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5 Australian design studios to watch: The Indesign round-up

Leanne Amodeo rounds up our top 5 emerging designers and design studios – each producing projects that prove Australia really does have some of the best design talent in the world.

5 Australian design studios to watch: The Indesign round-up

Rutherford's Corner by Alter Space, Malvern East, Victoria, photography by Brent Lukey.

We think – actually we know! – Australia houses some of the best designers in the world. With Leanne Amodeo we’ve rounded up 5 of the best fast-emerging design studios that we firmly have our eyes upon.

1. Alter Space, Melbourne

Design Practices - 5 Emerging Design Practices|
Maggie Zavala and Sarah Vautin, photography by Leticia Lopes.

Maggie Zavala and Sarah Vautin instantly connected while studying at RMIT University and soon after went on to establish Alter Space Interiors in 2019. Since then, the Melbourne-based studio has created a name for itself by designing residential and commercial projects that are classic and elegant, with a distinctly modern flair. Both Maggie and Sarah are influenced by historical references and so their aesthetic has an international sensibility to it. Their projects may be located in Malvern East or Beaconsfield, but they look like they could be anywhere, from the heart of Paris to the hills of Tuscany, which is a big part of Alter Space Interiors’ charm.    

Rutherford’s Corner, Malvern East, Victoria, photography by Brent Lukey.
Rutherford’s Corner, Malvern East, Victoria, photography by Brent Lukey.
Rutherford’s Corner, Malvern East, Victoria, photography by Brent Lukey.
Sarah Vautin and Maggie Zavala in Rutherford’s Corner, Malvern East, Victoria, photography by Brent Lukey.

Alter Space
alterspace.com.au

2. Léo Terrando, Melbourne

Design Practices - 5 Emerging Design Practices|
Léo Terrando.

Léo Terrando launched his eponymous design studio in 2021 after working at SJB for 14 years. The South Melbourne-based French architectural interior designer has experience in both Australia and France and creates richly layered spaces that meld luxe material palettes, strong colour and dramatic form. His approach is decidedly bespoke and he draws inspiration from a number of sources, whether cultural, natural or artistic. Having studied in both Belgium and France, Léo brings an openness and ease to all he does, creating covetable interiors that are high-end yet welcoming.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Melbourne, photography courtesy of Léo Terrando.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Melbourne, photography courtesy of Léo Terrando.

Léo Terrando
leoterrando.com

3. Pattern Studio, Sydney

Design Practices - 5 Emerging Design Practices|
Josh Cain and Lily Goodwin, photography by Greg Lewis.

Lily Goodwin and Josh Cain first met when they worked at an architecture practice in Perth. Soon after, they moved to Sydney and eventually established Pattern Studio in 2015. Their first commission was for a PS by Paul Smith show at Pitti Uomo in Florence, and since then they have gone on to design some of Australia’s most refreshing retail, hospitality and wellness interiors. Both Lily and Josh have a penchant for crisp form and muted colour, and their particular type of urban minimalism has a very contemporary, cool vibe to it. They’ve worked with the likes of The Design Edit, Adytum and Three Blue Ducks and their current portfolio promises more outstanding work to come.    

Adytum, Canberra, photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.
Adytum, Canberra, photography by Traianos Pakioufakis.

Pattern Studio
patternstudio.net

4. State of Kin, Perth

Design Practices - 5 Emerging Design Practices|
Left to right: directors and co-founders Ara Salomone and Alessandra French; interior and industrial designer Amy Clark and architect Jessie Vu.

Established in 2016 by Ara Salomone, Alessandra French, Jessie Vu and Amy Clark, this Perth-based multi-disciplinary design studio works across residential, hospitality, retail, wellness and commercial, producing interiors that are bold and expressive. Their aesthetic doesn’t shy away from strong colour or dynamic form and there’s an earthy robustness to all they do, which transforms their projects into highly experiential environments. Clever planning and acute spatial awareness is what makes them stand out, making State of Kin a name to definitely keep an eye on.

Circles of Hair, Perth, photography by Jack Lovel.
Circles of Hair, Perth, photography by Jack Lovel.

State of Kin
stateofkin.com.au

5. Studio Roam, Perth

Design Practices - 5 Emerging Design Practices|
Olivia Maxwell and Sally-Ann Weerts, photography by Bianca Kate.

Perth-based architects Sally-Ann Weerts and Olivia Maxwell established Studio Roam in 2020 after gaining extensive experience working in other practices. Their hands-on approach has given rise to some of Perth’s most exciting new projects, including the The Beaufort, an inner city pub ambitiously configured as a series of landscaped terraces. Studio Roam’s aesthetic is fresh and exciting, with an emphasis on clean lines, rich colour and tactile materiality. Both Sally and Olivia are not afraid to push boundaries and their growing portfolio is all the more appealing for it.

The Beaufort, Perth, photography by David Deves.
The Beaufort, Perth, photography by David Deves.

Studio Roam
studioroam.com.au

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