In conversation with Nyhof Walkley

Image of furniture

Exploring the art of bespoke spaces

21 May 2024

We spoke with Tamsin Nyhof, founder of Nyhof Walkley, a Melbourne-based interior architecture and design studio dedicated to creating timeless and elegant spaces. In our conversation, we explored the studio's ethos, approach to client relationships, and future aspirations.  

What inspired you to establish Nyhof Walkley, and how has your personal design philosophy shaped the studio's ethos and aesthetic?  

I had been working in the industry for over 15 years both locally and abroad, cutting my teeth at Michaelis Boyd in London where I gained some of the best experience of my career to date, before love brought me to Australia, and I was fortunate enough to work for Bates Smart, Jolson, and Conrad Architects, each contributing to my evolving design philosophy while nurturing my entrepreneurial spirit.  

The culmination of these experiences, coupled with the profound impact of COVID-19 and the joys of starting a family, propelled me to establish Nyhof Walkley. At our core, we are driven by authenticity, crafting spaces that harmonise with their surroundings by deeply understanding and respecting their unique contexts. Creating homes and spaces where people feel good and experience a sense of connection is our primary mission at Nyhof Walkley.    

Given your emphasis on timeless and elegant interiors, how do you and your team balance contemporary design with classical design principles in your projects?   

Classical design originates from a fundamental aspiration to instil order, making it a versatile framework adaptable to various aesthetics. At the onset of each project, we embrace the principles of classical design to establish a strong foundation and refine our vision, but we anchor our aesthetic in the present through materiality, detailing and technologies.  

Ultimately, our objective is to craft interiors that transcend fleeting trends, enduring the passage of time with grace and relevance while embodying a sense of permanence and refinement.    

In your experience, what are the key elements that contribute to a successful client relationship throughout the design process?  

In any successful relationship, whether personal or professional, trust, respect, and open communication serve as foundational pillars. The dynamic between client and designer is no exception, especially in private home projects where intimate spaces are crafted to reflect personal narratives and aspirations. 

Recognising the significance of these values, we invest ample time during the initial briefing stages to foster mutual understanding and alignment. It's crucial for us to ascertain compatibility, ensuring that our values, priorities, and aesthetic sensibilities resonate harmoniously. By nurturing this rapport from the outset, we lay the groundwork for a collaborative journey grounded in trust, transparency, and shared vision, ultimately culminating in spaces that authentically reflect the essence of our clients.  

Can you discuss the importance of a holistic approach to interior design and how Nyhof Walkley collaborates with other design disciplines and craftspeople to achieve the best possible outcomes?  

A holistic design approach recognises that successful design does not happen in silo. Some schools of thought compartmentalise the various design disciplines on a project, such as architecture and interior design, delaying the latter until after the structure is conceived. However, true synergy emerges when all design disciplines operate concurrently. This approach cultivates a more harmonious and ultimately, successful outcome. 

We take great pride in nurturing meaningful relationships with all project contributors, be they fellow designers, skilled craftspeople, tradespeople, or suppliers. It is within this collaborative process that the true essence of design unfolds, giving rise to something truly unique and exceptional. In embracing this journey, we find the purest joy in our craft. 

With a portfolio that includes residential, commercial, and hospitality projects, how does Nyhof Walkley tailor its services to meet the unique requirements of each project?  

Our approach to tailoring services begins with a deep understanding of each client's distinct needs, which can vary significantly across projects. For instance, while a private residential client often seeks comprehensive guidance and involvement throughout every stage, a developer may primarily require our expertise during the design and marketing phases. 

We prioritise open dialogue and collaboration from the outset, engaging with clients in early consultations to comprehensively grasp their unique goals and preferences. By actively listening and understanding their specific requirements, we can finely tune our services to align with their vision and objectives.  

Looking to the future, how do you envision Nyhof Walkley evolving and growing as a studio? Are there any particular areas or sectors you'd like to explore further, or new services you plan to offer to your clients?  

Looking ahead, we envision Nyhof Walkley evolving as a studio by staying steadfast in our commitment to our core values while strategically expanding our footprint in the market. We aspire to maintain the essence of our ethos while embracing growth opportunities that resonate with our principles. 

Additionally, we are committed to broadening our service offering in the future to encompass architecture and landscape architecture. By integrating these disciplines into our offerings, we can deliver a more holistic and comprehensive service.  

We are excited about the journey ahead and look forward to the opportunities for growth, innovation, and collaboration. 

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