Over the past 25 years, InForm homes have populated the streets of Melbourne suburbs with considerate, understated architecture. Collaborating with Australia’s best architects, InForm creates high-end homes inspired by mid-century architecture, and have made it accessible to all.
Alongside their refreshing approach to construction and design, there lies an incredibly unique and formidable force: InForm is owned and operated by the The McKimm family. Chris, Cameron, Johnny and Lucinda. Eldest son and managing director, Cameron, explains how family comes first, and how this approach has always made business better.
Founded in 90s, there was a clear vision for InForm from the get go. With a philosophy built upon the foundations set out by some of the country’s most renowned architects and builders, from Robyn Boyd to Merchant Builders’ Graham Gunn, InForm is built on the idea that all Australians deserve to live in architect-designed homes. A vision that doesn’t just improve the aesthetic quality of our neighbourhoods, but them more enjoyable places to live. Once the idea was set, InForm’s enjoyed monumental growth, becoming a household name amongst first-home buyers and builders alike. Construction, design, marketing – today, InForm is entirely McKimm-family owned and operated. Their ongoing collaboration with Melbourne architects, Pleysier Perkins, sets them apart in a crowded marketplace, and makes them gatekeepers of a tradition set forth by people like Boyd, Gunn, and David McGlashan.
According to Cameron, InForm’s collaboration with Pleysier Perkins was a turning point in the business, because they found an architect who shared their values and morales. “It was at a time when InForm needed to evolve and grow,” Cam says. “The InForm and Pleysier Perkins partnership progressed naturally from a shared vision for wanting to bring quality architecture and construction to more people”.
Entering the InForm office, you can’t help but feel deeply welcomed and at home – the McKimm family are an embodiment of company values. Friendly, open-minded, and insightful, Johnny and Cameron project the company’s ethos. What’s more, they’re incredibly humble, and have grown up surrounded by considerate design values. As you walk across the McKimm office, large steel panels and slabs of concrete make up most of the room. “This has been the same office for over ten years. Steel and concrete, it’s timeless.”
Soon-to-be-married and eldest son, Cameron’s involvement in the company starting at a young age. His appreciation for design was entirely hereditary. “I remember being on building sites with mum and dad from a very young age” Cam says. “I guess I was always passionate about design and architecture, because we would always be building, selling, moving, and doing it again. We’d often go to the building sites of dad’s latest project so it was always a part of our lives”.
Cam spent years working in marketing before moving into his current senior role at InForm, undoubtedly a natural transition. Not long after, one of his younger brothers and sister would join the company. “Family businesses are very special. Despite the more challenging time, I feel lucky to work with my dad, brother, and sister” Cam says.
The McKimm family’s approach to architecture and life is somewhat ‘quintessentially Australian’. All six of them uphold the same value for functional design, and prioritise family time before anything else. It’s an indescribable bond that’s somehow entwined in InForm’s designs: they’re making homes for families. The factor that drives InForm’s design team, builders, and marketing team’s decision making is the inspiration they draw from the way families actually live. “As a family business, we really know how to design and build for families who want to create great memories in their family home,” says Cam.
“A home needs to be functional to the people that live within it. If our clients are entertainers, that means great outdoor and indoor living spaces. If they love cooking, it means a kitchen that works for their needs. Aesthetically, a home needs to be timeless, comfortable, full of natural light, and represent the people that call it home,” Cam says.
Minimalistic design and functionality are the corner-stone to InForm. Each building is thought-out and as wonderful as the next. Making the decision to distinguish your ‘favourite’ all the more challenging. “I honestly can’t pick one,” Cam says. “Each time I look at the pre-construction folder, I find a new favourite project. We do come across all sorts of obstacles, so the projects that were a bit harder to get over the line always feel like a real achievement”.
But what gives InForm it’s edge amongst a street of homes is not just it’s progressive mid-century influences, but the company’s ability to adapt and evolve continuously. In fact, it’s what drives the entire team: an environment where creativity is celebrated, and ideas can flourish – it’s evident in the InForm ‘mood board’, which hangs proudly towards the back of the office. Like most, the InForm mood board is scattered with images of architectural triumphs and colour palettes that are favoured throughout the office. There’s also a seperate section dedicated to photos of the InForm team.
“Each day is made up of lots of meetings, planning, forecasting, and brainstorming with our team of how to constantly improve and evolve. Staff morale is a huge thing for us, so I like to encourage my staff to share milestones with everyone so that we all know what’s happening in every facet of the business” Cam says. “InForm really does feel like a big family. We have such a great culture, and everyone truly cares for each other. For us, this is the only way to promote and inspire great work,” Cam says.
A family run business built from the ground up. The future for InForm? “We just want to continue to design and build homes that make people happy. Our team is so that we all trust and respect each other, so we strike the balance by leaning on each other and working together”.
Words by Ali Johnson
Photography by Peter Tarasiuk