The inside job: ACME & Co's Caroline Choker
Interior design whiz
Sydney-based interior stylist Caroline Choker is one half of design outfit ACME & Co - a company co-founded with architect partner Vince Alafaci. With a slew of design accolades under her belt, she's responsible for refurbishing some of Sydney's most impressive spaces - such as The Grounds of Alexandria and the Watsons Bay Sunset Room. Her flair for vibrant hues, bold pattern and intricate detail is second to none, so we delve deeper to find out what makes her tick.
What did you study?
A Bachelor of Visual Communications and then I followed this with a Diploma in Interior Design.
Have you always been into interior design?
After I graduated I worked in graphic design, which wasn't stimulating enough for me. Then at the age of 22 I developed a fashion label with my best friend, which sold across 15 Australian stores and Browns in London. Finally, I decided to follow my first passion, which was interior design. I guess it was embedded in me from a young age when my father would walk me through his construction sites.
When did you start your business?
ACME & Co was conceived with my partner Vince Alafaci exactly two years ago. Prior to that I had a solo practice for 10 years.
What's it like working with your partner?
Working side by side has been both inspiring and creatively rewarding.
What are some milestone moments in your career?
We share a passion for design and constantly challenge each other to develop unique and engaging experiential spaces. Our milestone moment came during the first year of opening the business, when we were awarded emerging practice by the Design Institute of Australia.
Can you talk us through some past and present projects?
During the collaboration on The Grounds of Alexandria project, Vince and I realised that there was a need to offer holistic design solutions that responded to a client's commercial objectives and site-specific needs. The studio formed organically after that and we've since completed a number of projects - The Potting Shed at The Grounds, The Incinerator Café, Archie Rose Distillery, Watsons Bay Sunset Room.
At the moment we have a number of high-profile projects on the board but unfortunately we can't disclose them until works are under construction.
What are the five best interior stores in Australia?
It's hard to find five in Australia, but: Cult Furniture, MCM House, Living Edge and Becker Minty.
What are some emerging design trends you can share with us?
- - Relaxed interiors.
- Gentle colours like muted pastels, smoky shades of grey, soft neutrals and metal hues.
- Sustainability/environmental design: we recognise that the way that we live in the world and what we take from it ultimately has an impact. There is a movement to products that require less energy and waste, plus new lighting options and recycling.
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