For all of you music-lovers out there, Susan Knof makes an insightful comparison between the art of creating beautiful interiors and music. ‘I think of my interiors much like music,’ Susan tells us, ‘each note is significant, but it is when they all come together that they create a song.’
Having enjoyed a diverse career in the architecture and design industry in New York, Sydney and London, Susan founded award-winning KNOF Design in 2012. Susan’s character-filled work speaks for itself and speak to her passion for championing ‘interiors with traces of history, each with a new story to tell.’
Here Susan tells us about her furniture crush on Gio Ponti and why she loves to incorporate nature into her own home…
Is there a signature Knof Design look? If so, how would you describe it?
The signature KNOF look can be summarised as modern, natural and glamourous. My design approach is holistic, paying careful consideration to the building’s architecture, its harmonious connection to the interiors and the overall psychology of space.
Our signature look revolves around clean and modern detailing combined with natural and luxurious materials and furnishings. Every material and piece of furniture is well considered and placed allowing each piece to radiate on its own, yet to come together harmoniously for a beautiful and balanced space. I think of my interiors much like music, each note is significant, but it is when they all come together to create a song.
In terms of furniture, what design classics standout for you?
I am a sucker for Italian design. I love anything by Gio Ponti! In particular there is a Lounge Chair he designed for Singer and Sons, circa 1958.
What would be your top interior design tip for our readers?
Pay attention to scale and proportion. You can use this to help you or hurt you. It is the clever combination of all the parts which make for a beautiful and holistic interior.
What does home mean to you?
The old saying holds true for me, ‘Home is where the heart is.’ Home is a place where your body is at ease. Where you can bring people together for gathering and where you can also retreat for peace and relaxation. It should be a place that has a planned layout that suits how it will be most enjoyed. For me, I love open plan and flowing spaces, with at least one closed and comforting area for reading and retreating and the bedroom must be filled with luxurious materials and bedding.
I am an absolute nature lover, so I try to let as much of the outside in. So much about ones home is reflecting one’s personality. This can be in the clean and minimal modern design which suits some clients while others require more layers, colours and eclectic furnishings. I love the ‘honeymoon design period’ when I am getting to know clients and their wants and needs for the space. This is where my early background in psychology comes into place. I want to design spaces where the design and the owner come together in complete synergy. All elements of one’s home should come together to tell a story.
What are your three most treasured pieces?
Most of my treasured pieces are small trinkets picked up on one of my many journeys. They all tell a story and hold a little piece of time and memory for me. Ok, so three…I have a pair of bronzed hands I picked up while in Bali I use them to hold my incoming and outgoing post. I also collect Victorian tablewares. I have this ever-growing set of beautiful knives with delicate engravings each with their own history. I like to wonder about what previous tables and dinner parties they have been a part of. Lastly, I have this piece of art I made using all of my used plane tickets – the collection is part fascination and slightly terrifying as I have come to realise that I have spent more time up in the air than in a car.
A perfect Sunday is…
A perfect Sunday is spent in nature and relaxing with friends and family. It probably starts with a nice long Sunday walk around the city or out in nature. Then spending the rest of the day slow cooking while enjoying some nice wine.
If you could choose one piece from Layer, what would it be and where would it live?
If I could choose one piece from Layer I suppose there would be no surprise that it would be an Italian design. I have a pretty big crush on the 1970s Italian Artedi Travertine Marble Base and Smoked Glass-Top Coffee Table. I would put this in my living room.
ON THE MARKETPLACE