The daughter of arts and antique dealers, a love of beauty and elegance are second nature to Tamsin Johnson. Tamsin refined her skills with formal education at the Inchbald School of Design in London and worked there before returning to Sydney. She had the opportunity to design commercial spaces while at Meacham Nockles McQualter. From there, Tamsin launched Tamsin Johnson Interior Design.
Tamsin brings her relaxed, natural approach to client projects, with the expertise of traditional training. She enjoys clean, fresh palettes, and works to avoid rooms that feel overly designed, instead favoring the functionality that lends itself to real life. Tamsin balances eclectic elements with refined timelessness for a polished but livable finished product.
1. When did you first decide to become an interior designer and how did you get started with your design business?
I was always interested in interiors, passionate about art from childhood. My parents were antique and art dealers so it was part of my world... I studied fashion design then soon after changed to interior design and moved to London to explore this. My Australian roots have provided me a very relaxed and natural approach to design but the traditional training set some rules and foundations and provided me with a frame work to help channel my ideas.
2. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Restraint. You have to know when to stop. I don't really like spaces that look 'designed', pairs of things here and there, it's too forced for me, too strict. Instead I like a space that is comfortable in itself, that looks like it has always been that way.
3. Is there an interior design style you favour and do you have your own design aesthetic?
I approach every space differently and am happy to work using different styles where appropriate. Overall though I do favour more traditional interior design elements but only if they are relevant to the project.
4. Who are other interior designers you admire?
Georges Geffroy, for his attention to detail and focus. I like looking at very traditional designers who detail every element of a space. Axel Vervoodt is an incredible curator. He inspires me. I also like Jacques Grange's aesthetic and many others.
5. What inspires you?
Lots of things. Almost anything beautiful really. Interesting people inspire me. Natural landscapes. Film, music, art, food, textiles, lots of things. You just have to keep your eyes open and be receptive.
6. What do you think is the essential piece of furniture we should all have in our bedroom?
A comfortable bed. Nothing really beats a good nights sleep.
7. What key element do we all need for a chic living room?
You can take many different paths but I aways like softening a living room with books, sculpture, flowers and most importantly all technology must be hidden.
Let's Get Personal .....
1. What else are you passionate about besides your work?
I don't really have a separation because my work and my life are one. So inspiration can come from everywhere. Food, cooking, eating and entertaining. People. Friends. Travel. Movies. Art. Fashion. Museums. Nature. And it is these passions that enable my work.
2. What is your most treasured belonging?
I try not to get too attached to anything. Growing up as an antique dealer and art dealer's daughter, I am used to things coming and going. But my most treasured personal possession would have to be my engagement ring. My husband had my mother's copied and I love it more every day.
3. What's one thing people may not know about you?
I love singing but I am tone deaf.
4. In 10 years I'd like to be ....
Happy, inspired and doing exactly what I'm doing now.
5. What can't you live without?
My husband and babies. Nothing makes me happier.
As Tamsin continues working with clients, she will take bits and pieces of the inspirational elements she surrounds herself with. From art to nature, her work life is one with her personal life, allowing her to bring so many exciting elements into each project she works on.