Sustainable Rooms - Design Process
The start of St James Whitting… read the full story in the Resene Black White magazine here
…” Catherine first met Kate when she invited her to speak at an industry forum held for TAFE NSW’s students to discuss the importance of media and marketing within the industry. Then, in 2016, Kate was invited to exhibit at the Sustainable Rooms by
Design at the Sydney Home Show. When she was asked if she knew of someone else who would be interested in exhibiting, she immediately thought of Catherine.
“During the three days that we exhibited at the show, we realised we had so much in common – not just as passionate designers, but also as design educators,” says Kate. “The ideas were flowing and for several months we met after work in the cocktail bar of a hotel next to my office to discuss our ideas and interests. These meetings culminated in the formation of St James Whitting, with our first project being a full house renovation for clients we met at the Sydney Home Show, and we’ve never looked back.”
But Kate and Catherine’s evolution didn’t stop when the duo joined forces. Through St James Whitting, they’ve continued to evolve the way they work and what they are able to offer their clients. Their interior consultations for individuals and companies that want to include eco-friendly, sustainable design practices and products into their projects are now complemented by additional specialised services like business branding – which is only possible because of the unique journeys that brought them to where they are today.
Change has been a resonating theme in their work, too. “Interior design for me is all about change,” says Catherine. “We are change agents, and designers create positive and healthy changes in people’s lives. Physiological and environmental change is the most important part of interior design, whether it be in a residential, commercial or institutional interior. When a design provides an environmentally healthy and physiologically uplifting transformation on people and communities, that is great design.”
Sustainable Rooms - Design Concept
The 2016 Sustainable rooms at the Sydney Home Show was the birthplace for St James Whitting Design
I have always been passionate about environmentally sustainable, eco-friendly design. Part of my commitment to the cause is to participate in judging the International Green Interior Awards and the Eussen Living-Home Design Student Design competition, which focuses on ‘green’ interiors.
When the HIA Home Show decided to create the Sustainable Rooms by Design, MC John Eussen from Eussen Living naturally considered that I would be interested in participating. He was correct! I was one of three designers who participated – said Kate
Sustainable Rooms - Testimonial
Sustainable Rooms - Awards
People’s Choice award 2016 Most sustainable interior – Kate St James Sustainable Bedroom
“A sustainable interior does not need to look retro, upcycled or recycled.” Kate St. James, designer and editor
What was your approach for the exhibition?
I was given the choice of two rooms and a bedroom. I wanted to demonstrate the importance of creating a healthy environment in a room where we spend some eight hours of each day.
I wanted to show how using products from organic, natural and renewable sources with no VOCs, you can create a beautiful, healthy environment.
My products were sourced from companies who share my passion and ethos for eco-friendly, hand-crafted products and materials. These included 100 percent sisal flooring, zero VOC paint, eco wallpaper, 100 percent organic linen, organic cotton, recycled and reclaimed timbers, and artwork and accessories created by hand from natural products and materials.
I was delighted that my room took out the People’s Choice award and hope that people were inspired to take some of the ideas away with them to use in their own eco abode.
What is one key attitude that you think needs to change in order for sustainable interiors
to become a normal part of design?
One key attitude that needs to change is the desire for cheap, throwaway products that have more to do with the latest fashion or fad, than quality and enduring style. Manufacturers and consumers must consider the cost of the products and materials they use, not just on their pockets but also on their health and the environment.