Inspiring the next generation

Emilie from Guilford Young College and Abby from Woodbridge School joined us for our work experience program. A real world, hands on experience that encourages and inspires the students to consider a career in interior design.
The students joined our team on supplier visits to Featherston Interiors, Poytec and a site visit to our current Waggon & Horses Pub fit-out.
Sharing experiences and lessons we have learned can be the most valuable of all.

Push or Pull. Open or Close. Who knows…

‘The thing is, designers, should not make things work in the way they want it to work, but rather in the way human beings work’(1)

Have you found yourself in a lift, or even just trying to get yourself through a door and just got it wrong? The awkwardly painful moment when you push instead of pull. Or when you intend to hold the lift doors open for somebody, only to accidentally press the wrong button and close the door in their face. It happens all the time. It is worth considering at what point does the universality of design triumph the way we need things to work? How many things are as they are because that is the way they have always been.

Have our designed systems become so refined that they are no longer effective nor functional for everyone using them? Past designers such as Charlotte Perriand firmly respected the notion that form follows function. A modernist movement that placed the importance on function as the fundamental influencer of form. Perriand expressed this in an article that ‘the extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living’(2). It feels relevant to consider this as we continue to adapt and simplify, reducing the visual aspects of design. We must find a happy medium that marries the visual experience of design with the comprehension and the experience of using it. We must acknowledge that through continual refinement and in the application of historic design conventions, we are at risk of losing or displacing the intended function of our designs.

As designers, we should always take the opportunity to design better. We must learn to adapt, refine and evolve. The situation in the lift simply should not happen. Instead, we could reconsider what has been and replace it with what could be. Design that seeks to better our collective experience. Good design does not always need to be stripped of its visual aspects. It does not necessarily need to be minimal. It must work seamlessly and beautifully. 

(1) Rabida, K. and Rabida, K., 2021. Push or Pull? Norman Doors and Designing for Humans. [online] (

(2) Perriand, C (1981), L’Art de Vivre (the art of living), The Tate, UK (

Article written by Valentine Interiors & Design

National short-listing in Designers Australia Awards 2021

We are thrilled to have been short-listed by The Design Institute of Australia for its inaugural Designers Australia 2021 Awards.
The awards bring together Australia’s broad design community to celebrate ethical, innovative, and impactful design thinking. We’re honoured to be amongst some of the best designers in the country.
Thanks to our incredible client at Clemens Hill, we are immensely proud of this project and our entire team.

Evoking a sense of solidity

A building that sits strongly, yet with a respectful nod to its surroundings. Tucked on the edge of the CBD amongst significant heritage buildings and homes.
Ronald Young & Co Builders’ new office space, architecturally designed by BYA Architects, required a considered approach. An approach that acknowledged not just the newly designed structure, but also the residential properties surrounding it. We selected materials, textures, and colours that created a professional, contemporary feel; reflective of Ronald Young’s long-standing reputation.
The branding and exterior finishes needed to be sophisticated and to complement the neighboring architecture, such as the striking Goulburn Street Housing by Cumulus, that sits alongside. We chose to hone in on tones that would exist robustly, and yet also evoke a sense of solidity, referencing the foundational role that Ronald Young & Co Builders continues to play in creating homes that are an integral part of Hobart’s built fabric.
Client / Ronald Young & Co Builders
Architecture / BYA Architects
Exterior Scheme / Valentine interiors + design
Photography / Loic Le Guilly