Renowned interior designer Thomas Bucich moved to Sydney from New York in 1990 and has been living a bit of a ‘gypsy’ existence ever since, enjoying the best of an international and flexible lifestyle.
“These days working anywhere in the world is so much easier,” he says. “Since I moved to Sydney, I’ve always maintained all my professional contacts to keep me current on what’s going on back home, but the bulk of my work is in Sydney.”
He likes to maintain a ‘virtual studio’ with most of his time spent between his design and art studios in Sydney and Avalon on the Northern Beaches. “I love having the flexibility of doing what I do without being tied down to a specific place. I collaborate with some amazing people around the globe. Between Skype sessions and emails, we can make design projects happen anywhere.”
Thomas’ latest collaboration, which he’s very excited about, is with one of my favourite homewares stores, Becker Minty, in Potts Point. “Jason Minty is an amazing entrepreneur and retailer with an aesthetic that I really connect with,” he says. “His stores encapsulate the style I like to create with my interiors, based on collecting one of a kind pieces and adding luxurious finishes and textures. We had a chat about creating an interior design studio in-house that would complete the offering of the store; to make Becker Minty a one-stop-shop for everything from cufflinks to fully bespoke interiors.”
The idea is that people who love the Becker Minty retail experience can now take that level of quality and detail through to exclusive residential and boutique commercial projects. Jason adds: “We are very excited to be collaborating with someone who understands and appreciates our passion for the unique and luxurious. Thomas’ many years of experience will enable Becker Minty Interiors to broaden its reach, to take the next step and offer services previously unavailable. Thomas and I share an eye for luxury and both appreciate the joys of bespoke designs, individuality and craftsmanship. We both also love to mix old with new, which has always been an important part of Becker Minty since its inception.”
Thomas describes his own aesthetic as luxurious modern. “I consider myself non-formulaic, in as much as I like to think that I produce environments specifically for each client and project. I’m always discovering new ways to create objects and spaces, and always finding amazing product in my travels, so I use each project as a way of giving my clients something original. I don’t like to repeat myself!”
That love of variety means he is happy dipping into both commercial and residential projects. “I like working on luxury commercial projects where I make quick, commercially driven decisions which are produced to a deadline. They then allow me to do ‘my thing’ and create a project for them.
“Many of my residential clients become friends and I think this says a lot about the my process of getting to know their lives and creating personal environments for them. These projects are often longer term and it allows me to create more detailed work from custom furniture to bespoke interiors through to sourcing original pieces and artwork from around the world.”
His latest commercial project was for Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel, where he rebranded and created new interiors for its main restaurant, Café Opera. “My studio created everything from the new logo through to custom carpets, light fittings and furniture for the large historic space. We even had the artwork commissioned by local Australian artists, which kept our scheme completely considered.”
In terms of residential projects, there are always several on the go at the same time so this, his commercial work, and his work as an artist making bronze and marble sculpture, keeps Thomas, who trained in both architecture and fine art, busy.
“My greatest interior design inspirations are architects, artists and fashion designers, and anyone who really pushes the envelope. I don’t really follow anyone in particular.” His own home is ever-evolving as he finds more and more interesting pieces and artwork. “I don’t really get attached to my finds and I’m constantly placing pieces in my collection in appropriate projects. Also, there’s a limit to wall and floor space, which drives this ‘detached’ behaviour!
“I’m a bit of a gypsy and have moved around quite a bit which has enabled me to experience all the great lifestyle options greater Sydney offers. I’ve created a North American cabin in the Southern Highlands, did the Paddo industrial warehouse thing, and am now enjoying the beach life in Avalon. As long as I have my laptop, my art studio set up, and some connection to nature, I’m free to create.”