A timeless approach to interior design
A love of building and decorating runs in the blood for award-winning interior designer Kylie Sargent.
Torquay-based Dennehy Builders is the family business and Kylie says she took an early interest in the industry which has never waned.
“I grew up in the building industry and it’s pretty much all I’ve ever really known,” she says.
“I was always interested in it and I would be drawing house plans and decorating things, so there was really no other field for me.”
As a leader in her field locally, Kylie has worked on projects big and small including everything from new builds, one-room makeovers and large-scale renovations.
“I love the creativity and I love being to assist people,” she says.
“I find it is very natural for me to be able to read plans and imagine things and visualise things, but many people can’t.
“So I really enjoy being able to bring their vision forward or assist them to create spaces, environments and rooms that they really love.
“A lot of the work I try to focus on is creating spaces for my clients that brings to life their vision rather than my vision for them.
“You never tire of people being thrilled with their homes.”
Kylie, who also offers a building consultancy service, says her starting point when working with clients is to establish how long they intend to stay in the house and whether they are planning to flip it.
“That is a really important factor,” she says.
“If you are looking at flipping the house then I say let’s look at current trends but if you are staying here for 10 years then let’s forecast and make some sensible decisions.
“For example, with kitchens we know that white, whilst it might sound dull, has stood the test of time so if we do something white, I can guarantee you in 30 years it will probably still look okay.
“But if we do it in a soft sage green and we put in brass tapware there is a strong chance you will be pulling that out in five years’ time.”
Prior to the pandemic, Kylie would travel Europe, North America or Asia each year to take in the latest trends and styles in interior design, bringing back those ideas and adapting them to suit the Australian sensibility and environment.
Her personal approach to design is to have longevity front of mind, taking cues from what is happening overseas, and also tending towards natural timbers and materials that always stand the test of time.
“I’ll have months where everyone shows me the same Pinterest photo and I’ll say ‘I know you like these colours but let’s do something different for you – reminiscent of that but something that is going to have some currency,” she explains.
Kylie says interior design trends, like clothing fashion, come and go.
“Certainly, once something has been on The Block it is going to be red hot but it’s not always going to have longevity – maybe for a couple of years but not necessarily for a long period of time,” she says.
“Once something is almost everywhere it is most likely on its way out again.”
Her other advice to would-be renovators is to consider the functionality the items they are choosing rather than just blindly following the latest must-have trends.
“Function is a really key thing that often gets missed when people are just trying to make a space look pretty,” she says.
“Design is certainly about aesthetic but it is very much about function and form as well.”
Discover more about Kylie’s work at kyliesargent.com.au and follow on Instagram @kylielsargent.