Nexus Designs is an interior and graphic design practice that also specialises in product development. Based in Melbourne, the firm is fearless in its approach to design, and takes on the new, interesting and authentic head-on.

Their projects range from selecting a single tile colour to undertaking a comprehensive brand strategy for clients – movements that have helped the practice to become synonymous with Australian style. Creative Director Sonia Simpfendorfer is one of the key figures in the practice, and determines the creative direction of each project.

Choosing to study interior design at the University of South Australia purely because she liked the subjects described in the tertiary education guide, Sonia is today the co-author of the interior design reference book ‘Living’. 

What’s the favourite part of your job?

I love space planning and perfecting the functionality of the spaces, solving incredibly complex questions and requirements in a way that looks so simple. An interior must be practical before it can be beautiful.

What’s the biggest challenge you face every day?

We are so busy, so the biggest challenge is carving out time to think and spend time focused on one thing only. Time that isn’t stuffed full of distractions is the greatest luxury, but also necessary to give new ideas room to emerge. Multi-tasking is very overrated.

What tools and software did you use for the Little Red Riding Hood project?

I always start with hand drawn sketches to think things through and then they are converted to AutoCAD.

Little Red Riding Hood by Nexus Designs

Did you face any design challenges with Little Red Riding Hood? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge was the space planning – the house was so congested and unwelcoming, so taking out significant load bearing walls was necessary but it did increase the complexity and cost of the project.

Little Red Riding Hood by Nexus Designs. Photography by Fraser Marsden

What is your dream project?

Dream projects are ones where we get to use our full set of skills, from the big picture, the orientation of the building, where the sun comes in and the overarching project vision down to the tiniest details – literally the cutlery in the drawers or the hangers in the wardrobe. Everything matters. Projects where we only design a kitchen can still be wonderful, but using all of my accumulated knowledge and wisdom is like being a runner going flat out instead of a gentle jog. Exhilarating!

If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?

If I wasn’t an interior designer I want to be one of our clients!