Short-listed for national IDEA awards 2021

This week was an exciting one for our team, being short-listed for the national Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), which celebrates the best of Australian interior and product design.

A single vision, to enmesh art and design into the client’s daily lives. A concept, larger than life and a place for reveries where moments are mused away.

Working with Simon Ancher for pieces that twist and turn. A torched table resembling a guitar plectrum, a spinal wall sculpture and a vertical blackwood leaf form, allowing light to dance through the central void.

Maria Gigney’s metal, grid-like architecture is at once unobtrusive and yet strong. Our interior pays tribute to her considered style, weaving, interlocking, and creating moments of pause. Black with rich, saturated ochre embracing the unicity of forms.

Natural light teems through the space, expanding the landscape while heightening the differing lines. Trust and desire are fused together in the most arresting way.

Interior design / Valentine Interiors
Photography / Anjie Blair



St Mary’s College talk at Elite Appliances

St Mary’s College students were treated to a morning of bathroom inspo and design insights at Elite Appliances.

Jane discussed the role of an interior designer in the industry, career opportunities and the way we use processes, design thinking and collaboration to achieve the fusion of form and function.

The Housing and Interior Design students explored the impressive historic building, checking out tapware, appliances, fixtures and fittings.

A fun and inspiring session, allowing students to embrace an industry that has passion, integrity, skill and the deep understanding of human behaviour within habitable spaces.

Has technology reduced the value of raw expression?

There is something magical about watching a sketch evolve. The raw nub of an idea gradually evolving from simple marks into a physical expression that captures a concept and articulates complex thoughts. Each mark is attended to yet simplified, requiring no further description — an abstract expression of space, interior or exterior as experienced by the viewer.

Expression is no longer confined to a realistic rendered approach but rather one that acknowledges form, complexities in movement, and the inherent qualities of a site. In our design practice, sketching gives invaluable direction and adaptability to our thinking. It doesn’t restrict us from considering how walls could replicate the profile of trees or how ceilings could behave like clouds. It’s open-ended; it has no limitations. Yet does our industry still value sketching as a tool for expression? Has technology, although bearing beneficial and advantageous properties to the industry, triumphed over respect for the simplicity of sketching?

Richard LePlastrier, an Australian architect, captured a profound appreciation of the act of drawing perfectly. His work as an architect is derived from a deep respect for his experience of place, where he can translate this experience through sketch. In an interview by the Sydney Living Museum (1), his discussion of art teacher Lloyd Reece who taught him throughout his architecture degree, inspires and reminds us of the need to draw as designers. Furthermore, it highlights how sketches should be shared, created, expressed not just to ourselves but to those we design for. His discussion draws attention to our modes of working today, where we sometimes shut off our expression to only ourselves. Has new technology reduced the value in raw expression? Maybe we don’t feel our clients value this process?  

These new technologies undoubtedly give us the ability to draw 2D and 3D spaces more effectively and dramatically change the scale we can design in. However, does this ability to render a close to realistic visual of a space diminish the value of the storytelling that can exist in the preliminary stages of a design when sketching? For LePlastrier, sketches gave an ability to tell a story, a story where each stroke was a deliberate and direct correspondence to a site or history. 

Sketches do not need to be technical or complicated to be appreciated. They should convey a story, perhaps as simple as how a passage through a home is derived from a curve in a tree branch. A story that begins with a pencil touching paper, an observation, an expression, translated through gesture.

  1. Richard LePlastrier, 2021. Richard LePlastrier – Extended interview (2016) [online] Sydney Living Museums, available at: <>.

Article written by Valentine Interiors & Design

Simon Ancher Studio Visit

Visiting Simon Ancher’s studio in Launceston would be a guilty pleasure if it wasn’t so utterly beneficial to our clients, our projects, and our practice. There is nothing quite like a studio visit, being able to experience the incredible craftsmanship of Simon and also to be able to experience the tactile qualities of his workspace and work. We leave the studio drenched with the smell of freshly cut timbers, a deeper understanding of his processes, and with our brains spiralled awake, yearning for more, ready to create.
Simon’s authentic process and appetite for design make working with him a seamless experience. He shares his knowledge, invests in our projects, and complements our practice by allowing us to work with him to create truly compelling pieces.
We can’t think of a better way to spend our afternoon when passing through Launceston, a visit to the studio to reconnect and share the exciting projects we are working on, but most of all to be inspired.
Because sharing creativity and having conversations is what helps us and our work grow.

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.

Integrated design talk / Bentley Workspaces

A great discussion at Bentley Workspaces on having all the experts in the room at the beginning of a project. Thank you to Nicole and the team at Bentley for allowing Valentine Interiors & design to have the opportunity to be part of this.
Laura Callingham, architect from Studio ilk, Peter Ventieri, Director of In2Construction and Jane Valentine from Valentine Interiors & Design came together to chat about how engaging all the experts in the initial stage of a brief will ensure a truly integrated project and an exceptional client outcome.
Nicole from Bentley Workspaces summarised the talk following on from the day:
‘From learning about the different elements and thought process that goes into designing spaces through to the practicality and effectiveness of the build. There’s a level of collaboration and understanding that needs to happen for a project to succeed.
Some key takeaways:
1. Get the right people to the table right from the start.
2. Know your value and what you can offer and be transparent with communicating these.
3. Leverage off each other’s expertise and solve problems together, always.’
Images courtesy of Bentley Workspaces.

Conforming to trends: You may as well just tick a bunch of boxes.

Is design becoming a series of boxes to tick, where the way space is assembled responds not to its time and place but instead to dated conventions that no longer truly resonate with client needs? At what point did design simply become a matter of choosing a trend and ticking boxes, with no correlation or responsiveness to the context and the intended function. As designers, we must ask ourselves, have we applied our expert knowledge to its full potential? Have we paused and listened with an unbiased tone to what our clients need from us?

Of course, having constraints to work within is important, because it is within these that good design functions. But effective constraints are the ones that consider ergonomics and anthropometrics, they are the ones that consider inclusivity, spatial function, and the site, so that project delivers on all levels, not just superficially. Constraints should not be what inhibits us from designing, they must not be a series of boxes to tick, that reference trends rather than the key requirements given to us. We must learn to work within the scope of each project while also pushing ourselves and our designs to be more responsive to individual client needs, not wants. 

Imagine designing without limitation by refusing to partake in trends, ones that are picked from a preconceived shelf of what a space should be as opposed to what it could be. Imagine always applying an integrative approach, one that values the opinions of key experts in the field, by allowing them to be present in the initial stage of the project so that questions can be asked, and solutions offered. Because only by pausing, adapting, and really listening to our client and individual experts can we create truly individual, meaningful, and compelling spaces. 

Valentine interiors + design. 


Seafaring twist!

Twin boys deserve a special room.
With a location close to the ocean, it only felt right to respond with a seafaring twist.
Deep tones of navy float behind the spotted eagle ray, while timber detailing in the bespoke furniture provides an imaginary escape…in tandem of course!
Photography / Loic Le Guilly

Emotionally connected to a home

Being emotionally connected to a home is at the core of most interior briefs.
This delightful space focuses on the family hub. Feeling good, enjoying the space and smiling at your surrounds.
We were able to achieve this by working closely with our client. Together, we have created an artistic expression, telling a story, moving through the chapters, one room at a time.
Photography / Loic Le Guilly

International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day, we celebrate the ‘hero’ in Jane’s life. The woman she admired, the mum she loved and the artist who was an incredible inspiration on her life and business.
Lynne Andrews suddenly passed away before Christmas and we were all deeply saddened. At Valentine interiors + design we celebrate her everyday. Our studio is always filled with Lynne’s artwork, along with copies of her book Antarctic Eye: The Visual Journey, a history of the art and artists of Antartica.
If you are passing by our studio this week please pop in for a cuppa and complimentary copy of Lynne’s book, Antarctic Eye (or send Jane a message and she’ll place one aside for you), to help us celebrate and remember Lynne’s love of landscape, bushland and the exploration of wild remote places.