Our interview with Thomas Hamel of Thomas Hamel & Associates
Ahead of our sell-out Sydney Masterclass with Thomas Hamel in February, we sat down with the man who has been referred to by his peers as the gentleman of the industry. In all of our dealings with Thomas, we have indeed been impressed by his gentle, kind and considered approach. An approach that is immediately apparent in the exquisite interiors he has been commissioned to create.
On Saturday 13th February Thomas will open the doors to his newly renovated Surry Hills studio to a group of very fortunate designers, all keen to absorb a little of the wisdom of this revered designer who has forged a name for himself across the globe. His unique designs have graced the cover of magazines for many years, and the legacy of his work will inspire designers for decades to come.
As Thomas shares in his chat with us, his love for travel and passion for discovery has led to the distinctly international design style for which he is now widely recognized. In this interview we learn a little about what drives this successful industry icon and find out about the exciting things on the horizon.
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TDC : Thanks for speaking with us today, Thomas. We’re incredibly excited to have you launch our Sydney Masterclass series! Welcome back to the office for a new year of creating beautiful interiors.
We are in awe of the uniquely international style you curate in your interiors. As someone who travels so frequently to source beautiful items for your projects, how have you adapted to staying in Australia this past year?
TH: Originally, it was such a shock, and I wondered, “How on earth am I going to manage not being on a plane?” I used to travel five to six times a year, but I think now I could cut the travelling. Two trips per year would be plenty. It’s much easier to do all the different stops over two trips because it’s a long time away. Just the effort that used to go into planning trips was extraordinary. And then, at the same time, all my local clients miss me while I’m away! It’s always a juggle how much time I can be away from the office.
So, in hindsight, it’s been very positive. I think we’ve all found new ways of getting inspiration. It’s not the same. I know that for sure. But luckily, I’ve travelled enough to know that I can use all the resources and people I know overseas - do Zoom walkthroughs, scour auction catalogues and so forth.
Over the past year, the most significant thing is that we’ve established such an incredible office library that we don’t actually need to visit showrooms so frequently. It makes everything so much more accessible. And all the showrooms will do a Zoom and send you samples immediately. So, it’s not the same, but we’re surviving. We’re managing.