Tom Mark Henry Yellowtrace Inteview Feature

 

Tom Mark Henry is one of Sydney’s most burgeoning design practices, acing everything from luxury private homes to large-scale hotels with a dynamic approach. Founders Jade Nottage and Cushla McFadden met on their first day of university, becoming friends over the course of their Interior Architecture degrees. Finding themselves looking for work at the same time, one-year post graduating, the pair threw caution to the wind and founded their own practice.

In what must only feel like fate, Tom Mark Henry has gone from strength to strength, now with a team of 11 who tackle 20-30 projects at a time. Nottage and McFadden credit landing WeWork as a client as a turning point and learning curve during their seminal days, at a time when co-working spaces were just taking off in Australia. The practice has now built a rich portfolio across commercial, retail, hospitality and residential projects, applying a signature ability to not overcomplicate while making a space memorable.

Read on for our full interview with the founders, covering everything from creative inspiration to organisational strategies and up-and-coming new work.

 

Bischoff Residence by Tom Mark Henry | Yellowtrace

Bischoff Residence by Tom Mark Henry | Yellowtrace

Bischoff Residence by Tom Mark Henry | Yellowtrace
Bischoff Residence in Vaucluse, Sydney (2019). Photography by Pablo Veiga. Styling by Montana Valich.

 

+ Hello Jade and Cushla, welcome to Yellowtrace! Could you please give us a quick introduction on yourselves and the path that lead you to start Tom Mark Henry?

Thank you for having us! We met at University on the first day, and formed a friendship over 5 years of studying a Bachelor of Interior Architecture. After Uni, we went separate ways for a year with Jade taking on a graduate role with an architecture practice in Sydney, and Cushla moving to New York and working for an architecture firm in Manhattan. Upon Cushla moving back to Sydney and Jade finishing up a contract at the architecture practice, we were both looking for jobs at the same time, which were scarce, so we threw caution to the wind and started working for ourselves. We started small, taking on jobs for friends, and friends of friends. Tom Mark Henry grew organically from there.

 

C.C. Babcoq by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

C.C. Babcoq by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

C.C. Babcoq by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

C.C. Babcoq by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

C.C. Babcoq by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace
C.C. Babcoq in Cronulla, Sydney (2018). Photography by Damian Bennett.

 

+ What is your main priority when starting projects? Is there something that is fundamental to your practice – your philosophy and your process?

Research! Getting to know the clients, and their goals is our main priority. We make sure we understand this whole heartedly before we begin to design. Often clients don’t articulate their priorities themselves (although we love it when they do!) so we take the time to draw this out, and invest the most amount of time upfront in the concept design stage to ensure a brief is thoroughly researched and communicated back to the client through materiality, imagery, 3D perspectives, and rendered floor plans and elevations.

 

California Nails by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

California Nails by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace

California Nails by Tom Mark Henry. Photography by Damian Bennett | Yellowtrace
California Nails in Barangaroo, Sydney (2017). Photography by Damian Bennett.

 

+ Businesses and relationships all evolve over time. What is your approach to dealing with growth and change, within Tom Mark Henry and in the interior design industry as a whole?

Surrounding ourselves with a team and clients who share the same values of design, and for which there is a mutual respect for each other and the process helps to navigate growth and change more easily. In this industry, we need to be adaptive and responsive so we maintain those qualities as much as possible and keep ourselves informed through talks and events as to where the industry is headed.

 

Clovelly House by Tom Mark Henry, Photography by Damian Bennett & Styling by Jack Milenkovic | Yellowtrace

Clovelly House by Tom Mark Henry, Photography by Damian Bennett & Styling by Jack Milenkovic | Yellowtrace

Clovelly House by Tom Mark Henry, Photography by Damian Bennett & Styling by Jack Milenkovic | YellowtraceClick To Read Entire Post

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