BLUE FRUIT interior architecture + design

Full Name:

Virginia Blue

Business Name:

BLUE FRUIT interior architecture + design

Showcase Space:

Cosy reading corner of a library in an Arts & Crafts Villa

Do you love my AMDC showroom design?

What do you love most about AMDC products?

Quite a lot of AMDC products have been on my specification lists for many years, because of the consistent quality and breadth of variety. As the majority of my work is heritage interior architecture, the extensive range of profiles covering the different eras and styles of Victoria’s architectural heritage is incredibly useful. And when, as sometimes happens, we have to match an unusual profile on site, AMDC’s ability to custom match can be the difference between stripping out a whole house of a moulding, or patching a small section. That may not seem like much - but it’s those little bespoke details which have almost been forgotten in today’s mass market world, that make an enormous difference to the quality and integrity of a build.

How would you describe your 'design style' in a few words?

I actually pride myself on not having a ‘design style’ but prefer to springboard ideas from the client’s own life stories and personality, as well as the context of the property itself. But I do enjoy using interesting, perhaps overlooked materials, in different ways. If there is a constant element in my work though, it would probably be creating spaces of warmth and approachability.

What is your unique selling point? Why do clients typically choose to work with you?

I specialise in heritage interior architecture and design. Most clients who come to me have purchased an older Melbourne home because they fell in love with its charm. But they don’t want to live in a museum. They might need more space for a family, or more natural daylight, or better efficiency and heating, and definitely a better floor plan for the way we live today. If they don’t want a ‘big white box out the back’ or a reproduction extension, I offer a more considered and thoughtful approach that celebrates the charm of the original house they fell in love with, and incorporates contemporary materials. By observing and interpreting the home’s original architectural language, an in-depth knowledge of heritage, details and styles is re-imagined, to create a consonant connection between the extant building and contemporary works. The majority of my clients are referrals from previous clients. They often tell me that they are happy to recommend me, because I go the extra mile to make sure that the little details have been thought through, and because they love living in the homes that I have helped them create. 

Tell us a bit about you and your design journey?

My childhood was spent building lego cities and sketching buildings, so I was probably always going to end up as a designer I suspect. After completing a degree in Interior Design, I began my design career working for the larger commercial architectural firms (Woods Bagot and Hassell) - in the realms of hospitality, healthcare, Commonwealth law courts, shopping centres, gaols, casinos, apartments, railway stations, universities, offices, schools, etc. I loved it, and was lucky enough to work in different parts of Australia, including in Darwin which I thoroughly enjoyed. (Designing in such a richly textured context, especially one prone to cyclonic conditions, created a whole series of challenges which I relished.) Next up was a stint in London, when I worked on older heritage residential properties. This was a whole new adventure to me - as designing an individual client’s own apartment is very different to designing an entire apartment block! The trust that a client places in a designer, to create their own home, is quite humbling. And in many ways, it is more difficult than commercial, because every single project is utterly unique, as it is dependent on the personality of the client. Thus the challenge! So when I returned to Australia, I set up my own practice, Blue Fruit, to focus on designing residential interiors which are individualised to suit the client, rather than my own personal style. Over the years, I became more and more interested in heritage architecture, and decided that if I were to push the boundaries, I needed to know what they were first, so I headed back to uni to study more about Victoria’s architectural heritage. I have recently completed a Master of Urban Cultural Heritage at Uni Melbourne, and am now an affiliate member of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.