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Ed Hansen's richly layered home reminds us that smaller spaces can be both impeccably styled and filled with personal touches.

| By Rachael Thompson | Home tours

Luxury Design Feels Accessible in This Interior Designer's Inner-City Apartment

Ed Hansen's richly layered home reminds us that smaller spaces can be both impeccably styled and filled with personal touches.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour interior designer Ed Hansen's neutral-toned rental apartment in Sydney.

The world of interior design can be intimidating. Between trends, high-end brands, and the idealised image of a beautiful home, it can be tricky to know what you should or shouldn't be doing and understandable to think the industry is exclusive. For interior designer Ed Hansen, this art form is a means of self-expression and creativity and it's his goal to help create spaces for his clients that are a reflection of themselves.

Ed's welcoming personality and openness to new ideas are immediately evident upon meeting him. “I love how the interior design landscape has changed and people are starting to express themselves a bit more,” he shares with Bed Threads Journal. “People are having more fun with their homes and buying pieces they genuinely love, regardless of what others think.”

Ed initially shied away from entering the industry due to its stigma and how saturated the market is. As a high achiever, he wanted to enter a field where he could make a mark and be one of the best. However, after initially pursuing advertising and photography, he realised his heart was in interior design and jumped headfirst into the industry – and it's paid off. The Melbourne-born creative is now working as an in-house interior designer and consultant for leading luxury furniture supplier Space Furniture.

The spaces he creates are richly layered and a celebration of great design. For his own home in Sydney, he's conceived a personal oasis that offers peace and quiet from his vibrant work life. "My home is very different from what I create when I'm working. It’s a lot more pared back, a lot more muted and neutral because my everyday life is so manic. It’s a bit of a safe space." Given its location in a bustling area next to Sydney's CBD, it's surprising to walk into his home and feel peaceful – almost as though you've put on noise-cancelling headphones.

It's not a massive space, but having been swathed in a calming palette of creams and whites punctuated by charcoal tones, it feels perfectly proportioned. A materials palette of timber, marble, and linen brings in natural elements and plenty of texture. And while it all looks perfectly put together, it's also deeply personal and filled with meaningful pieces he's collected over the years. From the trio of old photography cameras from his grandmother, mother, and himself, to his own photographic artworks hanging on the walls, there are hints of Ed throughout.

There are also design classics peppered in each room, further reflecting Ed's love of well-made timeless pieces; a ClassiCon Roattino floor lamp adds a sculptural element to the living area, Fulcram candlesticks by London lighting designer Lee Broom add ambience, and a set of restored Ralph Lauren dining chairs – a Facebook Marketplace find! – make for a stylish spot to dine with friends.

Ed's home is the perfect extension of his personality as it brings together items that hold sentimental value and reflect his interests as a photographer and designer. In following this philosophy and infusing your personal taste and style, you can create a home that embraces your personality and becomes a sanctuary that truly feels like yours.

Shop Ed Hansen’s Edit.

Hi Ed! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

I’m an interior designer! Creating has always been something I’ve had in my blood. My mum was a graphic designer and my dad was a chef, so I’m very much a creative at heart, and I’ve always loved building something from scratch. Now being an interior designer it’s like working with a blank canvas, and what I love about the job is reflecting the homeowner into a space. I work with lots of different clients from all different walks of life and being able to create a home reflective of them and their personal style is rewarding. It keeps me creative because I’m always coming up with something new and different.

How does interior design relate to your personality and who you are?

I bounced around the idea of doing interior design for a very long time and tried a lot of different things. Out of school, I started doing advertising. I’ve also had a photographic gallery before. But I think what was drawing me away from the interior design industry initially was there was a lot of stigma around it and it’s a saturated market. I’m someone who if I’m going to do something I want to be the best in the field. So it took me a while to realise that was my passion, something I can stick out a long career in, learn and grow from everyone around me, and get to the point where I want to be.

I think being able to work with the clients I do, I’m starting to explore so many different styles and have started to create my own look and understand what I like. For me working in this industry is my passion at the end of the day. I love creating spaces. I restyle my home every day. Being a designer is rewarding because I get to play in different interiors every day. I just love how a space can make you feel. You go into a bar or a restaurant, or someone’s home and it can completely change how you feel, whether that’s from scent, ambience, or look – I love being able to change how people feel.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Growing up I was very fortunate to have a mum who was a designer. Our home was very much designed and I always worked with her to design different projects. I was fortunate to be surrounded by these things growing up. It felt too obvious for me to go down that career path so leaving school I went down the advertising route, but it felt too 2-dimensional. It wasn’t tactile enough and I wanted to be in the space I created not just look at it on a piece of paper. I’ve always hated studying, I’m not a school person, I want to learn by doing and touching and feeling.

After this, I got more into photography. [Photography is] something I had always done, be it automated photography or fine art photography. I decided I have a real love for it, but not quite enough to commit my career to it. I created a photographic gallery for Australian artists representing 12 different photographers for an online gallery and a pop-up gallery in Sorrento. From there, I became immersed in the idea of how art integrates into the home and it made me start studying design.

I then moved to Sydney and started working with Space Furniture where I’m now an in-house interior designer and consultant. I get to work on beautiful high-end residential projects across the country. To do an entire home fitted out with the world’s best designs is quite amazing.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

Everything I do is client driven. I like taking direction from them. Some have more ideas than others and for me, it’s all about opening the client up to different ideas. It’s about taking an initial concept from them, running with it, and seeing what you can create out of that that’s representative of them. Having a history in photography helps me when I start a project as everything I design is through a vignette. I look at a floor plan and think ‘What are the angles you’re looking at everything from and how are you framing this up for the very end shoot?’ – I work backwards. A lot of the projects I work on are just from a floor plan because they haven’t been built yet, so it’s quite difficult in that sense, but I’m lucky I’m a visual thinker with a photographic memory so I’m able to picture things well in my head. If I’m in the space, I’ll always take reference photos of how you’d shoot the space in the end so you can see how the space should be designed to flow and connect.

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?

Progressing through my career quickly has been nice and reassuring. I often take a moment to reflect on my career and the quick growth and progression I've been lucky enough to attain, to be sure I am always open to further growth and ideas. I take the moment to ensure I'm producing the best outcome and quality of work for our clients.

I work with lots of different clients from all different walks of life and being able to create a home reflective of them and their personal style is rewarding.

Ed Hansen

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

It’s definitely an industry that’s very saturated, and with social media, it’s hard to stand out. If you’re passionate about the industry I think it’s important to bring your own flavour to it. Not only can you reflect the client but how can you reflect yourself in it. I think coming into this industry you need to be bold and seek out pieces that inspire you and others.

How long have you lived in your home?

Almost two years. I finished all the lockdowns in Melbourne and thought I’d move to sunny Sydney and two weeks later went into lockdown here. This house has been through many iterations and will always change with me.

Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?

I purely styled it.

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

My new home in Paddington! I purchased it a year ago but it’s been so many hurdles to get through as far as the planning process, but I’ve finally started renovations which I’ve been sharing on TikTok – stay tuned!

For more from Ed, follow him @ed_hansen

Photography by Alisha Gore. Styling by Audrey Won.

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