Creating a Home with Interior Designer Mark Cutler

November 5, 2021

Elegant, eclectic, warm—these are the impressions upon seeing a space designed by Mark Cutler. An Interior Designer hailing from Brisbane, Mark now calls Los Angeles home. But the influences of his Australian origins are ever-present. 

Mark’s portfolio includes a stunning array of Hollywood celebrity homes, holiday escapes and other expansive residential projects. We fell in love with the vibrant cosiness—a feeling that only emanates from carefully curated placements of furniture and home decor. 

We talk to Mark about finding his calling and how he makes a house a home.

Tell us a little bit about your beginnings in Australia.

I started in Australia studying architecture, I went to UQ in Brisbane thinking that architecture was my calling. It was something that I had wanted to do from a very young age so I would work for architects over the summer from about the age of 14 or 15.

All of the firms I worked for did large scale residential projects and I fell in love with that aspect of design and that has always stayed with me. There is something so personal about creating homes for a family and the impact that that can make on their lives, I find it incredibly rewarding.

What sparked the move to the US?

After I graduated I found a job in London, so that was where I was headed. I decided to take a couple of weeks vacation in NYC on my way there, and upon arriving fell in love with the city, so I ended up staying a few years. Ultimately I worked in both London and Paris, but kept coming back to NYC.

At some point I decided it was time to head back to Australia and stopped in Los Angeles, and once again got caught up. LA felt incredibly familiar, it had great weather, an outdoor lifestyle, but with the American culture mixed in, so I decided to stay and have been here now about 25 years and love it.

I have been very lucky, our firm does work all over the United States (and many projects overseas too) so I get to indulge my passion for travel as well as get influenced by many different places, whether it’s a lakefront house in Wisconsin, a ski house in Park City or a beachfront home in Miami, each teaches you about another way to live in and use our homes.

What about Australian culture still inspires you?

I feel like I have built a career in design based on what I learnt in Australia. The sense of relaxed, casual elegance that is a common thread through all of our designs can be traced directly to those origins.

We work in many different styles (our design philosophy of Interior Design is a form of portraiture, drives that) but within each of those homes there is a liveable and approachable quality that is uniquely Australian. So whether it is for one of our many celebrity clients, or a home for a person down the street, we strive to create designs that are liveable, timeless and approachable.

Any plans to design a home in Australia?

No, unfortunately we have not just yet. We have interviewed a few times, and worked for a few Australians in the US, but working in Australia is definitely a goal (call me!!). I think it would be interesting to flip the script a bit and work there to see what aspects of the American culture we can synthesise in Australia.

What’s your design philosophy? 

We have a very clear design philosophy. Interior design is a form of portraiture. This means that in every project, we strive to create a mirror that reflects the family that lives there, their history, their aspirations and hopefully create a home that instantly feels like home.

To me, too many homes that we see in magazines and online look like the designer who created them. I want to create homes that when you experience them you instantly know who they are, that is the greatest reward.

How do you find inspiration to design new spaces?

There are many places to look for inspiration. I think the most fundamental of which is the architecture of the space, this is going to inform you about scale, flow and to some extent style. Then of course the client is our biggest source of inspiration. Who they are, their culture and how they live with their families.

It’s interesting—there are a few condominium buildings in Los Angeles where we have worked and have done essentially the same apartment space several times but for different families, and it’s amazing how different each may end up and that is based on the inspiration of the people who are going to live there.

Outside of those site specific forms of inspiration, we are constantly looking. So whether it’s a desert trip or a beach vacation, there is always something that will pique my curiosity. Also art is a great passion of mine and will often create ideas about colour or pattern that will then show up in our work.

Get in touch with Mark and see more of his work here. Remember to keep browsing Soho to find your dream home and perhaps Mark can design it for you!

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