Australian interior designer and blogger Dana Hughes shares her beautiful Sydney home office with us.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I’ve been working from home since November 2009. My husband and I share an apartment in an old style building in Elizabeth Bay in Sydney with high ornate ceilings and beautiful bay windows – I feel very lucky to be able to spend a few days here during the week. At the moment, I divide my time between working as a lead designer on high profile projects with an esteemed architecture & design practice, and crafting boutique interiors as a principal of my design business.
I also write a design blog called yellowtrace, where I share my love for great design and clever people in the areas of interiors, architecture, art, fashion, photography and anything else worth knowing about. I am on a mission to inspire others using design as a tool, so that they can become the best they can be.
Describe your style? How would you define your aesthetic? I approach my designs with passion, emotion and honesty, and I always strive to separate who am I as a designer from the essence of my client, which isn’t always easy to do. I feel it is absolutely critical to create spaces that tell a story about the end user, rather than about me and my own aesthetic.
My design philosophy is based on a holistic approach which translates brands, ideas and my clients’ personalities into places. Each project begins with a strong concept which becomes an anchor for all ideas during the design process. I am drawn to inspiring, meaningful and enduring environments and experiences, frequently stepping off the beaten path to discover the unexpected for my clients.
How do you keep your work space organized? I’m thinking here of the physical space but also your computer. Are there any particular programs you find really useful? I have a large drawer cabinet where I store all of my sketches, drawings, samples and work in progress. I have also created little zones in my work space which are dedicated to different tasks – desk for computer based tasks, sketching, admin, blogging; floor for laying out samples and finishes (very glamorous!), seat by the window for thinking etc.
In terms of the technology, I simply couldn’t live without my large iMac screen which is absolutely ideal for creating visual presentations which require having multiple applications open and visible at the same time. Apart from the computer programs essential to my work like AutoCAD, Photoshop and Illustrator, I also rely heavily on Adobe Bridge for sorting and managing all my files. I also really love Apreture and Picasa which help me organise and upload photos and images, particularly for my blog.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you love? Neither of these are furniture, but the things I love in my home office are my computer and my reference books. Sad but true! Having said that, I adore the ceramic table lamp called “Cut Series” by Szilvia Gyorgy – when it’s off, it looks like a beautiful sculpture; when it’s on, it gives off the most beautiful light and casts stunning patterns on surrounding walls. I also really love large typography tea towels purchased at a market in Melbourne and a photo of oars taken by my husband.
What is a desk accessory you can’t do without? Magazine holder which I use to keep an absolutely endless supply of loose pages in order. Also, although not a desk accessory, I absolutely cannot live without my rolls of yellow trace sketch paper (which is where the name for my business and blog comes from – you can read about it more in this post).
What do you most love about your space? Abundance of natural light, textured brick walls painted white and high ceilings – a perfect canvas for a creative work space.
What inspires you? Ah, this is such a difficult question to answer. I am inspired by so many things, from big and small, obvious and hidden, special and everyday. I recently wrote an entire post on this topic – you can read it right here.