There’s no shortage of incredible houses and apartments in Bellevue Hill, in fact finding a non-renovated gem is a rarity and an opportunity not to be squandered.

Something that interior designer Chloe Matters knows very well, having scooped this two-bedroom treasure when it was covered in archaic wallpaper and floored with linoleum.

Single-handedly peeling off strips and knocking down walls came next, resulting in an unrecognisable transformation of staggering proportions.

This kind of vision is what has powered Chloe and her team (fellow designers Jade Nottage and Cushla McFadden) to start TomMarkHenry, arguably one of the most exciting commercial and residential design companies in NSW. In fact, we’d heard of Tom Mark Henry’s work long before putting  a face to the name.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a drink at the The Village in Potts Point or dive-bar-done-well Brooklyn Social in Surry Hills then you’ve experienced a little bit of the TMH genius. While each space is unique, there’s a common thread of natural fabrics and textures mixed with a touch of mid-century.

It’s a style that’s worked well in Chloe’s painstaking Bellevue Hill restoration, to the point where we wondered if she’d be reticent to give it up but it’s the nature of a designer to always be forward thinking and “the target buyer is always in mind, even with my own home.”

“When we started looking for an investment property we had a broad search radius. It was more about the property finding us.

Our home came up off market and we saw it as a perfect opportunity to do something amazing with this apartment that was still stuck in the 50’s. It had amazing bones and ticked a lot of boxes for us and our future buyer.”

“I go through the same process with my own place as I would with a client.

Being an investment the brief was about “smart design” designing with a target market in mind, whilst fitting into a budget and something that I could see myself being happy with. I identified the buyer and prioritised where the money was best spent to create the most impact.”

“I’d say my background in Behavioural Studies has helped a lot in my career.

Designing a space is such a journey and so is being a boss… A lot of people don’t understand what they want or how to verbalise the images in their mind; it helps to know how to extract that information from them so that we can achieve their inner desirers.

It has also helped me be much more aware of the emotions that spaces emanate and how important that is. Overall I feel it helped start a journey of having a greater awareness of myself and how I approach people and design, which has been a fundamental understanding and growth for me and will continue to be for the rest of my life.”

“With the boom of the web and social media clients are able to verbalise their thoughts through imagery so we do find a lot of our clients giving us specific things and styles that they would like to have.

We have to identify with the clients at this point if this is going to functionally and aesthetically work for them. More and more are we customising things for clients because there is a strong desire to create what no one else has ever created.”

“I love this place because I created it and when you work hard for something its always sweeter.

But if I had to pick a room, I would say I love the bathroom. It marries all my favourite design elements; tones, textures and clean.”

“We try not to follow trends but instead create our own. In saying that, NOT following a trend is also a bit of a design trend at the moment.

If you look at the work of designers in the industry, new boundaries and rules are being pushed everyday and it is hard to identify a specific “trend” with any good design. Hence why so many people have to identify designs with lots of slashes.”

“If my life was a coffee table book I’d probably call it; “Designing To A Trend” ha! Joking aside, in reality it would be about identifying what makes good design and the effects that has on our everyday lives. So I would probably call it “Design?””

Follow TomMarkHenry on Instagram at @TomMarkHenry_  

We’re also on Instagram @citizensoftheworld

Meg & Dom

Tags: Homes, Interviews

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