At Home With…
Marika Jarv knows good design. With an elegant portfolio of projects in high-end residential, this established and highly sought after Architectural Designer is founder and principal of her design firm, Marika Jarv Creative. While her signature aesthetic is considered and stylish with a focus on pared back simplicity and natural material, the Sydney-native is a leading talent in the architectural world; her double tap-worthy portfolio testament to her meticulous talent. Marika talks to PBC about her approach to design, her Avalon Beach house, and her creative inspiration.
What do you love about being an Architectural Designer?
I do love what I do, and it’s probably because it combines so many of my personal traits. Obviously the design aspect is immensely appealing, as it is especially rewarding creating beautiful and considered spaces, but the core essence of architecture is actually problem-solving. You have to have the skills and ability to not only see the overall vision, but play close attention to every little detail. Good design isn’t just making things look pretty, it’s essential to combine aesthetics with the functional and practical.
What’s your favourite room in your home, and what makes it your pick?
It would have to be the corner of our open-plan living area where the day beds are located. When the bifold doors are all pushed open, the whole space opens up and connects with our terrace (the boundaries between inside and out become very undefined), which combined with our newish built-in outdoor benches makes it a great setting for entertaining. Apart from looking out over our garden, that spot also gets distant views of the ocean; it’s my favourite place to relax and read a book, or share a wine with girlfriends.
What advice would you give to the next generation of creatives?
Landing my dream job straight out of uni (with celebrated architect Peter Stutchbury) was hugely influential for me. I would suggest the next generation of creatives to think about who they align with, and work hard to get your foot in their door once you’ve finished studying. Who you work with early on can have a huge impact on your career later down the track. When contacting firms, don’t just tell them about yourself, but explain why you are particularly interested in them, perhaps discuss one of their projects and what you love about it - it’s important to establish a personal connection.
What’s your favourite material to work with, and why?
Concrete, as it’s so versatile. It can be used structurally, or for architectural elements, such as kitchen bench tops. It’s durable and robust, yet when detailed thoughtfully can have a certain softness to it. I particularly love when timber planks are used as formwork to create textured patterns on the surface. That said, I do find too much concrete can get a bit austere, so I like to pair it with warmer materials such as timber, bronze or copper.
What about some of your broader design influences, who inspires your creative practice?
Would love to say I’m influenced by all the amazing international locations I’ve jetted to recently, but unfortunately with all that’s been going on, we haven’t had the opportunity to do much of that lately! That said, Australia is unmistakably fortunate to have an abundance of incredible talent on our shores. The Local Project is a print periodical which I subscribe to and very much enjoy, it’s published three times a year and showcases the latest architecture and design from Australia and New Zealand. It’s definitely my favourite architectural publication.
How would you describe your personal interiors style?
Pretty relaxed and laidback, definitely influenced by our coastal lifestyle. Lots of rustic, pale timber tones alongside faded, warm, earthy colours. We’ve been slowly collecting decorative elements that we love; meaningful artworks to celebrate special occasions, ‘forever’ pieces of furniture, and cool pendant lights (Matt works in the film industry, so lighting is important to him). I like things to have character, so a lot of our timber furniture has been scuffed up or scribbled on by our kids over the years - can’t bring myself to sand it all back and make it perfect (I love how the mess is a reminder of our family stories).
What is your favourite Palm Beach fragrance and why?
Sea Salt, because I’m always drawn to anything that reminds me of summertime and the beach! I’m also a sucker for the fragrance of Jasmine, so wasn’t surprised when I discovered it was one of Sea Salt’s main ingredients. Personally, I find some scents way too overpowering, but Sea Salt is just subtle and easy.
What Palm Beach product can't you live without?
Your candles. My youngest is now obsessed with candlelit bath time - lamentably, it’s usually whilst also watching her iPad propped up playing Stranger Things on repeat!