Arkie Barton is a formidable fresh-face on the Brisbane design scene and undoubtedly a name to remember. The designs of her namesake label Arkie, enthused by inspirations from her Indigenous Australian heritage have already flourished runways of Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival and earlier this year at the National Reconciliation Week in West Africa. Most recently, you could find Arkie running rainbow illustration workshops to spearhead the dreamy Yayoi Kusama exhibition at GOMA. With a new collection in the works, we had a quick chat with Arkie about all things that inspire her multi-hued design aesthetic! From the cultural expression she has so strikingly emulated through fashion to trends she’s loving and loathing AND of course, how to rock a bold piece from her collection this summer…
Recently I sat down to chat with Chris from CG Design Studio, one of Brisbane’s newest interior design firms. Not only does Chris have an impeccable eye for styling and design but he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. He is slowly renovating his home room by room, but his ‘in-progress’ looks very different to your average reno. Chris and his partner Justin are slowly turning their home into a work of art. Have a read, get to know Chris and check out some of his gorgeous work.
A: Tell us a little about your design and career journey pre-CG Designs…
C: When I finished school I studied Business and worked in retail management and merchandising. In my early 20’s I decided to study design as it was my first passion. I would spend hours as a child designing houses and visiting open homes with my parents.
In my final year of studying design I started working for Coop Creative. The firm was in its infancy then. The ten years I spent there really allowed me to hone my craft and develop a broad range of skills.
A: What are you excited about most now that you’re your own boss and have full creative control?
C: I have always had a lot of freedom to test and implement my design ideas. Right now, I look forward to working closely with my clients to give them a unique resolution. I don’t tend to do the same design over and over.
Having my own studio will also allow me to start to develop a furniture and home-wares range. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I’m really looking forward to the process.
A: How would you sum up your personal design style in three words?
C: Crafted, Practical, Eclectic
A: We know you’re an interior designer but you’re also hold qualifications in building design. Can you tell us what that actually means?
C: It gives me more control over the environment, beyond colour, fabric and oddities. I can offer my clients a comprehensive service as a building designer. I can reconfigure and design structural elements of their homes. I have a lot of experience in renovations and extensions and with an interiors background I start from the inside and work my way out. This process ensures the areas that the clients interact with are liveable and practical to their needs.
For example, I often come across clients with beautiful new homes and impressive art collections but no walls on which to hang their collection. This needs to be considered at the beginning.
One new service I offer is attending open homes with clients to walk them through the potential concerns or opportunities they might have with their future home. To put it simply, I can do from foundations to cushions and everything in-between.
A : Tell me about your absolute dream project you hope to achieve one day?
C: I have too many, I am constantly dreaming about projects and ideas. But here goes:
- I’ve been watching too much River Cottage and it has inspired me to want to buy a hobby farm and design and build a contemporary farm house.
- Doesn’t everyone have a dream of renovating a villa in the South of France?
- Working with a fashion house to design their flagship stores and retail presence. I think it would be a really interesting creative collaboration.
- Getting off dry land and detailing the interior of a supa yacht that would be fun.
- I’d like to expand my design vision to develop a furniture and home-ware range.
A: What has been the achievement in your career that you’re most proud of?
C: Whilst at coop I was lucky to be heavily involved in the design on the Spicer’s Balfour Hotel in New Farm. It was a complex project architecturally and I learnt a lot. The finished project is a successful example of relaxed luxury and the project won numerous awards in Australia and Internationally.
A: What do you do in your spare time when you’re not working your bum off to get CG Design off the ground?
C: At the moment I’m really enjoying my garden and trying to get it established. I spend hours researching plants. I am also slowly renovating my own home, I like to get on the tools and have learnt a few new skills; I’ve gotten pretty good at tiling.
Some more of Chris’ portfolio of work:
Find Chris on Facebook