your home from dating too quickly.
It seems that more people are living in apartments/smaller houses these days. How would you create a well-constructed interior for smaller spaces?
A well-constructed interior starts with ‘interiority’. A lot of people think a nice interior is just how you decorate it, when really it’s about how well people move within the space. To help achieve this start with the under tones of colour around the home and keep tones neutral (soft greys, whites, blacks) and add layers of texture (silk, wool rugs, furniture, lighting) but always remembering to keep it simple. One rule I tend to stick with is having four main materials and to combine them with one or two colours/hues of the same colour, and cluster cushions and accessories in one area. There’s no need in having accessories everywhere like department stores. It’s ok to leave a side table clean and minimal. Keeping things minimalistic can help to create sophisticated, luxurious spaces that help to keep the interiority of the place together and well constructed, especially in smaller spaces.
Because of this smaller living trend, how else can interior design help to create a comfortable living space?
Another way is the concept of luxury modular living. Smaller spaces can often feel cramped and uncomfortable, but by designing apartments with modular walls, furniture, bedding and clever shelf dividing walls it can help to make the space feel larger and more polished.
Do you think that sustainability is important in interior design?
Of course, sustainability is always important to keep in mind when selecting the right materials and finishes especially within interior design. Sustainable materials are always the way to go when selecting for a renovation with natural materials like marble, stone and bamboo being a good idea when thinking about going green in your future design. Remember it doesn’t need to be over complicated to work with sustainable products.
What would you say are some trends that may evolve for 2016?
Trend colours for 2016 will include natural hues like deep forest greens, soft pinks and masculine dark royal blue/greys - the feeling will be androgynous and moody. Modular living is a trend I’m starting to see more of within apartment living spaces, clever storage units and using height over length works in smaller spaces. Sustainability will play a big part in the design and build industry for 2016. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of their actions and are starting to lean towards selecting sustainable and green manufactured materials and products that have less of an impact and that are safer on the environment.
What are your plans for 2016?
I have two unique ventures following on from the interior deign side of my business: the first is the recently launched Dawson School of Design, which focuses exclusively on interior design, decoration and CAD courses. It will have a strong focus on industry relevant content.
The second is a luxury lifestyle product range that’s consisting of around 80 products that are hand made in Australia using signature materials to my interiors. With these and the interior design side of the company it’s going to keep me busy.
Interview by Caitlin Uittenbosch