Sonia Warner and Jacinta Woods began Woods and Warner in 2007 after working together at Sydney furniture supplier, Living Edge. Noticing how their different skills complemented one another perfectly, they decided it was a recipe for success and set out to build a design practice of their own. Almost ten years on, Woods and Warner has grown to employ a team of four designers who focus on designing residential and commercial interiors from the ground up.
Sonia and Jacinta meld design and decoration to create beautifully resolved and considered spaces for their clients. They take a creative approach to colour and have an innate fearlessness of combining pattern and texture. Not the type to box themselves into a certain look or trend, they offer their clients solutions that span a wide variety of bespoke furnishings and finishes that range from the dramatic to the refined. “We have an appreciation of bold and dramatic spaces and work well in that genre,” explains Sonia. “Having said that, as a business it’s like we have split personality. We can look at a residence that deserves a nature-driven palette and slip into the style like a great pair of shoes.”
Sonia and Jacinta believe that a great designer will always push the boundaries and remove their own emotional response to a creative solution. They have developed a notable aesthetic that features a monochromatic base palette with strong highlights that follow through into their decorating choices. “We often say to our clients on the first consultation, ‘if you are looking for an all white or beige interior we won’t be the practice for you.’ We like to see spaces pushed to a level that can make our clients feel excited at times and sometimes uncomfortable,” says Sonia.
To help design a home that is a reflection of the person inhabiting the space, both designers focus on how the space will be lived in when conceiving their ideas. “Our love for different trends and styles is exercised through all of our clients homes,” explains Jacinta. “When we commit to a job it’s like we pack our suitcases and imagine ourselves living, eating and sleeping in the home. I guess with this attitude in the forefront of our minds we can assure our clients that they work practically and aesthetically.”
Comfort is an important quality when Jacinta and Sonia consider the design of an interior. They use lighting, furnishings and fabrics to craft a desirable space to live in, but according to the pair the layout is what can ultimately make or break a space . “Living spaces are the hub of the home so the need for them to perform correctly is paramount,” explains Jacinta. “Too often you witness homes that have great proportion and grandeur, however they’re totally unused. If the layout has not been considered, the end result can feel limiting and spaciously unresolved. A good floor plan maximises space and considers proportion and traffic, ensuring that the environment is warm and inviting.”
When reflecting on how much Woods and Warner has evolved over the past nine years, Sonia and Jacinta believe their field has changed dramatically since they began, and credit this to driving their success. “Australian designers are becoming so successful not just on a national level but also internationally. We can’t ever say we are starved of great design – we may still be starved with our freight into Australia however the liquidity of items available to us now is amazing,” says Sonia. “Clients in the past 10 years have also grown in their knowledge of styles and trends more than ever before. We have had to work harder and more creatively, however the results and efforts have been warmly received.”
What’s your favourite:
Chair model? The Gubi Beetle Chair
Residential space? Hecker Guthrie‘s latest Melbourne Prahan residence
Commercial/hospitality/retail space? The Tramsheds at Harold Park
Mass produced good? The Kikki K Gold Paper Clip
Item in your studio? Our Kerry Armstrong artwork “Silvi Wanted to Play”
Woods and Warner
Words by Ashley Tucker.
Photography by Anneke Hill, Jessica Lindsay, and Tom Ferguson.