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Room on Fire: On creating a home, collecting and craftsmanship

Room on Fire is a Sydney-based design studio founded by Chloë McCarthy. Chloë’s career began in the magazine industry at Vogue Living before a move to interior design, working at acclaimed Australian architecture firm Akin Atelier prior to starting her own business.

Chloë is a creator of interiors and furniture and curator of art and objects, often drawing from an inventory of both contemporary and vintage pieces.

Words by CHLÖE MCCARTHY of ROOM ON FIRE Location SYDNEY

ON CREATING A HOME

In a rapidly changing world filled with increasingly complicated and stressful lives, we all need a personal sanctuary where we can feel comforted, calm and content. In creating your own home, look beyond pure aesthetics to pursue a philosophy of reclaiming and reintegrating human and emotional needs and desires.

An interior should be layered and reflect your passions and eccentricities rather than something you saved on Instagram. Apply care and conviction, buying from a position of knowledge, and trust yourself enough to know what will bring you joy. Buy with your heart, not your head. An emotional attachment to the space you live in is rarely defined by monetary value. Steer clear of the overly exposed, stay true to these values and you will create your own unique aesthetic.

ON COLLECTING

Transcend conventional notions of collection and display. Collecting is not necessarily about amassing loads of stuff. It is often a process of reducing and refining object selection and placement within the home to give an extra dimension to your experience of life.
Embrace current design objects alongside well-worn ones. Combining pieces from across decades and continents will help a space feel more understated and natural. Mix the relaxed, with the precise. Keep only things you love and look for visual similarities in objects regardless of their provenance, pedigree or monetary value.

A space or arrangement that stirs emotions and triggers memories is the most evocative. In the merging of pieces, a dialogue begins, and the language of a room takes form. These decisions reflect personality and shape the alchemy in our homes.

“A space or arrangement that stirs emotions and triggers memories is the most evocative”
— Chloë Mccarthy

ON CRAFTSMANSHIP

Invest in quality craftsmanship. Transcend trend in favour of classic and enduring pieces that you connect with and materials that will age, develop a patina and become more beautiful with time, use and wear. Perhaps the greatest luxury in our lives today is time. As such, we instinctively respond to items which have taken care and skill to make.

It’s not the cost of materials that makes us feel a connection, but rather the way in which they have been treated from the time they are conceived, through to the making and their subsequent history. In these mass-produced times, craftmanship is something we really need to seek out and cherish. Well-made classics will always retain value.

Invest in quality craftsmanship. Transcend trend in favour of classic and enduring pieces that you connect with and materials that will age, develop a patina and become more beautiful with time, use and wear.
— Chloë McCarthy

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