Q&A with interior designer and Orchard Piper collaborator Tamsin Johnson

Tamsin Johnson, Interior Designer

How would you describe your interior aesthetic?

My aesthetic is refined yet relaxed. I strive to create beautiful, liveable spaces with a distinct sense of personality, but also an enduring timelessness. Spaces that are designed to be lived in and loved.


Your parents worked as antique dealers. How has this upbringing helped to inform your design approach?

Their work really helped me to appreciate good design – which I have learnt can last through many lifetimes. To this day, I love sourcing antiques, because they can defy the decades.



Your work incorporates eclectic pieces that are sourced across both decades and continents. What do you look for when sourcing these pieces?

I look for good quality and character; pieces with a great story to tell. I am particularly interested in mid-century furniture, the style of Edgar Brandt, of Art Deco and Art Nouveau. I also love the textural appeal of cane and rattan, as well as the beautiful craftsmanship of Daum and Murano glassware.



Are there any pieces that you have collected over the years which carry particular importance for you?

The 19th-century crystal chandelier that hangs in our living room is still one of my favourite pieces that I have collected.


What are you most inspired by?

I am inspired by travel and the work of many designers throughout history — Federico Forquet, Jacques Grange, and Axel Vervoordt all spring to mind. But I am also inspired by the unique challenges of a space and the opportunity to establish a dialogue between old and new, polished and textural, ordered and relaxed. It is in this dichotomy that the interiors can really shine, I find.

370 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Orchard Piper, photography GabrielSaunders_
370 Albert Street, East Melbourne, Orchard Piper. Render by Gabriel Saunders.