Interior Designer Series – Q&A with Romaine Alwill of Alwill

Interior Designer Series – Q&A with Romaine Alwill of Alwill

Today we are excited to introduce the fabulous work of interior designer Romaine Alwill, a longstanding and much-loved Robert Plumb collaborator. She has worked on some of Sydney’s most prestigious architecturally designed homes bringing her eye for form and materials, colour and texture to everything she does. Adept at creating seamless relationships between inside and out, Romaine gives advice on how to make it work and shares some favourite images showcasing her use of Robert Plumb product.

How do you define the philosophy of your practice?

We believe in having a strong concept, tailored to the individual client, which informs and responds to every aspect of design - from the bigger picture planning to the way one object sits next to another. Timeless, effortless, luxury with an edge is what we strive for.

What is your ideal type of project?

A great context/site, collaborating with a good architect. Having a client who we can align with and who is willing to stretch out and explore a unique look with great pieces. One who leaves enough time to do the ground work and allow that sense of discovery and the design process. A good budget always helps….is that too much to ask?

Tribute House project featuring Angelina fire pit. Photography by Prue Ruscoe Pacific Beach House project featuring Plank coffee table. Photography by Chris Warnes

Top: Tribute House project featuring Angelina fire pit. Photography by Prue Ruscoe.
Bottom: Pacific Beach House project featuring Plank coffee table. Photography by Chris Warnes.

When you are engaged to work on a project how important is the relationship between inside and out?

Extremely important. Especially in Australia where we have great weather and we live so much of our lives outside. Outside really is an extension of the interior and that flow from one to the other is vital to how streamlined the space feels, both from an architectural point of view and with interior finishes and furnishing.

What are some of the ways that you bring the two together?

Continuous flooring, colour, shape, unobstructed views and lighting all assist this flow.

Bannisters Pavilion project featuring Southie side table in Wrought Iron glaze. Photography by Justin Alexander

Bondi Barn project featuring Bondi pot in White Satin glaze. Photography by Prue Ruscoe

Top: Bannisters Pavilion project featuring Southie side table in Wrought Iron glaze. Photography by Justin Alexander.
Bottom: Bondi Barn project featuring Bondi pot in White Satin glaze. Photography by Prue Ruscoe.

In Australia we have pioneered the ‘outdoor room,’ the domestication of adjacent outdoor spaces. Is this something your clients want and what are some things that you have learnt about how best to make it work for both a dining setting and a seating area?

Absolutely, often people cannot imagine themselves using some outdoor spaces but once it is set up as an outdoor room it takes on a whole new life and really opens up the home to them. We like to set dining areas against living spaces and vice versa (living off dining) so that you can really utilize these outdoor rooms for all they have to offer. A snuggly corner somewhere there is a sun trap is also something to look out for.

We love that you have chosen Robert Plumb products in the mix with other great design choices sourced locally and overseas – what appeals to you about the pieces you have chosen?

We love the timeless nature of the Southie side tables, the sculptural shapes of the Willy Guhl pieces and the robust shape of the Fatso range which is at the core of the Robert Plumb brand.

Chromacolour House project featuring Tetris shelf and Willy Guhl Loop chair, both from Swisspearl Chromacolour House project featuring Tetris shelf and Willy Guhl Loop chair, both from Swisspearl

Chromacolour House project featuring Tetris shelf and Willy Guhl Loop chair, both from Swisspearl. Photography by Chris Warnes.

Do you have an overall comment about how the Robert Plumb product fits into the homes you design both stylistically and functionally?

Simple but robust shapes that are well resolved and with a touch of refinement. We have used Robert Plumb pieces inside also (not strictly for just outdoors) and they are great for family homes where the items need to be hardier for kids. As longevity is built into an outdoor piece this can be the perfect solution for many family zones.

What do you think is trending in outdoor spaces? What should we be looking out for?

More and more these pieces are as sculptural and textured as indoor pieces. As technology progresses in textiles and applied finishes to metals and substrates outdoor pieces are able to move more into this space and blur that line with more complex interior forms which is exciting. We are seeing some really interesting forms with stones and ceramics come through.