As Design Director for Neometro, one of Australia's leading design, construction and property development firms, Jeff Provan has his finger on the pulse of both interior and building trends. His depth of experience – he founded Neometro in 1985 – also makes him something of a pioneer in his field. We asked him to share his thoughts on design and more...
INTERVIEW | thanks to Toni Briggs.
Which aspects of the design and construction processes do you personally find most rewarding?
“All of the stages of piecing together a project have their challenges and rewards. The initial concept stage is always good and of course the final handover of the finished product to residents. It’s rewarding when you create a concept that has integrity and then follow it through to the end.”
You must have seen many interior trends come and go over the years. Can you define the characteristics of a timelessly stylish home?
“Choosing materials that wear in, rather than wear out, will go a long way towards creating a timeless look. I also adhere to the notion that less is more. It’s a balancing act choosing what to add to a space and the trap is putting too many tricks into a home, causing clutter and feeling like the home is imploding around you. What you leave out can be just as important as what you include.”
Would you say that homeowners today have a better grasp of good design than ever before?
“Instagram, Pinterest, magazines and TV shows have had a big impact on the general public’s understanding of design. We are constantly bombarded with images and some of that rubs off onto people who then begin to really consider the design of their interior and exterior environments. Certainly we are seeing greater awareness these days.”
Thinking over Neometro's many developments, is there any particular project that stands out as a highlight?
“The Luxe building in St Kilda, which won awards at the time, was certainly a highlight. It had all the ingredients for a successful mixed use development: loft style apartments, town houses, office spaces, retail offerings and it was groundbreaking in its ‘place making’ ability.
The skill set that we honed on this project 20 years ago is essentially what we’re bringing to our latest development at Jewell Station in Brunswick, although we’ve honed our offering over the years and are taking things up a notch there.
At Jewell Station we’re creating a New Urban Village that integrates apartment living with social infrastructure. New bike paths, communal gardens, public arts and events programs,a rejuvenated local park, cafés, independent retail and meditation spaces and beautifully designed homes are the foundations on which a new creative community will be built.”
Can you nominate five elements that you think make a house a home?
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