STUDIOLIU - A Sydney-based Interior Design Studio
STUDIOLIU, a Sydney-based interior design studio, crafts minimalist spaces with a compelling narrative. Under the guidance of Creative Director Louise Liu, the firm designs meaningful residential spaces that are distinct, aesthetically pleasing, and functional.
Louise Liu's interest lies in exploring the emotional impact of spaces and the stories they convey. Neutral tones, tactile natural materials, sleek forms, and contemporary fixtures characterise her luxurious homes. Discussing her inspirations and design aesthetic, Louise Liu unveils the ultimate goal of her projects.
Your journey as an interior designer commenced at the University of Technology, Sydney and extended through your professional experience in Sydney and Hong Kong, culminating in the establishment of STUDIOLIU. Could you provide more details about your journey?
My journey into interior design is quite unconventional than most. Growing up, my pragmatist mother focused on teaching me organisational skills, while my art and music enthusiast father introduced me to artists like Caravaggio and Francisco Goya.
Although I knew I wanted to pursue art or design, I wasn't sure how to proceed. I enrolled in interior design at university, and in two weeks, I discovered that interior design satiated both my practical and creative side, making it the perfect outlet for my passions.
I realised that interior design satiated both my practical and creative side—it was the perfect outlet
The spaces you design feature minimalism, sleek furnishings and contemporary fixtures. What makes this aesthetic your preferred choice?
My approach leans towards purity and avoiding excess adornment while seeking to balance practicality with poetic essence. Voids and empty spaces within a design are important. I'm particularly drawn to monolithic forms for their brutalist yet minimalist quality, often translating them into built items like countertops and fireplaces. My inspiration spans across various furniture and design styles from different eras.
Your design emphasises the incorporation of luxurious tactile elements in surfaces. Could you elaborate on the rationale behind this preference?
Architecture is essential in orchestrating the usability of a space and defining the flow of movement within it. Nevertheless, due to its scale, it lacks the personal interaction of a piece of furniture. The surface your feet walk on every day and the tactility of the handle you grab when opening your fridge can serve as small reminders of luxury in our daily lives.
Your designed spaces feature statement furniture pieces. Could you describe your process for selecting furnishings for a room?
I am often guided by the interplay of shape and texture with architectural forms. I am drawn to curated spaces, which are layered without being excessively adorned. Each of my projects commences with a conceptual story tailored for the client, and throughout the process, each piece of furniture and finish is chosen to convey this story.
I believe that voids and empty spaces are just as important in a space, and I want the space to be both practical as well as poetic
Your designs are minimalistic yet exude a strong personality. What is your ultimate goal for your projects?
As interior designers, we can leave a significant environmental footprint. My goal is to create timeless, meaningful spaces that evolve with their inhabitants over time.
What advice do you have for interior designers and homeowners who want to craft minimalist yet dramatic homes?
I would suggest working with unexpected details and organic finishes. The finer things are sometimes the most dramatic. Don’t underestimate a small trim or a thoughtful shadowline.
You primarily use neutral hues and natural materials. How do these choices contribute to the creation of spaces that reflect your signature style?
I strongly favour natural materials for their ageing and patina qualities, which set them apart from synthetic alternatives. However, I prioritise efficiency and purpose in my designs. When selecting materials and colours, I focus on tonal and textural contrast.
What's next for STUDIOLIU? What kind of projects can we expect to see in the future?
We are currently working on a few larger residential projects that are pushing the envelope on materials and colours. Although our focus remains on residential design, we're also eyeing diverse interior projects such as boutique hotels and unconventional spaces.
Meet the Founder
Anywhere where I can recharge and zone out
Greatest source of inspiration
People, art, movies and stories
Favourite piece of architecture
Tomba di Brion by Carlo Scarpa
Signature of a well-designed piece
Considered detailing as it reveals a thoughtful design approach
Favourite part of the design process
The conceptual phase is the most exhilarating part because of the possibilities, but the most rewarding would be the connections you make with your clients