Founded in 2012 by Christopher Glanville and Megan Burns, cm studio creates livable spaces with simplicity and pared backed elegance. Their award winning projects exude warmth and comfort by focusing on natural materials and through layering tone and texture.
Megan talks talks to Murobond about their process, travel as their inspiration, their favourite Murobond palette and the most rewarding stage of a project.
Image – Anson Smart
Image – Anson Smart
-Can you share your current sources of design inspiration?
Travel is our biggest design inspiration. Chris and I love to travel and are always taking photos and texting each other while away, usually sharing an interesting design detail or a vast beautiful natural landscape. Chris was recently in Faroe Islands, the natural landscape is very dramatic and the houses are often black and white timber barn structures, which is actually similar to a project we are currently building in Palm Beach at the moment.
-What is the most essential element required to create a ‘livable’ space
We believe a simple and balanced natural palette of materials and sunlight are the most essential elements when creating an inviting and liveable space. With these two things you have a harmonious and calm space.
-How do you approach a new job – what determines your starting point?
We collate the site constraints and client brief and these lay the foundation for the project design elements and spaces. Each project is very individual, we are often introducing a new material or exploring a design element further. We like to encourage client collaboration, which then allows us to tailor our projects to each client and site and gives the client ownership of the design.
We do have some spacial elements that are often repeated from project to project, usually these are bathroom layouts or robe or kitchen details that we know work, are really functional and people love.
Paddington Exterior – Murobond Cement Paint in Nero 25%.
Images – Caroline McCredie.
-What is the most challenging stage of a project?
Compliance and approval stages are often a headache. We have a team member that manages these in the studio which does make a massive difference. Gone are the days when Chris and I take care of every aspect of the project! This allows us to focus on design and our projects in construction.
-Why do you specify Murobond for a project?
We love the palette available from Murobond and find it very adaptable between the various style of our projects. Murobond also has a great range of speciality finishes – often we will use their Cement Paint for external brickwork or Murobond Bridge Paint for steel details. We especially love matt paint externally and internally and find that we can achieve this with Murobond really cohesively.
-Specifically what attributes draw you to Murobond’s cement paint?
The matt texture and grain of Cement Paint gives the brickwork a real depth of texture while still using often a crisp white or pale grey. Its especially good on brickwork and really softens the edges of the bricks and brings it all together.
-White seems to be a a regular hero in your projects – what do think it brings to a space and do you have a favourite Murobond white or type of white?
We do use white a lot! Always white paint internally even if its more of a putty colour it still essentially is a variation of white. Externally its often a very pale grey even a 25% of a colour to just have a hint of tone. We just used Salt 25% on a project in Bronte and it looks great! We used 25% Nero on a project in Paddington and it gives really great depth of colour whilst still looking essentially ‘white’.
Images – Caroline McCredie
-What gives you a sense satisfaction at the end of a project?
What we call the “project realisation stage’ is very satisfying – this is the final build stage when we are on site frequently, working with the builder and client to create a cohesive vision. It is very rewarding to see a project come together: the spaces revealing themselves; the finishes palette and lighting elements being incorporated.
With every build there are new challenges and design resolutions required, these all inform the next project and allow us to continue to strive to create beautiful spaces for our clients.
We love seeing a client enjoying their space: sitting in the sunny breakfast spot that was designed specifically for them, or marvelling at the sunlight streaming into their home that was previously dark and enclosed – whatever it is its lovely to seem them enjoying the spaces and design elements.
What do awards mean to your studio?
We submitted our first project ever to the IDEA awards back in the day. We were lucky enough to win for emerging designer that year which was a real honour and a lovely surprise considering it was our first ever time submitting a project. Since then we have been more focused on building projects and establishing our business. It’s probably something we will re -focus on in the future, they can be a great marketing tool.