Design Profile – Ben Voorderhake

Hello all! As JEB proudly supports  our Australian interior designer talents, we will be featuring some very talented minds with whom we are collaborating with, and learn more about their thoughts and inspirations. Let’s hear from Australian interior designer Ben Voorderhake from Davenport Campbell & Partners:

Q: So, let’s start with the easier stuff – how many tabs do you have open right now?

A: Let’s have a look…there’s Airbnb for organising my accommodation for a family holiday at Tassie; Qantas to organise another flight to northern NSW to pick up a dog; Sydney Morning Herald so I could stay in touch with the world; multitude of design sites to get inspirations from other people’s brilliance; Dropbox to get my disjointed work life organised; Davenport Campbell’s website to check on some of my latest projects; Clients’ websites to understand who they are; and snow forecasts because I can’t believe my holidays are now over…

Q: Nice, so there’s quite a browser situation. What is your favourite procrastination method?

A: That was it! By the way, I really should get stuck in and get through my long to-do-list…just after I do a quick surf check.

Q: Change of topic here – folding napkins or scrunching them?

A: I like to think I am a folding-napkin person, my favourite blog is “things organised neatly”. In my head, this is how my world should be.

Of course, the reality is completely different. I have 2 young boys and a busy schedule. So, unfortunately, I am without a doubt, a dirty, wine stained, scrunched napkin person, if indeed, I am lucky enough to have a napkin at all.

Q: Now, let’s turn to the more serious side. Where do you get your style inspirations from and how would you describe it?

A: I like to think my style is fairly classic, not too in-your-face. I don’t go in for bright flashy design these days.

I try and create spaces that feel good to be in, spaces that reflect the culture of the user. I think form and space are still the main drivers for me, with the materials complimenting and reinforcing the design, rather than driving it. If a space flows well, works well, and isn’t forced, then it usually feels good to be in.

Q: It’s always nice to see something sleek and natural. Is your thought process like that too? What was your last lightbulb moment?

A: My last enlightenment was when I realised that I don’t need to know everything, and that I don’t need to appear to know everything. I finally feel comfortable with my level of knowledge and asking questions of people with more knowledge than me.

Q:  As an Australian interior designer, what was your favourite project you’ve worked on and why?

A: I built a back-yard chicken coop a year or two ago. Its massively over-designed and engineered, and it took about ten times as long and cost ten times more than forecast (and it’s still not finished), but it was hugely satisfying. Oh, a fox got the chickens recently, so it’s empty now.