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Interior designer Miriam Fanning heads up Mim Design, one of Melbourne's most respected multidisciplinary design firms. She possesses an exceptional eye for detail and this is always reflected in the tailored and elegant touches that characterise her projects. We asked Miriam to share her thoughts on the design process, trends and more...
INTERVIEW | by Toni Briggs.
What would you say are the key design elements that make a house a home?
“The curation of personal elements that work together in a sublime manner, as well as strategic planning and placement of rooms and furniture. For example, ensuring you have proportionate walls to artwork sizes, proportionate room sizes to feature furniture sizes. It’s about walking into a room and finding that it just works, even if you can’t quite put your finger on why.”
Which aspects of the design process do you personally find most rewarding?
“Having a great relationship with a client and producing a concept right through to a final build and ensuring that the design intent is maintained throughout the process. I love to create an individual design for each environment and then hand the final job over to the client and see the expression of delight on their face.”
What do think are the hallmarks of a great Australian home?
“Excellent planning, lots of light and proportionate spaces. My favourite homes have generous rooms and an element of softness, balance and calmness that transcends from living spaces to bedrooms.”
Time to get out the crystal ball: which interiors trends do you see emerging now and in the next few seasons?
“I tend not to go for trends. I prefer timeless interiors that are designed for each client and their environment. Some of the best designs that you see around the world could have come from 2016, 1960 or some other era. They all have a sense of timelessness and a unique look that never dates. To me, quality design is about authenticity and being relevant to the structure in which it sits.”
Can you pass on four pieces of advice for anyone about to embark on building or renovating?
“Always ensure you choose a consultant whose work you admire and that you will enjoy working with. It’s important that they know what they’re doing and how to get you the results that you need.
Planning is the most important phase of any renovation or new build. It might seem obvious, but it’s essential to ensure that spaces work and connect and that they’re used efficiently and don’t become a burden to the resident.
Ensure that your design process suits you, your home and your vision. Be wary of design trends because timelessness will deliver you the best value for money. Make sure you understand the process of design with your consultant. It will make the experience more enjoyable and the results better in the end.
Authentic design means using authentic materials throughout your renovation. Be sure not to skimp on key finishes and materials. Stick to natural materials where you can, such as beautiful linens, real marble, timber and don’t settle for replica furniture.”