Grant began his career in interior design at the ripe age of 6 when he told his parents friends that the design in their home was all wrong and they needed to move a wall! At first they were taken aback as they had just had the renovations done but it wasn’t long till they came back and said the 6 year old was right! Grant has always had an instinct for great design and we are honoured to have him as the head of the ARTIS PURA Design team.
How did you start in the world of Interior Design?
From a young age, I have always been drawn to the world of Architecture and Interior design. The interplay of both the positive space of the building and the negative space of the area is intriguing. I can remember telling people from a young age, 'that wall is wrong and has to go'. Initially my career trajectory took me down a different path, however I started offering advice to family and friends. This led to the birth of Gem'Appelle Designs in the late 90's. While undertaking a project for clients I was approached by John Cunningham, of Danish Kitchens and then underwent a traineeship in the finer points of Kitchen Design. This then led to the purchase of Kitchens Brisbane as his own kitchen design business. And now, the story continues under ARTIS PURA Design and Kitchens Brisbane by ARTIS PURA.
What areas of design are you most focused on?
My main design focus has mainly been within the domestic space. I enjoy the personal connection of myself and my clients and relish the excitement that a new interior space brings to them. Often my clients have remarked that they didn’t even like cooking before I re-imagined their kitchen.
Do you have a favourite design style?
A this point in time, I am particularly drawn to the Mid Century Modern design aesthetic. I find the lack of over embellishment and clean lines helps keep the rooms feeling larger and more open. Giving my clients the room to breathe and relax. In saying that, I tell my clients when asked that my style doesn’t really matter as I need to find your style and bring it to life, otherwise I am wasting your money.
What has been your most memorable project?
That is a truly hard question to answer. There have been so many projects over the years, from simply adding a couple of cushions to complete re-designs. I would have to say, one of the more difficult projects was my own home. Mainly due to realising that I needed to define the way I lived my life and how I ultimately lived in the home. It was also one of the most rewarding, for the same reasons.
You have always been big on advocating original art over prints. What makes you feel so strongly about this?
While I wouldn't consider myself an artist, by any stretch of the imagination, I have always enjoyed art. I like being able to connect with a piece, discovering the depths and uncovering the emotions, or lack thereof, within me. One of my very first pieces was a gift of a print from my grandfather. This was handed down to him and he was passing it on. The legacy will continue, as it has now been beautifully reframed with the appropriate conservation techniques to help it last.
Art also plays a major part of my work, as you could imagine. I am often asked by my clients to purchase their art. I let them know very gently that I don't do that. My process is slightly different. I will direct my clients to a particular style or genre that matches the style or theme that we are creating. From there, we pick a few artists that fits these criteria. We then look through their body of work and find a piece or pieces that my clients are drawn to. If the artist currently doesn't have a completed work, then we look at commissioning a piece. There is so much great talent out there, at very reasonable prices.
What would you say is one of the the most underused décor pieces in people’s homes?
One of the 'tricks of the trade' is the use of mirrors. These are to both bounce the light around and blur the lines and make spaces appear larger. There are many options when using them for your design. Thankfully, the full wall of smoked bronze mirror, (think the ‘80’s) is no longer in vogue, however, you can achieve a similar feel of spaciousness very easily. For your ‘Hampton’s Inspiration’ think large, 10 square, white timber framed mirrors, to match your French doors. There is everything from the traditional large, ornate mirror above the dining sideboard through to the small, practical vanities in your bathrooms, I always look to the custom framers for these. That way we can guarantee the right fit.
Of course, here at ARTIS PURA we love getting creative with pieces for people’s homes. Why do you feel that custom framing is important and often overlooked?
When undertaking a renovation or redecoration most people will also think about their collection and how it will fit within their new space. Gone are the days of buying a piece of work, simply because it matches the sofa. You probably already have some favourite pieces that you love. These can be worked into your new home, simply through reframing. That heavy, gilded frame might look out of place in your new modern addition or you might now want to match your works to your Hamptons inspired Queenslander. The frame is what both completes the individual works of art and the overall theme of your new home. It is also a way of both storing and displaying some of those treasured momentos and trinkets. By custom framing your child’s first shoes, their winning trophy, your father’s war medals etc, they become a part of your design story and proudly displayed and admired for years to come.