SETSQUARESTUDIO_New blogI have not dropped by ‘The Bowernest’ for quite some time as I have been in the process of setting up my new design business SETSQUARESTUDIO. It has always saddened me that I had lost track of this blog and have forever been trying to find a new way to incorporate it back into my life.

Seeing as I still get the odd visitor to this site I thought I would formally let you know that I will now be blogging under my new pseudonym over at


I hope you will drop by some time.




{01} via {02} via {03} via

{01} via {02 + 03} via

I must admit when we first looked at our current rental property I didn’t quite know what to make of the bright orange laminate kitchen bench tops. Even upon moving in I wasn’t sure how to work a decor in with their intensity. For a long time I did nothing, hoping that the minimal look elsewhere would somehow tone down their vibrancy. Unsuprisingly this approach came with little success.

A few weeks ago I decided to bite the bullet, to embrace the unchangeable colour of the bench tops and have a play around with oil paint on canvas in an attempt to fill the neglected blank kitchen wall.

When looking for inspiration on colour and pattern its hard to go past the Aztecs. Imbedded with in their landscapes, furnishings and fashion is a considered approach to the mish mash of shapes, colour and repetition. Something I saw as a fitting approach to my kitchen decoration.

Images by Caitlin Perry

Images by Caitlin Perrya

All in all the kitchen now feels like a space that embraces  its vibrant 1970’s decor and has a little fun with the clashing of colour and form.

rear elevWhen one works in an Architectural office in the current economic climate one sees their fair share of projects come and go without seeing them built. Mostly due to unforeseen circumstances projects go on hold, or take longer than expected or for whatever reason just disappear. Due to the length of time between sketch design and practical completion you also quite often leave the office yourself and move onto another practise before you have seen the final outcome.  This project here falls into the latter category and I’m so excited to see how it all finished up.

lounge fireplace dining to outside kitchen

Designed by my previous employer Paul von Chrismar at Buro it was always one of my favourite projects. Undeniably on the humongous side of residential design I am so happy to see that this project, against all odds, has achieved a beautiful, delicate and most importantly domestic scale. The finer detailing and immaculate material choices shine through the commercial sizing of the original 19th century house and new addition, the result is remarkably warm and inviting .

thebowernest_brighton house

One of the main successes within this project is the intricate custom stone screenwork which weaves across the front, rear and side facades. It really captures the light and shade and filters patterns back into the interior rooms.

It is really wonderful to see the finished result after all this time and I can now only imagine the experience of walking through these spaces. Well done Paul!

* All photos via

Photo by Frank Foreman

Photo by Frank Foreman

Recall by Chinese artist Belli Liu is the third project within their series ‘House Phase Installation’. Aesthetically reminiscent of our GEYSER project I was instantly drawn to its simplicity and relationship within its context. It wasn’t until I looked closer and realised it was indeed comprised of 600 handmade wax drips that my true admiration for this artist/project began to swell. What patience and dedication they must possess. Cutting strands of string for GEYSER was tedious, let alone when dealing with a material of such fragility.

Photo by Frank Foreman

Photo by Frank Foreman

Based on the artists experience of their parents handmade abodes in China, it explores the idea of a homes occupation as shelter and protection and encourages the viewers uncertainty of this ideal.

Photo by Frank Foreman

Photo by Frank Foreman

The installation is site specific with the suspended 5 to 8 ft drips taking on the form of the rafters above. Light is also a huge component to this installation, interacting with the projected light through the tin roof and also a central light within the form sending shards of light into the space.

It is a beautiful, delicate and {the best kind of } simple project. One can only imagine that having a preconceived idea of how fragile wax can be as a material would highly alter the way you experience this space and indeed bring on a range of feelings of uncertainty.

Photos by Caitlin Perry

Photos by Caitlin Perry

On the weekend we were fortunate enough to get down to the beach for what will possibly be the last swim of the season. We were also very grateful that the friends farm that we were staying at was completely dog friendly and that little Wolfgang could get away with us too.

Wolfie was in his absolute element there and had an amazing time with the two cocker spaniels ‘Abbey and Pip’ and one little Pomeranian ‘Amy’ that came along also. There was another ‘thing’ at the farm, however, that Wolfgang became more fond of…  the stairs.  Up and down, up and down he rarely tired of following people, smells or sounds across the levels, {even at 5am he was still running from top to bottom – needless to say he got evicted from the house shortly after}. By the end he had even mastered jumping to the ground from six steps up, all with a humongous smile across his dial.

From the day we bought Wolfie home from the pound he was a climber. Nothing is safe in the house and even with such tiny legs he can spring up onto the pool table, the top of the couch and the bed with ease. With this in mind, I guess it should have come as no surprise that he would be fascinated with the staircase.

1} Hara Design Institute/Japanese Terrier 2} Kazuyo Sejima/ Bichon Frise 3} Kengo Kuma/ Pug 4} Kenya Hara/ Toy Poodle 5} mvrdr/ Beagle

This little obsession reminded me of the exhibition ‘Architecture for Dogs’ by Kenya Hara. A collection of famous Architects were assigned a different dog breed each and asked to design Architecture for that particular breed. What is also very sweet about this study, besides the gorgeous photos of the dogs inhabiting these spaces, is that the plans are all downloadable and able to be constructed.

One of my favourite designs is for the ‘long bodied short legged dog’ as it is exactly what I would have designed for Wolfgang, a series of steps and ledges. Perhaps this will become my next weekend project?

I’d to love to see this turn into a reoccurring exhibition that expands to even more dog breeds and talented designers… I’m dying to see what type of space a corgi would love. Maybe next time I am back at my parents I should sketch up one for their corgi Maggie.

6} Sou Fujimoto/ Boston Terrier 7} Atelier Bow-Wow/ Long bodied short legged dog 8} Konstantin Grcic/ Toy Poodle

6} Sou Fujimoto/ Boston Terrier 7} Atelier Bow-Wow/ Long bodied short legged dog 8} Konstantin Grcic/ Toy Poodle


Being a self confessed control freak I am naturally drawn to projects like this one by Mexican designers Manifiesto Futura. The independent studio which formed in 2008 are responsible for pretty much everything in this taco restaurant, including it’s name, identity and interior design. This would have to be why everything gels together so cohesively.


Whilst the interior joinery is kept to quite a minimal fit out, the attention to detailing in all associated branding and graphics is thoughtful and varied. A suite of logos and type have been meticulously executed across menus, coasters, products and the exterior facade.


The end result is a succinct and considered restaurant where little has been left undesigned. A dream assignment for any one plagued with control freak tendencies.

Photos via.

Photograph by Caitlin Perry

Photograph by Caitlin Perry

On Saturday I decided to pack up the dog and the car and escape to the country to visit my sister and her kids. I also took the opportunity to mix business with pleasure and finally style and photograph my first built project, being her extension.

Thebowernest_Caitlin Perry_09

Thebowernest_Caitlin Perry_08

Although capturing the project in a few key images was a bit daunting at first, it was also a nice chance to reflect on the process. To view the project through the camera lens allowed me to self evaluate the successes with the not so successful elements of the design. To a certain extent it provided closure and signalled completion.

Photo by Caitlin Perry

Photographs by Caitlin Perry

As the project has been a work in progress for quite some time I decided to focus the photo shoot solely on the ensuite and the built in shelves at its entrance. Once we have completed the decking and landscaping I will head back to document the remaining rooms and exterior.

Photographs by Caitlin Perry

Photographs by Caitlin Perry

All in all I am happy with how the photoshoot went. With the knowledge that I have gained from taking on this project I am ready to tackle my second built design, this time for my brother, which should hopefully begin within the next few months. I will keep you updated on its development.

* All photos + design by Caitlin Perry {Thebowernest}. Please credit and link back if used. 


Peter Clarke Photography

If I wasn’t already working in a light and airy office space complete with clean lines and a warm material palette, then I would love to spend my time in Elenberg Fraser‘s latest creation.

Designed for Slattery Australia, it teams blonde timber throughout (both horizontally and vertically) with polished concrete, crisp white walls and black steel framed doors, screening and internal windows.


{ 2 + 3} Peter Clarke Photograhy {4} via

Designed to be open and luminous, the use of internal glazing bestows clear view lines and borrowed light, whilst facilitating the requirement for private meeting rooms. It is adaptable, welcoming and functional – all prerequisites to good office design.

{5} via {6+7} Peter Clarke Photography

{5} via {6+7} Peter Clarke Photography

Attention to detail, light and material exploration have become quite characteristic of Elenberg Fraser’s work. It is no surprise that this is achieved from the moment one exits the elevators. The lobby greets you with a certain standard and quality that carries through out the rest of the office.

Slattery offices is a very beautiful and thoughtful project indeed.

thebowernest_studiorevamp012013 began with not only an update to my website but also my studio space in general. I set myself a similar agenda for both; fresh, streamlined and most of all organised (something I have always struggled to achieve/maintain in any of my workspaces). I needed a space to encourage a fresh start and a clear mind.

Left over GEYSER petals and mesh was utilised to both conceal the hideous paint job that comes with renting and also to bounce the borrowed light around the room. For detail I spray painted a cheap terracotta pot gold and added a vibrant fern. My small but ample cactus collection now takes up my Ikea green house and whilst being low maintenance it also injects colour and life into the space.


One of my most favourite aspects of the studio is the black metal shelving I made to house my collection of ‘odd bods’ as well as my paints, pencils and sample library. Constructed of laminated ply boards and 5 black metal rods it was easy to construct and fits the space perfectly. I also made a a simple matching bench seat which I will feature at a later date.


It is really amazing what a refreshed space can do to ones state of mind and production levels. It is also surprising how little effort and money it took to achieve, making me wonder why I did not do it earlier. I frequently find myself sitting in there even when I do not have work to do, and Wolfgang’s new favourite place in the house is under my desk at my feet.

I look forward to the year ahead and the creations that will hopefully come out of my new studio space.


Image by Caitlin Muscat Photography

It is impossible to relaunch ‘Thebowernest’ without first explaining my disappearance for the past 4 months.

In the simplest of terms, my absence comes down to essentially one word  – GEYSER. This word pretty much describes what was a dramatic event and a metaphor for 2012.  Leading up to it, GEYSER was; an obsession, a passion and a project, that seemed to last for eternity.

I am ecstatic, however, to say it all resulted in a really memorable Opening Night and 2 day exhibition. Like a real life GEYSER, the build up was huge, the event exceeded all expectations and then life receded back to normal. Consequently I took a humongous exhale and the ‘Thebowernest’ reverted into a some what dormant existence.

All explanations aside, I am reinvigorated for 2013. First post for the year and I am extremely excited to début to you, GEYSER.

Photograph by Caitlin Muscat Photography

Images by Caitlin Muscat Photography

GEYSER was a collaborative installation designed by myself and Ella LeoncioRobert Bravington completed our team with his expert knowledge of sonic composition, electronics and basically his do-it-yourself know how. It was all made physically possible with the help from our sponsors Chamberlain Javens Architects,  Manysquaremetres/MsqmPresents and Mance Lighting Design.

To begin with, this was the Synopsis we set for the project:

Thermal bathing awakens an awareness of our bodies in space. Shifts in temperature, feelings of weightlessness and the experience of full body immersion, activate our senses beyond the everyday.
In the absence of water, GEYSER explores the potential for architecture to create environments of sensory bathing.  How can sound, light, form and texture heighten our bodies’ response to space?

We tested this synopsis via three distinct areas or what we liked to call temperatures:

  • The MAIN ROOM (to which the PIXEL ROOM and HEXAGON ROOM where positioned within) was the neutral zone; calm, tactile and inviting. A long corridor of thousands and thousands of woolen strands allowed for large scale immersion whilst still encouraging ease of movement .
  • The HEXAGON ROOM was designed to appear initially as a warm and embracing cocoon yet with time became rather unpleasant. The use of  Ultrasonic audio and confined headspace (also with suspended woolen strand ceiling) all contributed to the sensory experience.
  • The PIXEL ROOM which was encouraged to be experienced laying down, evoked a sense of intense euphoria. An elasticated and elevated floor gave the feeling of weightlessness whilst sparkling crystal reflections, warm lighting and heat absorbing materials were teamed with a sensor driven ‘tingling’ audio to channel the senses into the space.

Images by Caitlin Muscat Photography

Cohesion and a sense of connection across the rooms was achieved through repetitive materiality (wool, reflective film and white mesh) The bleeding of sound and volume joined the spaces together but allowed for points of difference. Below is a recording taken from GEYSER showcasing the bleed between Robert’s bass heavy MAIN ROOM and the sensor triggered PIXEL ROOM ‘tingling’ (@ 2:44 sec) .

Geyser – By Robert Bravington (Bobbybrave Studio)

Whilst there is so much more I could describe I will finish up this first post with some of my favourite GEYSER Opening Night images (taken from our instagram hashtag #geyserproject). They are pixalated, grainy and some quite over exposed but what they lack in megapixels they make up for in playfulness and ‘immersion’.

What was so magical about the hashtag was that it allowed for people to interact with each other (including complete strangers) in real time. Shooting and uploading, liking and commenting without physically leaving the event. Two people shooting the same area were comparing and introducing. Most of all, people were becoming instinctively aware of their bodies and the bodies around them in space and in time. What a fantastic insight into, and momento of, people’s interactions and interpretations of our art.

Instagram Credits; {01+13} mr_gilmour  {02} allsubtext  {03} firecrackerevent  {04+09+12}  ghax3  {05,08} alexandria_skye  {06+11+17+18} megzyjane  {07+14} pagesfrommymoleskine  {10} koala_ears  {15} monpek  {16} baitlin_clay

Instagram Credits; {01+13} mr_gilmour {02} allsubtext {03} firecrackerevent {04+09+12} ghax3 {05,08} alexandria_skye {06+11+17+18} megzyjane {07+14} pagesfrommymoleskine {10} koala_ears {15} monpek {16} baitlin_clay

A massive thank you to those who participated and thank you specifically to; Glen and Stephen from Chamberlain Javens Architects, Cassie, Bridget and Jules from Manysquaremetres, Dean and Kim from Mance and our amazing photographers Caitlin Muscat and Tim Casten. We could not have achieved all that we did without every one of you.