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Arent&Pyke Celebrate A Decade In Design

Looking back on the decade past with Sarah-Jane

October 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of Arent&Pyke studio and we couldn’t be more excited about celebrating this milestone. The past ten years has seen the Arent&Pyke team build an exceptional portfolio of diverse spaces and award-winning projects. For Arent&Pyke principals, Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke, the passion for creating beautiful residential spaces and interiors that nurture the human condition has only grown stronger and more refined over time. Each project completed becomes a testament to the studio’s collective vision and we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years hold.

In the spirit of celebrating, we asked Sarah-Jane to share her personal project highlights and recount some of the most memorable moments from over the years.

Let’s start by looking back to your very first Arent&Pyke project, Coogee House.

Our first project and our first Christmas deadline! I remember feeling the incredible sense of accomplishment, getting our first clients settled into their new home in time for Christmas in 2007. Little did we know that it would be the first of many family homes we would work on, or that creative children’s’ rooms would become one of our favourite spaces to design.


What were some of the important design choices made to evoke a sense of ‘Hotel as Home’ for The Alex Hotel?

Whenever we would dream of our ideal project, the words “boutique hotel” would always come to mind. When I first spoke to the clients for The Alex Hotel, I knew we had found our match. The brief really resonated with me and taking it to the team, there was an immediate emotional response to the idea of creating a “hotel as home”. Throughout the design process, colour emerged as one of the main tools we would use to bring the schemes to life. The rooms on each floor have a new colour scheme, which is realised in the custom joinery, textiles and the wall colours for each individual room. Staying at The Alex Hotel is an immersive colour experience, with each scheme layering tonal variations or complementary colours to create visual richness. I loved the idea of returning travellers having a new experience with each visit, and I honestly couldn’t choose a favourite room when we stayed there ourselves. Most of the work we do is in private homes, so the opportunity to spend a few days at The Alex Hotel, observe other guests, and see the success of the different spaces was unique and unforgettable.



What can you share with us about your first International project, the New York Apartment?

It was very exciting to get a call out of the blue from my first ever client to work on their new apartment in the West Village in New York City. It was a bittersweet moment for me as I was already 7 months pregnant and I knew that getting to the site was out of the question! I remember skyping with Juliette as she walked around the space for the first time. The image of the red and orange Utrecht chairs in the living room has become an iconic image for the practice.

Do you remember how you felt when it was announced that The Darling Point Apartment had won Best of State Residential at the Australian Interior Design Awards in 2009?

Winning that award for the Darling Point Apartment was such an incredible moment. We had only started the business 18 months beforehand, and so acknowledgment of the work we had done by our industry meant so much to me. I knew then that we were on the right track with our studio vision, and that our desire to create homes filled with interest and layered with personality had a meaningful effect. Three years later it was our project The Avenue, with Tom Ferguson, that made a clean sweep of the national awards in the Residential Decoration category. I’m still incredibly proud of that project. It is a real testament to the magic that can happen when everyone is in tune with the big vision for a house.


Over the past decade you have worked with numerous artisans, builders, architects, other designers and of course your clients, is there a particular collaboration that has stuck with you?

Being in business for 10 years has given us the chance to work with some clients more than once, which is the greatest collaboration we could ask for. Once that trust is built and we have a history of working together, there is so much opportunity to take greater risks and really push a project to the next level. It’s also just a lot of fun! Right now I’m revisiting our Woollahra House project, with our clients who we first met in 2010. From our first update of the house seven years ago, we have since completed new bedrooms for each of the children, a light-filled study and now the kitchen and bathrooms are being overhauled. I can’t wait to see it all completed later this year.


I would say the unsung heroes in our projects are all the craftspeople and trades that we work with to produce the final results. We have worked with joiner extraordinaire Eddie Chedra of Adam Standfield Cabinetmaking for the entire 10 years of the practice, and I don’t know what I’d do without him! We only ever use Simple Studio for all our window treatments, rely heavily on the talents of Edwin Odermatt from Atelier Upholstery and Gary Galego to craft more beautiful joinery for our projects.



Has there been a standout design choice made on one of your projects that you’re particularly proud of?

The deep blue kitchen we designed in the Balmoral Beach House was our first foray into coloured cabinets and marked the start of a long love affair we would have with coloured kitchens. The combination of the royal blue cabinets, pure white marble and the view out to the harbour is truly spectacular.


Credits and photography:

1 Coogee House by Arent&Pyke, photography: Anson Smart

2 Alex Hotel by Arent&Pyke, photography: Anson Smart

3 New York Apartment by Arent&Pyke, photography: Anson Smart

4 Darling Point Apartment by Arent&Pyke, photography: Anson Smart

5 Woollahra Terrace by Arent&Pyke, photography: Tom Ferguson 

6 Barcom Terrace by Arent&Pyke, photography: Tom Ferguson

7 Darling Point Penthouse by Arent&Pyke, photography: Felix Forest

8 Balmoral Beach House by Arent&Pyke, photography: Tom Ferguson

Feature image Pyrmont Apartment by Arent&Pyke, photography: Tom Ferguson 


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