Juliette & Sarah-Jane talk design philosophy with Armadillo & Co
Our founders, Juliette Arent & Sarah-Jane Pyke spoke to Armadillo & Co about their design philosophy, signature use of colour and unexpected combinations.
How did Arent & Pyke come to be, and as a creative duo how do you play to each other’s strengths?
Sarah-Jane and I met roughly 13 years ago – there was a fire and determination in SJ that I admired greatly. Our first project as Arent & Pyke was a family home in Coogee. We started small, and worked from my dining room – but it was an incredibly exciting time.
Working together as friends and as business partners comes with its challenges, but there is an incredibly strong synergy that we share, both in the creative work as well as the running of the business. We often have very different ideas and approaches to various projects – but it is these contrasts and “conflicts” that produce the best possible outcomes for our clients.
I think Juliette and I have found a really great way to balance out our strengths with each other. We really admire each other and I think that always comes out in the way that we work together. I see in Juliette so much flare and she has an incredible eye for colour, detail and pattern. My strengths are also in being on-site with builders and managing the detail of the build work. In essence, together we really complement each other.
Juliette, you describe how your philosophy is one of ‘emotional design’. Can you expand on this philosophy and how it supports an honest connection with your clients?
So when I talk about emotional design, what I’m really talking about is how I want clients to engage in the emotion that they feel when they’re at home. As the project unfolds we learn more about the clients and what they want to get out of their home. This allows us to tweak and modify textures and colours we use accordingly.
Arent & Pyke, I know, have built a reputation for our use of colour and I also think this sparks a beautiful emotional response in people, without even knowing.
In this particular project, the front lounge room was under-utilised so we encouraged the clients to be brave and to make the room darker with the wall colour. By combining the dark wall colour with the glowing Byzantine Agra Knot rug, we were able to bring an absolutely beautiful personality and soul into the space.
Sarah-Jane, you have an obvious meticulous eye for detail and your work has been described as one of composing unexpected combinations. How does the Fig Tree House project reflect your signature style?
Fig Tree House is such a great example of what we love to do at Arent & Pyke because there are so many playful and unexpected elements here. I particularly love the vibrant pink chair in this lounge room and how it plays off contemporary shapes and contemporary pieces with more traditional built joinery. I love the playfulness of juxtaposing those elements and I think we got to really play with colour, which is another one of our major signatures at Arent & Pyke.
As a creative duo, you have stayed true to your ethos of collaborative respect. How important is collaboration and how big a part has it played in the success of Arent & Pyke?
Arent & Pyke was essentially a collaboration from the start. We saw how much value there was in leaning on each other, learning from each other and working together. Everyone we have brought into the business – all our designers and our team really adds a lot to the practice and what we do. So we really recognise that we love working with other people during the creative process; whether that’s with artisans, builders, architects, other designers and absolutely our clients. So it really is this collaboration… that’s where we get the most joy out of our work.
Credits:Armadillo & Co