Aug 31, 2020Lucien Fowler

Grass roots build strong foundations, and for Shannon Vos, laid the groundwork for his design practice which is widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest.

Hailing form sunny Coffs Harbour, Vos began his career on the worksite before trying his hand as a contestant on the nationally revered ‘The Block’. A seeming case of overnight success, with a decade worth of hard work and dedication to back it up, heralded Vos’s win with brother Simon and set in motion a tidal wave of public interest in Shannon’s work.

Post win, Shannon’s pursuits are manifold, operating primarily from his eponymous interior design studio and regular contributions to InsideOut magazine and Realestate.com.au.

Shannon Vos also embarked on the journey of fatherhood since settling in Sydney. We had a chat with Shannon on managing fatherhood and career.

The block was a huge launching pad for you, would you consider donning the hammer again for an all-star’s season?

It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before, I mean what other platform (apart from winning the lottery) do you get the opportunity to propel your career and slice your mortgage in half? Sure, I’d have another crack, and the pressure would be on. But the real battle would be back at home with my wife ‘single mumming’ it with two toddlers with questionable energy levels.

Who’s your style inspiration?

Who, what, when where…. I take it from anywhere. Mother nature is the ultimate stylist, but I do love European design and the quirk they so bravely exude. I love ‘Axel Vervoordt’ and the way he balances texture and light to create such a ethereal minimalism. ‘Abigail Ahern’s’ use of colour is second to none, and any commercial work by ‘Alexander & Co’ for a bit of local flavour.

What’s been the biggest adjustment to career now that you’re a dad?

I think perspective would have to be one of the biggest adjustments. Before kids, I was focused on the next holiday, or a nicer car, but now, it’s more of a focus on creating and setting up a healthy home and nurturing healthy relationships for my boys, sure holidays help, but nothing beats quality time and enjoying things together as a family. Luckily for me, both boys are water babies and they just love life outdoors, so here’s hoping to a few surf trips in the future.

Working from home is kind of the new norm, but you’ve been a pro for a while now. What are your tips for balancing dad duties with work

It’s always going to be a juggle and the balancing the kids with a working week sure has its challenges. If the kids are home, isolation is key. Find your safe space away from the chaos and noise and just get as much done in the timeframe that you have, if the kids are out, it’s the same principle, effective and efficient work. Nights are prime working hours, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping on top of the emails while you tend to the kids.

How has your perception of living space and design shifted after having kids? What’s your ideal setup

Pre-kids it was all about sleek minimalistic design with a focus on surfaces and nice bespoke pieces, now its all about what will last!!! HaHa. What can be wiped down, what can handle a Hotwheels at high velocity and what doesn’t stain after being bathed in Avocado. A lot of my clients are mum’s and dad’s, so it’s a real insight as to what elements of design works with kids and what is merely a pipedream. Storage is everything and keeping valuable breakable pieces away from destructive hands is high up on that list too, after all, what is great design if you cant live with it day to day.

So, you get a call. You’re up for a father/son season of the block. What does the finished product look like?

A balanced medley of Earthy Minimalism with nuances of Superhero Chic and pops of Dinosaur and BMX BOHO.

What, in your opinion, makes a father?

It’s not the ability to create life, any one with a proverbial can do that. It’s the patience, the wisdom, the courage and the grit, to nurture and grow a life of its own. It takes love time and tears, but damn, it’s worth every second.

Photography: Dave Wheeler for MISTR

Creative Direction: Jack Milenkovic


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