Interview // George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

 

Talented Sydney interior designer, George Livissianis, is no new-kid-on-the-local-design-scene. Although some of his projects have deservedly taken out a number of design awards in the last two years, I still feel like his work hasn’t been publicised and celebrated as much as it deserves to be. Perhaps this is due to the fact that Mr Livissianis appears to be the kind of man who’s more dedicated to his craft, rather than the art of self-promotion. You see, even his website doesn’t contain any images of his beautiful work. Whassup wit dat? But not to worry, we are here today to fix this.

George is responsible for some of Sydney’s most beautiful and successful restaurant interiors, including one of my personal favourite - The Apollo in Sydney’s Potts Point. From exceptional food (did someone say Saganaki cheese with honey & oregano?), to polished and friendly service, and of course – the gutsy interior that carefully balances the highly crafted and elegant with the raw and robust.

But that’s enough from me. It’s time to hear from the man himself.


Jac + Jack Sydney Store by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Jac + Jack Sydney Store by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Jac + Jack Sydney Store by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Jac + Jack Sydney Store. Photo by Tom Ferguson.

 

Hello George, welcome to Yellowtrace. Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself – when did you first decide you wanted to become an interior designer and how did you get to where you are today?

I was interested in design & illustration from an early age, had work experience at 16 with Denton Corker Marshall & at an animation studio. I decided on interior architecture for my tertiary education, did work experience for most of my university teachers, was picked up by Peter Geyer at graduation, worked in the UK, came back, worked for Burley Katon Halliday & now here.

How do you characterise your design approach and your aesthetic? What is fundamental to your design practice – your philosophy and your process?

Simple, minimal, crafted, unpretentious, calming… Drawing by hand & detailing is fundamental. It’s a constant process of refinement. Not super decorative – it’s material and texture over colour and pattern.

 

Potts Point Apartment by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Potts Point Apartment by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Potts Point Apartment by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Potts Point Apartment. Photo by Scott Needham.

 

How do you go about establishing a concept and an overall direction/ look & feel for your projects? Do you have a certain process that you always follow?

Understanding either the brand, the person or the experience you are creating for. I don’t have a specific process, there is often an instinctual response to a space so I try to be aware & go with it. It’s a unique response to each project. Loose sketches are vital at the beginning, it allows me to be free, creative and form tangible ideas.

Who or what are some of your influences? What other designers, artists and other creatives do you admire?

From my drawing table I can see books by Pawson, Adjaye, Niemeyer, Utzon, Aalto, Chipperfield, Putman, Scarpa, Murcutt, Heatherwick, bkh… there is even ‘food from many greek kitchens’ & ‘medditteranean style’ so I think the influences/inspirations can come from anywhere, anytime.

 

The Apollo Restaurant, Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

The Apollo Restaurant, Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

The Apollo Restaurant in Potts Point. Photo by Scott Needham.

 

What are some of your methods to staying motivated, focused, and expressive?

Fresh air, the ocean, coffee I’m never not thinking about design & I love it so that makes it easy.

What advice would you give to emerging designers who want to follow your path? What was one of your biggest lessons learned since starting your practice?

Don’t be too precious with ideas.

Don’t compromise on quality, even if its over a millimeter.

What has been your favourite project so far?

The Apollo.

 

The Apollo Restaurant, Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

The Apollo Restaurant, Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

The Apollo Restaurant, Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

The Apollo Restaurant in Potts Point. Photo by Scott Needham.

 

Is there something professionally you would like to try that you haven’t done yet?

A boutique hotel..

What would be your dream creative project or collaboration?

I’d love to do another project overseas…maybe the uk, usa, maybe with Ian Schrager??

What’s next – can you share with us your vision and some of your goals

I’ve started working on some furniture so I’d like to move these into production pieces in the near future.

 

Longrain Restaurant Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Longrain Restaurant Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Longrain Restaurant in Sydney. Photo by Scott Needham.

Shortgrain Sydney by George Livissianis | Yellowtrace.

Shortgrain, Sydney. Photo by Scott Needham.

 

Let’s Get Personal:


What are the qualities you most like about yourself? Is a beard a quality? I think I’m pretty relaxed.

Apart from your work, what other interests or hobbies do you have? Its all about design…but I do love the ocean & food.

What is your most treasured belonging? Louis, our 7 month old baby boy.

What’s one thing other people may not know about you? I’m allergic to shellfish.

It’s not very cool, but I really like… guessing the values on Antiques Roadshow.

In ten years I’d like to be… grey rather than bald.

 

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