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Phoenix Takes 5 with … Paul Kegen
May 20th, 2022

Phoenix Takes 5 with … Paul Kegen

Phoenix Tapware
Phoenix Tapware
Articles & Features

As part of Phoenix Tapware’s interview series with key designers, architects, builders and plumbers, we take five minutes with Paul Kegen, co-founder and architect at S&K Group and Terren, to chat about his career, inspiration and current design trends.

How did you get started in Architecture?

I studied Architecture at Curtin University (Perth WA) before being given the opportunity to practice at some of Melbourne’s best practices. Nearly 10 years ago I teamed up with Rodney Seidner to create S&K Group – which is a construction and architecture practice. More recently we created an entirely new business – Terren – to offer limited edition architectural designs.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I’ll be honest, there’s a lot of juggling. I have a wonderful family and two architecture practices – S&K Group and Terren. So in order to not stretch myself too thin, I dedicate sections of my day to each. At work, I’ll typically have various sessions with my team and my clients. There will be new briefs, opportunities to present designs or to guide my clients step-by-step through their dream home while they pick their fixtures and fittings.  It’s a juggle – but I love it.

 

The Terren Camelia Townhouse, featuring the Phoenix Vivid Slimline Pull Out Sink Mixer in Brushed Nickel

What are your favourite types of projects to work on?

I’m a problem solver. So I love projects that make me think twice about finding a practical and beautiful solution. In fact, that’s where the idea for Terren came from. We wanted to come up with a solution to solve many of the same problems we had been hearing from clients and friends – the age-old ones – around speed and price surety.

What do you find most rewarding about being an architect?

There are few things that are more rewarding than seeing an initial scribble on a page come to life as a fully completed project that you can walk through and touch and feel.

 

The Terren Camelia Townhouse, featuring the Phoenix Vivid Slimline Pull Out Sink Mixer in Brushed Nickel

What currently inspires you and your work?

My S&K Group designs are always inspired directly by the client or family sitting across from me. Whereas with Terren – we pre-design these homes before we have an actual client for them – so we draw our inspiration from the use of natural light and being truthful to materials. Personally, I really love details and craftsmanship and find inspiration in the minute details around me.

What is your favourite project to date that you have worked on?

I’m going to be cheeky here and not give you a specific one because honestly coming up with an idea that was completely different in the market and could solve problems for multiple different people has been one of my favourite experiences. I had the idea for Terren for YEARS so being able to bring it to life has been incredibly exciting.

 

The Terren Camelia Townhouse, featuring the Phoenix Vivid Slimline Wall Mixer and the Phoenix Vivid Slimline Wall Basin Outlet 180mm Curved in Brushed Nickel

What are the greatest or most important lessons you have learned along the way in your career?

I’ve learnt that the key to success is being extremely honest and then accountable to your clients, suppliers and team. I always try and tell people what I believe they need to hear or know rather than just telling them what they want to hear.

What kinds of trends are you seeing in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries?

Kitchens – have always been considered the heart of a home but for many, they are now also a workspace for different members of the family all trying to find a work from home spot. To me, that indicates that we need cleverly hidden plug points and paperwork storage, functional spaces and benches that don’t just look good but are also comfortable places to sit for a prolonged period.

Laundries – I’ve noticed an increasing trend of clients asking for their laundries to be on the first floor or wherever the majority of their bedrooms are in order to not have to carry linen and clothing up and down the stairs.

Bathrooms – There are plenty of trends in bathrooms, and we absolutely can deliver them. However, I always prefer to opt for a timeless approach. Simple, tapware in chrome or brushed nickel that doesn’t date. Lots of storage both above and below the vanity. Beautiful stone that is easy to clean. The simple things are always the most important to get right. It’s all in the details.

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