The last 12 months for celebrated Sydney design duo Arent & Pyke have been full on, both personally and professionally. Juliette (Arent) got married in Sicily and Sarah-Jane (Pyke) became a mum. And that’s before we even talk about all the wonderful interior design projects they’ve been doing in between times. Read on to find out how they do it and enjoy these never-before-published photos of a recent Woollahra project.
“Being a duo is key to our sanity and success, especially in this past year!” says Sarah-Jane. “We love working together and having two directors means that we can each get time out when we need it. Luckily we were able to tag-team; Juliette’s Sicilian wedding was last July and little Pyke arrived a few months after that.
Image: Sarah-Jane Pyke and Juliette Arent Squadrito
“Our personal styles can be quite different, but as a team our style has the same flavour. I think it’s the spirit of the work that is a common thread – we love interiors that feel natural, have personality, warmth and charm.” The pair really believe it’s the combination of their skills and styles coming together that ensures the best results for their clients. “There is a synergy between us that just works,” says Juliette.
Arent & Pyke have now been in business almost five years and the past year has been full of highlights including their first international project, an apartment in New York, and being included in Mitchell Oakley-Smith’s book INTERIORS Australia & New Zealand. There are now five in the Arent & Pyke team, “a fabulous and very talented gang of girls”.
The New York project came about when a Sydney-based family purchased a pied-à-terre in the Meatpacking district, just north of Greenwich Village. “They wondered if we would be open to working on a NY project,” says Sarah-Jane. “Of course we jumped at the opportunity! Upon their arrival back in New York in January, our client called us immediately. She was completely floored – she could not believe it was the same apartment she had seen and bought only months earlier. Thrilled was an understatement.”
While we all know it’s hard to break into the business, Sarah-Jane says not to give up too easily if it’s what you love. “Yes, interiors in Sydney is quite competitive, but there is always room for hardworking talented people. It’s important to have your own style, develop your design skills and know what is ‘out there’ in terms of sourcing new and interesting pieces.”
The pair, who met while working together at a leading Sydney design practice, aren’t into trends, but Sarah-Jane is happy to see the return of bold colour in interiors. “We really believe a home should be a reflection of your personality, imbued with your personal style.” Juliette adds: “Home is about comfort and love. It is surrounding yourself with things that are nurturing and give you meaning. Truth to materials is deeply embedded into our design ethos. Fake anything just doesn’t sit well with us.”
They’re both impressed by stylist Megan Morton, who they describe as “crazy talented”. And while Sarah-Jane lists Greg Natale as a designer she admires, Juliette is a fan of Ilse Crawford’s humanistic approach to design.
Some very exciting projects are on the cards at in the latter half of this year. I’m looking forward to the ladies sharing them with us soon. For now, come back tomorrow to find out all about Juliette and Sarah-Jane’s favourite brands, blogs, colour combinations, shops and more, as well as more gorgeous images of their work, published first here on Phukienso.