How does an interior designer know what their client wants, and then make it happen? According to John Croft, Principle Designer at John Croft Design, the key is to really listen to what the client says.
The beach house
In the case of the beach house, this project was about the third or fourth that John had undertaken for these particular clients, so he had a fair idea of what they liked. “With this project, given the beachside location, we could use strong, bright colour and have some fun. The blues pick up the colour of the sea outside, while the orange chair adds a zingy, effervescent highlight. But there are practical considerations when you are working in a harsh environment like this,” says John. “Fabrics, furniture and finishes have to be robust enough to withstand sun, salt and wind. It can’t just look good – it has to work!”
Town & country
The ‘Town and Country’ house had no external factors to consider, but this was a re-working of a previous project undertaken by Lloyd Hodgkinson, one of the interior designers at John Croft Design. The fireplace and the grass weave wallpaper above it were existing, and the clients had asked Lloyd to create a warm, welcoming and comfortable living room for them and their family. “It is a big room” said Lloyd, “so I could use strong pattern in the armchairs and ottomans, and contrast the blurred edges of the Ikat pattern with the crisp design of the custom designed rug which repeats the slightly Islamic shape of the mirror. “The bedroom, in contrast, is all soft colour and silky, velvety textures, because this is their private sanctuary, where they can relax and unwind.”
This classic Queenslander demanded an altogether different approach – here the challenge was to honour the grand proportions, the soaring ceilings, wide hallways and double size rooms. “It’s important to find pieces that are big enough to have a presence in a house of this size” says John, “and in this hallway, we needed something which had impact, as well as grace and charm. This gorgeous young woman featured in the artwork is perfectly at home in this formal setting, but when we move through to the verandah, the styling becomes much more relaxed though we have used classic woven cane style furniture.”
Three different projects from John Croft Design, three different looks, and three very happy clients – that says it all.
Photography: Steve Ryan and John Downs