An interview with local interior designers – Edwards McKie Design

Picture of Mitch and Mark with a sold sign outside Potts Point

The transformation of 413 63 Crown Street

Every so often we have the pleasure of seeing the transformation of a property. 413 63 Crown Street was one of those occasions. Mitch and Mark from Edwards McKie transformed a drab, closed in, 2-bed apartment in Woolloomooloo into an open and cozy inner-city home. As we are passionate about supporting local business, we caught up with this talented pair to understand their motivation and also asked them to share some advice to homeowners and property developers

Tell us a little bit about you…

Mitch: My background is in marketing and communication but these days my time is split. I’m still crazy passionate about my role in marketing and Comms but having been in it forever, I’m fortunate that I can take the parts I love, the creative & social aspects, and have a team who do the tedious stuff.

Renovated balcony from loungeThe other half of my time is spent diving into our interior design business – Edwards McKie Design. I do this with my partner Mark, we love working together and happily let the lines blur between planning design projects and robust creative discussions over a wine or two late into the night.

Mark: I studied and qualified in psychology, and my career has focused on helping people to adjust and return to work following injury. I now work with an amazing team of health professionals who provide support to the community and assist people dealing with mental health issues and challenges.

In my spare time, with Mitch, we have been renovating, improving and selling properties in the Potts Point area for the last 12-13 years. We’ve lived in this area of Sydney for nearly 17 years, so have seen it evolve and change.

How did you get into interior design?

Mitch: I think we are all into interior design in some way, even as kids we’re designing our bedroom as a reflection of the style we want to portray. Some of us take it more seriously than others. I love and hope I’m good enough at it to call myself an interior designer.

Mark: I think I’ve always been interested in design and property renovation has given me the opportunity to express this, which is different than my day to day job. It really began as being able to present a property in its ‘best light’. Allowing potential buyers to imagine how they could live and what kind of lifestyle they could have in our properties.

Where did it all begin for you?

Mitch: It first got serious when Mark and I bought our first property together, a gorgeous old Art Deco apartment that was in mighty bad shape – it was all we could afford.

Mark: yes it was that first property. Prior to buying we talked about our long term strategy of buying and selling. We started with a 5 year plan, and then evaluated this year by year. I think eventually we became addicted to change, and the different opportunities to improve properties.

What do you love most about what you do?

Mitch: I love working with Mark, he’s my best friend and our styles’ complement each other. I walk into a space and start to instantly picture the overall look, colour palate and the feel that I want to portray. While Mark has a great eye for design, he is brilliant with the architectural planning aspect, he’s also pretty good at bringing me back to reality and keeping me on budget.  We make a great team!

Mark: We are a great team, and we complement each other very well. I think its creative and profitable, so a win in both ways. And we get to work together on it. I think we enjoy working as a team.

 

What was the most challenging part of this project and why?

Mitch: Time… We changed ceiling heights in some rooms, moved doorways & parts of walls, every step seemed have flow on impacts on the next. We added gorgeous custom plantation shutters down the full length of the apartment. I was fussy with quality finish, this added six weeks. BUT I love the out outcome, worth the wait.

Mark: Yes, the time aspect. In the middle of the project we had a trip overseas booked, and we were pushing to get this done in time. It went a bit longer and so we had to have work continue whilst we were away. It’s difficult tryin

Master bedroom - Sydney interior design

g to manage and monitor things from the other side of the world! The time difference is a killer but the benefit of the internet and facetime is amazing.

What was your favourite part of this project and why?

Mitch: Creating a finished home that oozes effortless sophistication and comfortable lifestyle. Every home we create, we like to think of who we see living in it and what they’ll want and need from the home. This home is of a neutral palate, so the newowner can add their stamp. It has enough wardrobes to satisfy an enthusiastic fashionista, flow thru indoor/outdoor entertaining space, and yet the living room feels as cozy as a big cuddle.

Mark: The favourite thing is the result. I like the planning and design concept, then seeing it become a reality. It’s fantastic to see the result realised, and to see Mitch’s enthusiasm and joy in creating a wonderful living environment.

What advice do you have for homeowners and investors?

Lounge - Sydney interior designMitch: If you’re creating a home to live in, make sure it is right for you, don’t let an interior designer ignore your style, it’s an individual thing. It’s up to the designer to bring out the best for you.

For investors, make sure the style matches the likely occupant of the home with enough scope for them to add their own personality. Use quality and durable inclusions, it will pay off in the long run.

 

Mark: I think first is know your purpose and market. That can be tough, but also balance that with having some fun. There are many challenges and frustration in the process – that goes with the territory, and your job really is to find solutions – it’s all about solutions. Also, don’t sanitize your design so much that it become bland beige – find a way to keep personality in your property without going overboard.

If you’d like to see the renovation process, Mitch and Mark have some great videos to watch.

 

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