Emerging Australian interior designers, preeminent practices and everything in between; here are the 25 best interior designers Australia has to offer.
September 14th, 2020
There’s much more to Australian interior design than meets The Block. As the coalface of space, interiors are a facet of design that permeates our everyday lives more obviously than most. In practice, interior design defines not just the aesthetic style of a space – whether it be residential, commercial, hospitality or retail – but its atmosphere too.
On today’s international design stage there are a number of famous Australian interior designers, but so far as history goes, Marion Hall Best (1905-1988) was one of the profession’s most influential. Known as Marion Best, she practiced between 1938 and 1974, working mainly on commercial, residential and public projects. Today, her work is immortalised in the Marion Hall Best Collection as part of the Sydney Living Museums. In her prime, Marion Best was something of the Mother of Interior Design Australia, advocating for ‘interior decorating’ to become a recognised profession – a fight that went on to be championed by Sue Carr throughout the 70s and onwards to the esteemed realisation of interior design Australia showcases today.
In contemporary times, the list of famous Australian interior designers and interior design companies is much more extensive. In fact, the market is so saturated with interior design talent, that work across numerous typologies, it can be quite difficult to navigate. To make life easier, here is Indesign’s little black book of the 25 top Australian interior designers today – from emerging designers to the interior design luminaries and the preeminent practices.
25. Danielle Brustman
From interior design to set design and back again, Danielle Brustman’s unique eye and unconventional career trajectory gives the interior designer an edge over the rest. Based in Melbourne, Danielle’s eponymous studio synthesises her cross-disciplinary skill set and expertise with innovation and vision, specialising in the realms of residential, hospitality and retail interior design.
24. Alicia Holgar
Alicia Holgar is an interior architect and designer based in Brisbane, Australia. Specialising in bespoke residential and boutique commercial projects, Alicia is passionate about crafting spaces that resonate as a sanctuary for wellness and wellbeing.
23. Studio Esteta
Based in Melbourne, Studio Esteta specialises in a range of sectors and scales and is dedicated to creating responsive and holistic design solutions that reflect the unique personalities, commercial objectives and site specific needs of the individuals and brands they work alongside.
22. Lucy Marczyk
Lucy Marczyk’s passion for meaningful design has seen her rise to prominence on the international stage. She has worked around the world from New York, London, Thailand, Italy, Singapore, China and throughout Australia. Her diverse project folio includes single and multi-residential, commercial and hospitality projects, as well as high profile interiors including a luxury super yacht.
21. Pierce Widera
Located in Melbourne, Pierce Widera is the partnership of Amy Pierce and Nat Widera. Named Emerging Interior Design Practice of 2019 by the Australian Interior Design Awards, Pierce Widera works to create distinctly resolved and highly impactful projects, a number of which have been covered on Indesignlive.
20. Doherty Design Studio
Doherty Design Studio is an award-winning Interior Design practice based in Melbourne. Drawing on the strength of its professional team and collaborations with some of Australia’s leading creatives, the studio aims to enhance the interior experience of residential, multi-residential and commercial spaces throughout Australia through intuitive, holistic design principles and bespoke finishes that express individuality.
19. Bergman & Co.
Working across hospitality, residential, commercial and retail projects, Bergman & Co.’s style is inspired by international travel, environmental consciousness and innovation. Award winning Director Wendy Bergman, alongside her experienced team, collaborates with local artists, craftsmen and designers, to create unique and bespoke spaces that enhance people’s experiences.
Biasol (pronounced ‘b–are–zoul’) is a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary design studio with a focus on the design of interior spaces, building typologies, products, and branded environments. Founded in 2012 by Jean-Pierre Biasol, a man of Italian heritage and European education, Biasol’s fluid and multi-disciplinary approach to design is apt at creating highly engaging environments and experiences that surpass expectation.
Founded in 2007 by principals Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke, Arent&Pyke is an interior design studio based in Sydney. Since its inception, Arent&Pyke has grown into an award-winning design practice with a distinctive style and approach to living in the home. Arent&Pyke’s passion for residential spaces, beautiful interiors and nurturing the human condition is manifest in every interior design project they undertake.
16. Smart Design Studio
Smart Design Studio, founded in 1997 by William Smart, has a reputation as a multi-disciplinary design studio of excellence. With a diverse range of design projects – master-planning for new urban centres, public projects, commercial, cultural and retail spaces, multi-residential developments and private residences – Smart Design Studio produces buildings and interiors of elegant and modern simplicity, a quality which unites our portfolio across various scales.
15. Richards Stanisich
Richards Stanisich is a Sydney-based interior design practice that heralds a diverse body of work spanning retail, residential, hospitality and commercial design sectors, with projects varied in scale, from small to large. Founded by Jonathan Richards and Kirsten Stanisich, two highly-acclaimed Australian interior designers, Richards Stanisich prides itself on its holistic, ‘outside-in’ approach to interior design, which looks beyond the inside space to take cues from the broader context of the building, history, people, and natural environment. The finesse, resolve and integrity of Richards Stanisich designed spaces serve as testament to this approach.
14. Greg Natale
Greg Natale is undoubtedly one of the most famous contemporary Australian interior designers. The multi-award-winning interior designer is renowned for his masterly use of pattern and colour, and his bold application of both in creating tailored, glamorous and sophisticated spaces.
13. Mim Design
Mim Design is an award-winning Melbourne-based interior architecture practice known for its creativity, high end finishes and attention to detail. Recognised nationally and internationally, Mim Design has spent more than 20 years curating a diverse portfolio spanning high end residential, retail, hospitality and corporate projects. More recently the studio, guided by founder and managing director Miriam Fanning, has expanded into five-star hotels, custom multi-residential interiors, external design and furnishings.
12. Alexander & Co.
Alexander & Co. is a design studio based in Sydney that prides itself on crafting timeless, beautiful spaces, “for those who care deeply”. Heralding an agile and highly collaborative approach to design, Alexander & Co. attributes its success to its ability to adapt its process, without compromising the rigour and integrity of said process, in a way that is highly responsive to project and client needs.
Established in 2014, TomMarkHenry is an interior architecture and design studio based in Darlinghurst, Sydney. In the six short years since its inception, the dynamic studio has quickly become recognised as one of the most exciting Australian interior designers in the scene. Active in the realms of hospitality, retail, workspace and residential design, TomMarkHenry’s projects are distinctively passionate, expressive and delightfully unexpected.
10. Studio Tate
Studio Tate is an interior architecture practice committed to intelligent and responsible design in projects that resonate with today’s experience-driven culture. Studio Tate prides itself on designing for life, with a belief in social sustainability and timeless design that creates a positive impact on how people and communities live, work and play. The studio’s approach to materiality, colour and new technologies creates layered design outcomes that are sensory and emotive, with carefully nuanced detail and unexpected results.
acme is an award-winning multidisciplinary design studio delivering a broad range of creative projects. The boutique practice has extensive professional experience in both small and large scale projects including completed works in the hospitality, residential, commercial, industrial, public and adaptive reuse sectors. Established by architect Vince Alafaci and interior designer Caroline Choker, acme focuses on creating holistic design solutions that respond to each client’s commercial objectives and site specific needs.
08. Fiona Lynch
Renowned for its artistic approach to interior design, Fiona Lynch is a design studio that excels in achieving wonderfully resolved outcomes across residential, hospitality and retail projects. Led by Fiona Lynch, recognised as one of the top Australian interior designers, and driven by the multidisciplinary expertise of her wider team, the award-winning studio’s work is celebrated for its emotive sensibility to materiality and light.
07. Hecker Guthrie
Based in Melbourne, Hecker Guthrie is celebrated as one of the leading Australian interior designers, with a body of work that spans hospitality, residential, retail and commercial design sectors, with projects both in Australia and abroad. Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie, the practice’s founders and directors, appear on the surface to present a sort of yin and yang in terms of personality, yet at heart they share common design beliefs that support and sustain one another and the broader practice. These shared attributes are balanced by thoughtfulness (Hamish) and enthusiasm (Paul) bringing design solutions and providing an umbrella perspective which takes in several areas of expertise; interior design, building design, industrial design, furniture design and styling.
06. Flack Studio
Awarded The Prodigy title in the 2020 INDE.Awards, David Flack and Mark Robinson, directors of Flack Studio, are without a doubt two of the most noteworthy Australian interior designers in our midst. A multi-disciplinary practice of interior designers and architects, Flack Studio is committed to delivering supremely elegant contemporary interiors. Aptly described as “personable, definitive, with a touch of daring”, Flack Studio’s sophisticated portfolio speaks for itself.
05. SJB Interiors
Australian interior design Big Gun, SJB Interiors comprises the interior design capabilities of the inimitable architecture practice, SJB. With Andrew Parr – one of the most famous Australian interior designers himself – at the helm, SJB Interiors was established as its own entity in 1994, autonomous from, yet supported by, the preeminence of SJB.
Over the last 25-plus years SJB Interiors has pursued the prerogative of interior design for hospitality, with the occasional commercial fit-out, and in doing so has become renowned for designing some of Australia’s most iconic places to eat, play, work, and stay.
04. Woods Bagot
Officially founded in Adelaide, c.1905, Woods Bagot has been in the design business for well over a century – including thirty-odd years (give-or-take a few) of late in which the practice can be considered a peer amongst Australian interior designers. Today, with studios spread internationally across five regions, Woods Bagot is recognised as one of the world’s largest design firms.
Despite its behemoth scale and stalwart presence, the practice has kept itself relevant by readily embracing modern and progressive design movements. It is perhaps this progressive approach to running an age-old design practice that has lead Woods Bagot to become celebrated as one of the most eminent Australian interior designers, particularly across large-scale commercial and hospitality design projects.
Hassell, a multi-disciplinary design practice with studios in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, plus five more international locations, is undeniably one of the most famous interior designers home-grown in Australia. Founded as an architectural design practice in 1938, Hassell took to interior design c.1980s, just as the profession was steadily gaining momentum, and has never looked back.
With a body of work that spans virtually every facet of built-environment design you can think of – thinking heavy on the commercial, public, hospitality and retail design spheres, that is – its no wonder that the Hassell name is a frequent and stalwart contender on the shortlists of Australia’s most esteemed awards programs, year after year.
02. Bates Smart
With studios in Melbourne and Sydney, Bates Smart is a multidisciplinary design firm delivering architecture, interior design, urban design and strategic services across Australia. The studio’s award-winning projects are renowned for their propensity to transform the city fabric and the way people use and inhabit built environments.
Interior design is a fully integrated core discipline at Bates Smart. Interior designers are involved from the beginning, ensuring each project is designed from the inside out as well as from the outside in. Nurturing a diverse and ever-evolving portfolio, with works across each and every sector of built-environment design – bar private residential, that is. With a significant portion of projects being interiors based, Bates Smart is the preeminent practice behind many of Australia’s best workplaces, hospitality design projects or specialised health/research interiors.
Carr, a Melbourne-based architecture and interior design firm, has origins that trace back to c.1971, when Sue Carr, the studio’s founder and principal, embarked on and established a practice of her own. Known then as Inarc, Carr’s debut into private practice came at a time in which interior design Australia was still the subject of much naïveté, often undermined as merely the selection soft furnishings and decor. Decidedly a driving force behind the esteemed profession of interior design Australia heralds today, Sue Carr was recognised as one of 100 Women of Influence in the Australian Financial Review’s awards program in 2016.
Founded upon a steadfast focus on elevating human experience through design, Carr’s timeless approach fosters connection. Every detail is thoughtfully considered throughout Carr’s extensive body of work – which traces back 40 years and is rich in multi-residential boutique developments, commercial, retail and hospitality design projects – ensuring that, through each project, Carr stays true to its founding ethos, all the while contributing to the advancement of Australian interior design at-large.
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