EDIT Book Club | Spring 2024 — Cantilever Interiors

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You both speak to the influence the regions that you grew up in had on your respective design explorations.  What memories have influenced your design interests?

Lauren Li:

So, I grew up in Mount Elisa, so the beach was just always there. I used to go walking along the beach and I was always trying to look in people’s houses that were along the beach, sort of looking in the window, its not weird to do that everyone does that right? Going down all those hills, seeing the round house, and it’s not until you’re older that you realise that that is a cool house and as a kid you don’t notice that. And talking about Walter Burley Griffin I think he did some landscaping down in Mount Elisa as well, it’s interesting when you realise there are some significant places down that way.

But the beach was just kind of always there, so it did influence a bit of this book. Plus, my mum has always decorated the house, and I know some of you have met her at my events, she would always have a bowl of potpourri on the coffee table, and the terracotta ducks, and there was not a handle without a tassel on it. So, you know this sort of being house proud and I guess that does sort of rub off, doesn’t it?

 Patricia Callan:

I dedicated my book to my mum, and said for the “unassuming modernist””, because she really was. She was a bit older, so she never really personified as a hippie or anything. But I like to put this down to her mother who was Danish, she was very pragmatic and loved her native garden and I grew up in Geelong. I was the youngest in the family, it was the sixties, and dad’s business was doing pretty well, so what do you do when you’re in Geelong, got a two-bedroom house and five kids, you build something. And all the captains of the industry in Geelong had these beautiful, old houses, in Newtown just a block around the river, they are very beautiful, lots of Edwardian, gorgeous. A friend of a friend invited my mum to a morning tea and they had just moved into this house, and it had just been built by this firm called the Russian Everest. And mum went in, and it was just timber, with clean lines, and not fussy, easy to clean, really letting the nature in, and she was like let’s get these guys to build our house. So, mum got them to build our house and that was in 1968, and that was the house I grew up in until I left home. Again, it imprints in your mind, you don’t know, you know its going to be different to other houses, but you don’t really understand really until you leave.

Kylie Forbes:

Yeah, the feel of the place itself, like orientation or the light and the quality of that.

I guess, having grown up in that environment, you have that motivation to share that opportunity, to share that with other people, those experiences.

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