Projects by Buxton – Interior Design

Projects by Buxton Director, Heath Thompson, has seen, first-hand, how a growing discernment of interior design has created a more demanding off-the-plan buyer but says that a lot of buyers still need to understand that the true definition of quality interiors should be about what is behind-the-scenes – not just on the surface.

“There is so much more to great interior design than what appliances are there and what type of stone is on the benchtop,” says Heath.

And with well-considered interior design playing such a critical role in the marketing success of off-the-plan property development projects, Heath says one of the key ingredients to successful interior design is its connection to what the target market actually wants.

“It’s really important – more than ever – to raise the bar to hit the interior design target,” says Heath. “This becomes possible when you understand who your buyer is, through research and a thorough knowledge of the way the market evolves. There are all kinds of fantastic interior design, but if your target market doesn’t want it, then it’s not valuable.”

With the needs and wants of that buying market changing from suburb to suburb, Heath says there are some general trends to take note of.

“In suburbs such as Richmond, Collingwood and Brunswick, industrial-style interior design touches still work well, whereas in the inner-eastern and bayside suburbs, there is still a preference for a contemporary style feel.

“There are all kinds of variations within those general trends, of course,” says Heath. “Projects by Buxton developments always offer slight variations, from use of dark finishes versus light tones, with the ability for clients to mix some things up to suit their personal tastes.”

But, he reinforces, it’s what lies “beneath the skin” that is the mark of truly great interior design.

“Many people think of interior design as the colour palette and tapware designs but thoughtful interior design works closely with architectural design and is about the way space is utilised to suit the needs of the people who will live there,” says Heath.

Choosing a professional interior design partner to collaborate with, says Heath, is something that must be taken very seriously. For many Projects by Buxton associated developments, the interior design collaboration is part and parcel of the connection to the project’s architect. But when interior designers are not part of an in-house package, Heath says that both developers and architects choose carefully, with the broader vision of the property development to guide them.

“There are some independent interior designers that carry a very strong brand name – and high-end prestige,” says Heath. “By having them attached to a property development project, buyers recognise the value.”

One positive example of how the choice of an independent interior design worked well, says Heath, was a recent Projects by Buxton development – Alia McKinnon.

“When it was well under construction it was already almost sold out and it set records on purchase price and per-square metre rate,” says Heath.

“The whole team – including the developer, BCENTRAL and the interior designer, Zunica Design – just got it. It was a fantastic collaboration that looked at the aesthetic as much as it looked as what the market wanted – and it ticked all the right boxes without going over the top.

By appealing to a broader sector of the market, properties sell more easily and a neutral colour palette gives incoming buyers the opportunity to add their own flair via artwork or furnishings.”

Sustainability and environmental-awareness in interior design is becoming more important for many buyers but Heath says a common question he gets asked is: “does it add value?”

For a buyer who cares about such issues, then the answer is a definite yes, but it is personal, says Heath.

“Broadly speaking, in terms of an entire development promoting its sustainable touches, there is definitely more value in some areas. In Melbourne, that value is typically recognised in locations north of the river,” Heath says.