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Five Key Themes From Our Podcast With Arent&Pyke

We break down the five key themes from our podcast This Much I Know with Karen McCartney in conversation with Arent&Pyke founders and principal designers Juliette Arent & Sarah-Jane Pyke. Recorded in their Queens Park project, they discuss how they interact with their clients, creating moments of pleasure, inspiring elements and the flow of family life. 

1. The Intuitive Nature of Interior Design

Juliette and Sarah-Jane emphasise the importance of aligning with clients to create harmonious and functional living spaces. Delving into the design process, Juliette and Sarah-Jane speak about the extensive conversations and decision-making required to guide clients to make informed choices. Describing themselves as oftentimes ‘marriage counsellors’, Juliette and Sarah-Jane also unpack the sometimes misunderstood role of interior designers. 

At the same time, the designers reflect on the keys to success, which come from balancing the clients’ desires with their own intuition and expertise to ensure the final result exceeds their expectations rather than simply adhering to them. This approach transforms individual elements into a harmonious whole, demonstrating the designers’ responsibility to merge ideas and design cohesive, emotionally connected spaces. 

Hearth House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Prue Ruscoe

Shape Up Cone Pendant
Marcel Breuer Wassily Chair
Barbera Design Fermat Joinery Pull
Delcourt Collection DOT Stool

The Barbera Design Fermat joinery, Shape Up Cone pendant, Marcel Breuer Wassily chair and Delcourt Collection DOT stool in the kitchen and dining area of Hearth House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Prue Ruscoe

2. Adaptability and Flexibility in Design

Sarah-Jane and Juliette reflect on the necessity of flexibility and adaptability in the design process. They discuss the importance of planning and having the confidence to make necessary changes as designers often tweak and change elements – even during the final stages of a project– which often leads to surprising and joyful outcomes.

Sarah-Jane and Juliette stress the value of confidence in making decisions, even if it means revising original choices to enhance the final result. Likening each project to a new prototype that demands both innovation and expertise, they highlight that design is not about rigid perfection but dynamically responding to the evolving context and elements to ensure the space feels alive and unique. 

Hearth House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Prue Ruscoe

1885 House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Apparatus Cloud 37 Chandelier

The Apparatus Cloud 37 chandelier in the living room of 1885 House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

1885 House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

3. Strengthening and Maintaining Client Relationships 

Juliette and Sarah-Jane highlight the significance of their relationships with clients in designing personalised and evolving spaces built over years and multiple projects. Exploring how a designer’s deep understanding of the client’s lifestyle and tastes is crucial, Juliette and Sarah-Jane discuss how this collaborative dynamic allows them to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and reflective of the clients’ personalities.

“With a good client relationship, there’s that ability to draw out their stories and what matters to them,” Juliette reflects. “Working with a client repeatedly means you’ve got all this lovely history. You’ve got all of the beautiful objects and pieces and artworks that you already know and love that are part of the home”.

Carl Hansen & Son CH24 Wishbone

The Carl Hansen & Son CH24 Wishbone chairs in the dining area of Layer Cake by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Artek Chair 611

The Artek Chair 611 in Layer Cake by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

4. Embracing A Unique Design Ethos

The podcast emphasises the importance of designers following their own design ethos rather than adhering to conventional design rules. Sarah-Jane and Juliette reflect on how they seamlessly meld old and new elements, incorporate bold colour and texture, and weave art to enliven spaces, as seen in their Queen’s Park House.

Sarah-Jane, Juliette and Karen specifically reflect on the divisive decision-making process behind choosing a soft yellow-green wall colour in the Queen’s Park House that initially raised doubts but ultimately contributed to the room’s charm, ultimately highlighting the importance of trusting a designer’s vision. 

Oluce Atollo 235

The Oluce Atollo 235 lamp in Layer Cake by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Flos Gatto
Satara Allegra Lounge Chair

The Satara Allegra lounge chair and Flos Gatto lamp in the living area of Legato House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Flos Gatto
Satara Allegra Lounge Chair

The Cassina LC14 Tabouret Cabanon Roquebrune-Cap-Martin 1952 in Legato House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

5. Holistic Design Sensibilities 

On the importance of creating spaces that support well-being, Juliette shares her experience with mast cell activation syndrome, which heightened her awareness of the impact of the environment on health. Juliette and Sarah-Jane advocate using non-toxic materials, well-ventilated spaces, and ample natural light, highlighting how thoughtful material choices and design principles can foster a nurturing and healthy living environment. Sarah-Jane describes this approach; “Having a true understanding of my own relationship with nature and how the natural world is so intrinsically important to us, and how we can make that a part of our homes and our lives.”

Legato House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Great Dane Hof Barstool

The Queens Park House kitchen features the Gemla HOF Barstools and Allied Maker 3 Arc Island light | Photography by Anson Smart

Queens Park House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

Cassina 637 Utrecht Armchair
Sika Design Charlottenborg Chair
4 Bowl Pendant with Arch

Queens Park House by Arent&Pyke | Photography by Anson Smart

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