A Touch Of Light

As principal architect at Venn Architects, one of Melbourne’s most respected boutique residential architecture firms, Geoff Challis probably spends more time thinking about light than a painter or photographer.

“Light is critical in creating a space that is inviting,” says Geoff. “We can use it in so many different ways: to lead the eye, to draw people into a space and to make a space inviting.”

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Open plan kitchen, dining and lounge space featuring motorised, linked roller blinds in blockout fabric.

The painter comparison is fitting. Geoff’s canvas may be larger, but like an artist, Geoff knows the impact of something as simple as a touch of light on a space. It’s easy then to see how Geoff and Lovelight make for a natural partnership.

“Light is paramount to any good design” he says. “Window furnishings are important when taking light into consideration.”

“If it’s a big glazing set and it’s opening to an outdoor space, facing north and you’re looking for that solar orientation and working for passive solar principles, then we need to be considering specific blinds. In that instance, a simple sheer blind is probably the way to go.”

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Open plan kitchen, dining and lounge space featuring motorised, linked roller blinds in translucent fabric.

These are just some of the considerations Geoff takes into account when designing the “high-end bespoke custom homes” that Venn Architects are famous for.

“Good design is the very thing that provides people with the experience to find out what’s around the corner,” Geoff says. “It keeps us reaching out and looking further afield. You don’t want to be living in a box, you want to be living in something which is suggestive and a creative space.”

For Geoff, establishing a creative space involves shaping the distinction between our indoor and outdoor spaces. “I think if an indoor space can feel like it’s part of an outdoor space by using light, then it’s been a success,” he says.

“In Australia, design’s got a lot to do with the indoor-outdoor space,” he adds. “That’s something we’re always looking at. It drives a lot of the designs that we’re putting together.”

“We’re always aiming to reduce the threshold between indoor and outdoor. From House and Garden magazine, to a million-dollar Jack Merlo garden and how these might interface with one of our great designs.”

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Open plan kitchen, dining and lounge space featuring motorised, linked roller blinds in translucent fabric.

Uniting the indoors with the outdoors isn’t just about creating beautiful designs, it’s about creating a welcoming, comfortable environment for homeowners to inhabit, one that makes an impression on owners, guests and the surrounding landscape.

“With our designs, we really try to fit them in seamlessly to the landscape,” Geoff explains before once again noting the ever-present considerations of his craft.

“If we’re opening a whole block out to a northern aspect, it might be terrific in terms of the sequence of spaces we're creating. But we might be creating other problems, where rooms might become potential hotboxes.”

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Roman blind in blockout fabric, coupled with curtain in Altamira - Napoli Vintage Linen fabric for full nighttime darkness (LEFT) and curtain in the same fabric as bedroom in curtain in Altamira - Napoli Vintage Linen fabric coupled with manual-operated translucent roller blinds in the study (RIGHT).

“So we’d consider shade devices in terms of the built form, but at some point we need to look at window furnishings, that’s a product of function. In this case it could be solar blind, sheer blind or external Venetian.”

Luckily, Venn’s partnership with Lovelight means Geoff’s designs can always have the right touch of light. To discover how Lovelight can create a sense of indoor-outdoor space for your next project, get in touch and make your design appointment today.

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