CONVERSATION: TV'S ARKI HAUS
Luisa Klinge and Claudia Arnold are the creative talents behind, interior design house, Arki Haus. The Brisbane-based designers have worked with some of Australia’s leading architects, master builders, developers and celebrity clients and are the official Queensland designers for Foxtel’s Love it Or List It Australia. The TV show pits real estate guru Andrew Winter against esteemed interior designer. magazine editor and The Block judge Neale Whitaker as Andrew tries to convince homeowners to list their property while Neale’s team encourages them to renovate and stay. Luisa and Claudia kindly took time out from filming the second series – which will feature some bespoke Concrete Nation pieces - to chat with us about the show and their current projects.
Have you always been interested in design?
Luisa: Yes! From a young age, I was always redesigning my parents’ home or making changes to my bedroom. I started out as a property developer, and I soon realised I had a talent handed down within my “design” family [my father is a landscape architect, my mother is an interior stylist, my sister is a graphic/ interior designer and my brother is in property renovations]. It was a natural progression from developer to designer as I did all my own interior design on residential and commercial projects.
Claudia: Yes, I have always had a creative side but when my parents renovated our family home, my love of interior design really started. I loved seeing a space transform and come to life from the conceptual stage right through to styling. After graduating high school, I knew I wanted to make this into my career and was eager to get involved within the industry, which began with studying and led to great job opportunities.
What inspiring projects are you currently working on?
Claudia: The largest ones for the year would be the Love It Or List It homes for Foxtel. We are in Season Two and have completed three homes so far.
Other projects include are Andrew Winters’ own home on the Gold Coast. He asked us during the filming of Season One as he fell in love with a kitchen we did for Episode Six.
Luisa: We also have two are two large renovations in Bardon and one in Hawthorne about to commence. My own home in Coorparoo is in the planning stages for a large-scale renovation to happen later this year, which is six years in the waiting!!
What interior trends do you love right now?
We’re obsessed with the Palm Springs style, concrete [of course!], Terrazzo and metallic finishes [lights, handles, bathroom and kitchen finishes], barn doors [the bigger the better] and oversized leather handles [Index & Co and Made Measure].
You’re the official Queensland designers for Love It or List It Australia. How did that come about?
Luisa: Foxtel’s production company first contacted us as they were searching for a builder and interior design team for the Queensland episodes.
They found us through our websites and our social media and felt we were a perfect fit for the show as we have are a husband-and-wife team but also work as two separate businesses; Klinge Constructions and Arki Haus.
We are used to working together and working under timeline pressures. After our first meeting, we knew this show would be something different and special. We already loved the format of the show worldwide with Love It or List It Vancouver and U.S.
Once we knew the hosts as well, we definitely wanted to be a part of it.
I love working alongside Neale Whitaker. It’s a career highlight as I look up to him as a mentor and style influencer.
We are currently creating some bespoke pieces for the show, which is exciting. What can we expect from Season Two?
Claudia: We just love including Queensland companies in Season Two. Concrete Nation’s basins look amazing in the homes; the colours and the unique quality of the handmade concrete adds a casual luxe to the home and the flexibility of each basin style suits each different look. We can’t reveal much more, so you’ll have to watch the launch toward the end of the year. All we can say is, expect quite a few orders after the episodes go to air as they are quite the head turners when it comes to bathware!
What was a personal highlight during Season One?
Luisa: My greatest highlight was working with Neale Whitaker, making design decisions together as “Team Love It “ and also taking out the prize for most Love Its from the home owners.
Another highlight was working with great industry professionals and the production company to give the home owners what they desired but also pushing the boundaries in term of time versus design budgets and creating interesting television. It was quite challenging.
What were some specific challenges?
There are always challenges when renovating let alone mixing this with making TV but it was nothing we can’t handle. The biggest thing is the timeline for the renovation, so you have to be super organised with the interior design and the styling. We couldn’t do it without the support of our wonderful suppliers.
Who and/or what are your design inspirations?
Product companies like Concrete Nation inspire us to create the spaces we design. We love to use local brands where we can to promote the talent we have close to home. We love pushing the boundaries using these products in a fresh way, potentially coming up with some custom and innovative pieces along the way.
We don’t like following the pack and being totally on-trend and prefer to be design-forward. We gain inspiration from our fellow creatives, but never copy. We get excited to see others doing well and feel creativity is not a competition.