Even as a child, interior architect Bronwyn Poole was obsessed with infusing her immediate surroundings with her own distinct aesthetic.
“My own space was at such a premium growing up,” she says.
“Sharing a bedroom with my sister, who had very different aesthetic DNA, was difficult. My dad was a naval architect, so I’d spend hours at his drawing board drafting up plans for how we could turn our modest bedroom into two.”
Far from being a fleeting childhood interest, exploring her dad’s work environment gave Poole a unique perspective on spatial manipulation and a passion for the problem-solving that lies at its core. And, although she didn’t know it at the time, it also set her up for a high-flying interior architecture career.
Today, Poole – a 1998 graduate of the UTS Bachelor of Design in Interior Architecture – is bringing her own unique approach to residential spaces in her adopted home town of Los Angeles.
Through Touch Interiors, her bespoke design and decorating company, Poole has created a design process called ‘space healing’, which combines colour, form and texture with the ‘vibrational frequency’ of an interior environment.
“The potential of elevating a space in which a person or group can live their best life from has always been the element of design that inspires me the most,” she says.
“The human touch is where I receive all my inspiration. How can I make life more beautiful, more fluid, more graceful, more delightful, more exciting? These are the concepts that inspire me the most in design.”
Poole’s success in LA can be traced back to the design studios of UTS where she enrolled in the interior architecture program in 1994. She chose the UTS course because of its reputation for delivering a comprehensive education in all things interior architecture, but says she was equally inspired by the diversity of the student body and the university itself.
Even now, more than 20 years after graduation, Poole has clear memories of some of her classes and the teachers who shaped her uni experience.
“I loved the major projects and the freedom to take our concepts in any direction we wanted. I loved the precinct and mingling with other disciplines in the faculty, lunching at Chinatown, buying up a storm in the art supply shop, and making lifelong friends,” she says of her UTS experience.
“I loved it all. Building Construction was so tough but so valuable – my contractors don’t get away with anything now.”
After uni, Poole followed the well-worn graduate path into an internship with a major Sydney design agency, but quickly decided that the corporate world wasn’t for her. Instead, she founded Touch Interiors in 1999. Here, she worked on residential projects for private clients and, simultaneously, turned her hand to the city’s growing market for furnished rental properties.
The potential of elevating a space in which a person or group can live their best life from has always been the element of design that inspires me the most.
Success came quickly, and to delineate the two arms of her business, she established a second business called Complete Pad in which she created design-driven, cost-effective and readily available furniture packages for developer and real-estate partners. It was a savvy move – over the next 10 years, she worked with companies like Mirvac, Australand and Rose Group for developments in some of Sydney’s premier locations, including King Street Wharf and Balmain Shores.
But it was through Touch Interiors that Poole’s space healing approach really began to take flight – and with it, the business took off. The award-winning consultancy now operates out of Los Angeles where Poole and her family relocated in 2014; here, Poole has found herself surrounded by people whose passion for design aligns with her own.
“I now only take on clients I can innately decode, and those I know have the acumen to benefit from the changes we make through the design process,” she says.
Her client list includes actress and activist Ana de la Reguera, and Elon Musk’s former right-hand woman Mary Beth Brown, but it’s more than just a who’s who of LA’s elite – at its core, Poole’s approach reflects an intensely personal, almost spiritual approach to creating interior environments that make a meaningful contribution to the lives of their inhabitants.
“I’m currently in the final stages of finishing a home for a UCLA breast cancer oncologist. After remodelling her entire house, she now wants to convert her spacious garage into a personal pilates studio,” Poole says.
“I’ve found my sweet spot in empowering high-functioning women to create their personal sanctuaries.”
Learn more about the UTS Bachelor of Design in Interior Architecture.