Dark horse of the interior design – James Dawson Interview

James Dawson is a multi award winning interior designer based in James Street Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Australia. James’ inspired love of Avant-garde details, offset by an Australian simplicity; creates unique, elegant and unexpected interiors for private residences, Multi Residential & commercial interiors. James’ reputation in the design industry has seen him many awards.

And we get a few answers from him, and we cannot be happier. Get to know him below.


AL: Who or what inspires you professionally?

JD: Design, Fashion and Architecture books inspire me professionally. I have a large collection of books in my office and I love collecting and sourcing rare books. They are a great source of inspiration for me.

AL: Where did you grow up?

JD: I grew up in the North Shore in beautiful Sydney Australia and now based in Brisbane Australia.

AL: Do you think the places we live in have influence in our lives somehow?

JD: Our environment and the the places we live play a big part on our wellbeing. People in Australia are becoming more house proud, spending more money on interiors, architecture and landscaping. I have noticed a positive change in the design industry towards people recognizing the wellbeing of having a beautiful home.

AL:How would you describe your style?

JD: Alice in Wonderland meets Rock & Roll

Dark horse of the interior design – James Dawson Interview

AL: Do you have a signature touch?

JD: I would say the materials I use combined with my passion of playing with strong lines and shapes help create my signature style. When I was young Architects like Mario Botta and Design movements like the Memphis era fascinated me and has added a positive influence to how I see and create interiors. I use a lot of wood, Bronze and marbles as core elements and build the space around these adding in additional texture and tones as layers.

AL: What is your philosophy on work and life?

JD: I love what I do – so my philosophy is to work, work and more work! I’m not really good at creating a work life balance. I wear a number of hats in my business with the Interior Design side thriving, developing and recently opening the Dawson School of Design and also preparing to launch in early 2016 a number of delicious lifestyle products like vases, cushions, desk boxes, bedding to mentioned just a few items all made in Australia and out of the materials I love to obsess over like marbles, burnt wood, hand glazed porcelain, bronze etc. I end up working probably much more than the normal work hours in a week.

AL:What makes the practice James Dawson unique?

JD: The way we take people on little adventures within the interiors. There is an authentic feeling to the designs I create that people seem to respond well to.

AL: What do you love to do in your spare time?

JD: I love collecting books, when I get free time or especially when I travel I get a real sense of joy visiting vintage bookstores and searching for rare Design books to keep growing my library.

AL: What are your hobbies?

JD: Pilates and yoga.

AL: What’s the hit song in your iPod/radio?

JD: Adventure song by Coldplay.

AL: If you could be an object, which one would you be?

JD: I would be one of my black and white marble patterned vases as it represents the things I love the most monochromatic, marble and flowers.

AL: In your opinion, what is the perfect place to relax and get inspired?

JD: For Inspiration I adore going back to my place in Saint-Germian-Des Paris, France, Just walking around the city has an effortless presence that is an inspiration to me. For a little bit of relaxation I love to visit the Maldives.

Dark horse of the interior design – James Dawson Interview

AL: Do you work better under pressure or with time to plan and organize?

JD: I prefer to be organized and leave time to plan everything out with work. I think that’s only way to work.

AL: Describe yourself in three words.

JD: Creative, daring and dedicated.

AL: Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about? Any new projects?

JD: There are two projects that have just started and I’m excited about them both for different reasons. One is based on a modern take on Matisse and Jean Metzinger drawings. The second is an adventurous, luxury river front apartment filled with solid bronze balls and beautiful bronzed and burnt oak wood.

AL: Can you talk about one of your favorite projects that you have developed?

JD: Recently I completed the interior design project for twelve exquisite townhouses in the leafy riverside suburb in Brisbane, Queensland Australia. This project allowed the creative freedom to create something interesting with light art deco influences.

AL: Can you describe the creative process of the Dawson School of Design project?

JD: It was a very organic process creatively putting the design school together. We are the only exclusive Interior Design and Decoration school in Australia that is industry driven; meaning our courses and our schools philosophy is established firmly on the vision to create graduates that are industry ready. It’s taken around 8 months and a lot of hours to get it all up and running for our first semester start date of the 18th January 2016. www.dawson.edu.au

AL: Do you have any guilty pleasures?

JD: I have a guilty appetite for quality handmade one-off designer clothing pieces. I love to archive them away for a year or so before I wear them.


Hope you all enjoy it as much as us. It was just a great pleasure to have this opportunity. Thanks James for your time and availability.

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