Luke Fry // St Kilda East project

Words: Manuela Millan

We recently caught up with Luke Fry, the designer behind the incredible refurbishment of an Art Deco home in Chaddesley Avenue, St Kilda East.

We spoke about his recent work, inspirations, and how he manages to balance a young family and his design practice.

Luke’s rare and broad skillset has enabled him to create a cohesive and beautiful vision from inside to out, and allows him to identify the full potential in a building design, and then bring it to life.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy this Q&A and don’t forget to scroll down for more beautiful images.

Photography Derek Swalwell
Styling Bek Sheppard
Landscape Blac Design

Luke Fry // Portrait by: Damien Kook


MM: When did you start your design/architecture practice?

LF:4 years ago on my dining room table. Things have come a long way since then and I now get to share it all with my team which is great.


MM: What’s your favorite part of being an architect and designer?

LF: For most of my clients, building a new home is something they have dreamt about for years and it’s the biggest financial investment they will ever make. It’s a huge responsibility, but to play such a key role in that process is extremely rewarding. I cant imagine doing anything else with my life.


MM:What has been the hardest part of designing a residential job?

LF: Managing expectations of time, cost and the design process. Because most of our projects are for non-repeat clients, we invest a lot of time in establishing relationships which are essential to achieving great outcomes.


MM: Can you define your style? 

LF: I’m influenced a lot by materiality and simplicity, something which we continue to refine and craft with every project. Each project is taken on its own merits but they all follow the same principals of quality and consideration, creating a refined simplicity. Layering of materials and texture is always something which I aim to achieve with equal focus on the architecture and interiors (being educated in both).


MM: What can't you live without?

LF: Firstly my family, my wife and I have two adorable little babies which keeps life very interesting (sleep, what’s that?!). In terms of material things, I cant live without my bike, its an essential non-negational part of life. It’s a passion which keeps me physically and mentally healthy, this is something which is very important to me.


MM: Who/What are you most influenced by?

LF: This has changed throughout different stages of life but its becoming more refined as I get older. They say you’re the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, lucky for me I keep my core group of friends very small. It’s an eclectic group that varies greatly in age, profession and lifestyle but they keep me very inspired.


MM: What was your childhood like? Did you grow up in a creative household? 

LF: My childhood was great, I was very lucky. I grew up in Country Victoria with my parents and younger brother, my father is a builder (and now my brother also) so I was on building sites from a very young age. My creativity was influenced mostly by my mother which then flourished further in high school. I was 17 years old when I moved to Melbourne to start university.


MM: What is the first thing you do in the morning?

LF: It all depends on the day of the week. Some days I’m up at 5am to go cycling with mates (there is nothing better than sunrise on the bike) and other days I’m elbow deep in nappies and getting breakfast ready. I’m usually in the office or on site by 7:30am with coffee in hand. Either way, there is no time for rest.


MM: Can you recommend a good read / good playlist?

LF: I don’t think I’ve read a book in 5 years, did I mention I’ve got two babies and run a business?! Ha! I do love a Sunday paper though!

In terms of music, I’m definitely not in control of this in the office and happy to hand over the reins. I listen to a really broad range of music, everything from Leon Bridges to Led Zeppelin.


MM: Can you recommend a coffee place and a restaurant in Melbourne?

LF: The best meal I’ve had recently would have to be at Ripponlea Food and Wine. Coffee is always good at Superandom in Brighton or Harpers in St Kilda.

Love the  Volker Haug  pendant

Love the Volker Haug pendant

Layering of materials and texture is always something which I aim to achieve with equal focus on the architecture and interiors