Many hours spent on building sites during the early years of his career gave Brook Leber a unique insight into the balance of “creativity and build-ability” that is all-important in the home designs he creates as Design Manager at Oswald Homes.
“Anybody can draw something. The whole idea of design is to build what you’ve designed so that it can be lived in,” he says.
Back in the day, like many kids growing up in country Western Australia, Brook loved building cubby houses and being out in the bush. Today, the only cubby houses he builds are for his two young daughters, but his love of the great outdoors has stayed and it influences his perspective on space and the surrounding environment.
“Not only should there be a balance of form and function in home designs, but also a home must always take into account the environment it sits in,” he says.
“Light, volume, functionality and a common sense approach are the fundamental principles I apply to all my home designs.”
Brook, who loved to draw and make models as a youngster, went on to study drafting and technical drawing, and soon developed a keen interest in building design.
“I was amazed by the artistry, engineering and craftsmanship of iconic buildings around the world,” he says. “I was also lucky enough to be mentored through a design and architectural company. In my first job, I spent a lot of time on site learning from everyone from the concrete layers to the cabinetmakers.
“You soon learn that there needs to be practical approach, balancing creativity and build-ability. Designers need to be accountable and they also need to respect the client’s budget.”
Global inspiration for home designs
Brook, who lists travel, mountain-biking and cooking among his interests, draws inspiration from around the world for his home designs and enjoys the wealth of styles his clients ask him to work with at Oswald Homes.
“By not being pigeonholed into one particular ‘look’, I get to enjoy working across all tastes and styles, from ultra-modern and Mid Century, to traditional Hamptons or Georgian home designs, and all styles in between,” he says.