In Conversation With—Claire Delmar, Studio CD

With a vibrant multidisciplinary background working across all facets of fashion, interiors and food, Sydney based interior designer and stylist, Claire Delmar is widely celebrated for her artful eye and timeless, restrained approach.

Now the director of her own practice, STUDIO CD, Claire focuses her efforts on residential and commercial interior design projects and styling for architects and interior designers alike. Read as we sit down with the Sydney-based stylist to discuss the evolution of her career and design philosophy.

Q—Thanks for joining us, Claire. Tell us more about STUDIO CD—how did it begin, and how has it evolved over time?

A—STUDIO CD is a creative practice that specialises in residential and commercial interior design, as well as offering editorial styling services in the areas of residential, commercial, interiors and food.

I started my styling career after completing a communications degree which evolved into me joining the editorial world as a fashion editor. From there, I followed my longstanding passion for design and architecture and progressed into designing homes and interior spaces.

Today STUDIO CD works on a wide range of styling projects alongside some of Australia's most well-known architects, designers and brands. In addition to our varied styling projects, 2021 has also been our busiest yet for private interior design projects.

Q—What is your underlying design philosophy?

A—My philosophy is to enjoy the entire design process. I always start by taking the time to understand my client's vision and then I work towards translating their dreams into reality. Achieving a finished product that the client loves is always the most rewarding, but I try to remember that each step of the creative process is integral to that success.

Q—What are your most enduring creative influences?

A—I didn't realise at the time, but now that I'm a little older and more experienced in the industry, I can see that all of my early peers that I first started out with, and gave me my first opportunities have shaped who I am today. My mother and grandmother (whom are both very creative) were also early influences as well as my first PR boss, my muse and my editors.

Q—When styling a space, you have an ability to bring recently completed projects to life with character and a lived-in feel—how do you achieve this?

A—To create a 'lived-in' feel, I always layer in touches of real life into my spaces. I also carefully balance textures and scale, which combine to give a space authenticity. When it comes to achieving a cohesive scheme, it's often what you take away, rather than what you add, so showing restraint is paramount.

Q—What does the sourcing and procurement process look like?

A—Research, research and more research! Sourcing is one of my favourite stages of the design process as I love the hunt and the excitement you feel when you know you've found the perfect piece for your space—it's incredibly satisfying.

Q—We've worked together across a handful of projects now—what do you look for in a collaborative partner?

A—First and foremost, there needs to be shared values and a shared vision. Trust is also really important as you have to be able to do that to grow. I believe that working collaboratively always produces the best results and nothing great can ever be created without amazing people surrounding you.

Q—When you're engaged on a project how important is the relationship between inside and out?

A—I often wonder why indoor and outdoor spaces are considered separate entities. Whether you're inside or outside, it's your home, so I believe the relationship between the spaces should be a continuation of the same story.

Q—What are some of the ways that you bring the two spaces together?

A—I employ the same layering process of scale, texture and colour indoors as I do outdoors, taking into consideration the differences that each space has and how the client will use them. Materiality is also really important when linking the indoors to the outdoors, so careful attention is paid to selecting the right windows, doors and flooring to make the integration seamless.

Q—What's next for STUDIO CD—what are you looking forward to?

A—We've never been busier, so right now it's trying to balance home schooling, work and life over the next few months. Life is flying by, so we should try to enjoy it! After lockdown, I'm hoping to enjoy lots of travel (aren't we all!) and immersing myself in other cultures again and feeling inspired. My main goal for STUDIO CD is for my team and I to continue to be happy and enjoy our work.