SpecifierSource speaks to Chris Isedale from Crown

“Maintaining a traditional approach to design is important, where form follows function without allowing some current trends to cause distraction from what is proven and brings value.”

SpecifierSource speaks to Chris Isedale, the National Design Director of Australian-based, global property developer Crown Group.


As a member of the design team, how do you give Crown properties a luxury edge?

Crown Group’s brand is synonymous with considered design on an affordable yet luxurious scale, located in areas that make living easy and convenient. Our buildings and interiors maintain strong Asian ties, through their simplicity in design and quality of the materials, or through blending living spaces that naturally flow and encourage communication. Our vision is to improve….

Maintaining a traditional approach to design is important, where form follows function without allowing some current trends to cause distraction from what is proven and brings value. At Crown Group we are about refinement, attention to detail and stripping back conventional spaces to functional elements, whether it’s through the configuration of a kitchen where the user has what they need where it’s needed, or through use of a natural stone on a benchtop. We see luxury as offering the opportunity to live in a unique building that is created by experienced designers and delivery teams.

What inclusions do you believe are essential to make Crown properties saleable in the current market?

Designing flexible, open plan living spaces that maximise natural light, natural ventilation and airflow are how we create buildings that offer high value in the market. Large format sliding doors between internal and external spaces allow people the ability to customise their spaces, while island benches in kitchens encourage a sense of community within the home. Premium appliances and integrated storage are standard and enhance the feel of quality while discouraging clutter. Lifestyle made simple has become one of the appeals of our properties as is the convenience of our locations which are chosen for being near transport, educational, medical and commercial hubs.

Efficiency planning is applied consistently to our interiors and encourages the creation of comfortable, private environments for small and large groups without compromising on the standards of convenience and quality that is expected from our properties. With access to recreational amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and communal space set among private landscaped spaces to get away from the daily grind, both owner occupiers and investors benefit from the practical and commercial values our properties provide.

In terms of space usage, what are the trends in apartment development? Are we seeing more media rooms and studies or any innovations in storage?

Good apartment design translates to many different meanings and is often led by an expectation of want rather than need. Adding area for the sake of more space remains common in various current developments, however at Crown Group, we know this does not translate to adding value, which is why we have a high percentage of repeat purchasers through our loyalty program, The Circle.

Although the guidelines for apartment planning in NSW (RFDC & ADG) have often dictated apartment planning outcomes for developers, there has been a noticeable shift and awareness towards efficiency and quality. Lifestyles are increasingly being geared towards flexibility and convenience at home, at work or in leisure activities. Our traditional structured spaces have become less single purpose oriented, where working or studying at home with portable devices enables tasks to be being performed efficiently away from the traditional office. Media rooms and studies are often space-hungry single purpose areas that yield little value. It’s essential in successfully catering for families, who want to be located close to conveniences, that there are a few key must-haves such as blending shared spaces to maximise flexibility of use, integrating storage to discourages clutter and waste, considered application of natural materials which connect us to our natural environment, plus providing practical amenities which people will use.

Crown are known for producing property that is an astute buy for investors as much as owner occupiers.  How does the design strategy change when you are working with one group or the other?

Our owner occupier and investor groups have very different objectives when it comes to what they value in a property. The marketability of simple well-designed apartments in sought after locations is important to Crown Group’s investors and brings them confidence their property will continue to grow, be in demand and maintain high returns. The design of Crown Group’s properties are unique; we defy trends. We deliver quality fittings and finishes as a standard requirement, catering to small and large family lifestyles, which appeals to owner occupiers.

We aim to provide a natural palette of finishes that is neutral enough that it appeals to most or is easily adaptable, and creates personal, comfortable living space.  All modern living spaces need to cater to all demographics – for different ages, levels of activity and different physical abilities. In our apartments there is a good balance between those.

How important is the kitchen space and what new inclusions or trends do you believe will become important in future developments?

Kitchens have become one of the most important and dynamic spaces within the home with increasing demand being placed on functionality. On one hand the kitchen is a central communication hub for the home, and on the other it must perform as a practical workshop for preparing meals a la MasterChef. At Crown Group we believe the inclusion of quality appliances, island benches with practical worksurfaces, together with layouts which maximize efficiency are a must-have and have become standard.

Through the use of materials and detailing, storage solutions and integrated appliances, the kitchens in our developments provide both the practical and design edge that fits seamlessly in our apartment interiors. Kitchen storage will always need to adapt and suit a range of users, and largely depends on individual lifestyles. At Crown we make effort to find this balance.

How important is the bathroom space and what new inclusions or trends do you believe will become important in future developments?

Bathrooms in Crown Group developments are a space for preparing, unwinding and taking time away for self. Our palette of (soft) natural materials used together with intimate lighting create relaxing / peaceful environments where people can unwind. It must be low maintenance – no one wants to be scrubbing mosaic tiles.

Crown Group fixtures and fittings must be of a high quality, and integrated storage that is positioned thoughtfully where everything is within reach is important. And mirrors – lots of mirrors are a must in our bathrooms. Freestanding baths have become common in our premium products, particularly in penthouse apartments, as well as dual basins, rain head showers and full height mirrors. The internal circulation or usable area of bathrooms has come under some review on recent projects.

For more information please visit Crown Group

Images courtesy of Crown Group

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