Founder of her eponymous architecture firm and close friend of MILOU MILOU, Carla Middleton's design aesthetic adheres to enduring design qualities that create comfortable, liveable and sustainable spaces with timeless appeal.
A mother of two, Carla's 15 years of experience in the architectural world began from a combined love of art and mathematics, a duo that allows her to create considered spaces of feeling and individuality.
Using natural light to create elegant spaces, Carla's Tamarama home is a reassuring picture of neutrals, with pops of colour for added vibrance - it also has the type of indoor/outdoor flow we regularly dream of.
Here, we talk with our friend Carla about weaving sustainability with design, why colour is an important part of a space and her daily rituals that shape her life.
How do you begin and end your days?
I begin my day by cuddling my two beautiful kids (maybe hubby too) and then a strong coffee. We have a Rocket Giotto coffee machine at home as we are obsessed with good quality coffee. My day ends with a good book in bed snuggled up in my favourite MILOU MILOU bedding.
You have over 15 years of experience in the architecture world, how have practices changed when it comes to sustainability?
The advancement of technology has had incredible impacts on the studio practice. I remember as a student in a firm working off printed copies of drawings that were marked up with red pen by the director and I would make all the changes on the computer. There would also be lots of sets of drawings printed and hanging through the studio. Nowadays the power of the iPad and hand drawing on an iPad to not only communicate with the team but clients, consultants and builders on site has meant we have significantly reduced the amount of paper used for printing.
The integration of how I design architecture and sustainability is intertwined. It was once a later thought but it very much apart of the early stages of design of the homes we create. Architects have a responsibility to design spaces that perform efficiently and are built out of materials that are sustainable and long lasting.
What is the key to creating liveable spaces that are comfortable, modern and enduring?
I like to focus on a particular site and take cues from the location, orientation, privacy as this ensures that the design is of its place and not being seduced by trends. The brief from the owners is also an important part to ensure the home creates liveable and enduring spaces. If the home is a happy place for its inhabitants then they will take care of it and not want to go anywhere.
How is colour important to you and how does it impact your life?
Colour is joy and is an important part of space through an owners art collection and special treasures that fill a space to make it feel like home.
Talk us through some of your favourite things…
People - My family and friends
Artists - Too many but I’m loving Theresa Hunt at the moment.
Furniture - All furniture by Ray and Charles Eames - what an incredible duo.
Go-to dinner - Elva on Bondi Road
Snack - Almonds, hummus and crackers
Exercise - I love running and clearing my head.
Drink - Coffee all day and wine all night.
Perfume - Not a big perfume person.
Stress relief - I exercise a lot to keep this under control and meditate for at least 10min a day.
Tips for things we can all do at home to lessen our own environmental impact?
Hire an architect to design a beautiful, environmentally considered home.
Last thing you do before you go to sleep?
I love watching my kids sleeping so I go into their room to give them a kiss and then read my book.