Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Sophie Safrin — Design Director

Sophie Safrin is the founder and Design Director of Hot Black. Born and raised in Melbourne she returned from a three year stint in London in 2010 and found an opportunity to provide a unique offering within the interior design industry.

Sophie has international interior design experience across Australia, Asia and Europe in corporate office environments, airline lounges, retail, residential and hospitality projects. Her core strength lies in corporate identity translation within built environments and conceptual design in workplace projects.

It probably goes without saying that Sophie is passionate about design, but also mentoring her team and achieving 100% client satisfaction during all facets of the design and build process.

She’s has never picked up a musical instrument but she swears in another life she was a DJ!

Duc Le — Associate / Revit Manager

Duc is responsible for all the technical elements within the design process. Working closely with the design team he turns our concepts from pen on paper sketch into a technical drawing or to a 3D render. He really is a wizard and is also our in-house technical support for those slow days when we forget how to turn the computer on!

Adding to his impressive list of achievements, Duc worked on the opening and closing ceremonies of the most recent Commonwealth Games.

Duc is also our famous sportsman on the cricket pitch.

Renatha Setyawan - Associate/Senior Designer

Renatha brings an extensive array of experience to the team. Her nine years in the industry has seen her work on projects spanning from Education, Commercial and Multi-residential dwellings. Her industry tenure, and passion for producing quality allows her to transform simple hand-scribbled design briefs into sophisticated designs that reflect the client’s identity.

Her design style is dynamic, and she has a penchant for adjusting this style to reflect the clients’ needs. Blending the client briefing with her own unique flair for rich textures, and deep colour schemes ensure eminent design aesthetics.

She lives to travel, and spends her spare time trying the various culinary delights of the world.

Luke Bonham - Senior Architect

Luke is both an accredited Architect and Green Star Accredited Professional. Luke leads the architectural division at Hot Black with a hands-on approach and enjoys translating design ideas into a built form. With a variety of experience across building design, commercial refurbishments and residential Luke works closely with the design brief to ensure the project is successfully constructed on time and on budget.

Luke is a self-confessed beer snob and is hard pressed to give up his sleep-ins on the weekend.

Jenn Barnes - Senior Interior Designer

Jenn is an enthusiastic Interior Designer with 5 years of experience with Retail, Education, Commercial & Hospitality Projects both in Australia & Asia.

Jenn’s passion is working closely with clients to ensure a cohesive design aesthetic which translates to the overall identity of the brand. Passionate about materials and pushing boundaries within the interior context Jenn combines Graphics, Materiality and Detailing as a strong aesthetic driver.

Jenn enjoys spending her Saturday nights on the dance floor with a vodka lime soda or pinot…. depending on the weather.

Jessica Lucas - Interior Designer

Jessica is a passionate interior designer with experience working on multi-residential, hospitality and commercial projects.
Jessica believes that a collaborative design process is integral in translating a strong design concept into an innovative and highly detailed design solution.

Not only does Jessica love to cook… She has a love for vodka – and can handle it!!


Julia Ruffolo - Interior Designer

Julia aims to incorporate her love for detailed, considered design into each project that she delivers to ensure client’s expectations are exceeded. With 5 years’ experience, she has worked on projects in a variety of sectors, with the bulk of her projects being workplace. Julia loves to challenge client’s expectations whilst ensuring their practical requirements are met to provide tailor made solutions for all projects.

Julia is a travel loving foodie who always buys cookbooks when she travels.

Tamara Provnick - Interior Designer (SYD)

Tamara is a confident, innovative and multi-lingual Interior Architect with a passion for invention. She is able to bring her well rounded knowledge to the team with extensive skills in concept design, presentations, client management, leadership, design development, branding and 3d modelling.

Tamara loves the sunshine, and can never turn down a negroni!

Eliza Monti - Interior Designer (SYD)

Eliza has had a strong love for interior design since receiving her first dolls house. Eliza understands the need for multi-disciplinary design, while maintaining a strong design personality.

Although Eliza doesn’t have a natural cooking ability, she loves food, wine and travelling!

Emma Gaffney - Client Experience Manager

Emma has a great passion for customer service and creativity. As the in-house Client Experience Manager, Emma ensures that all our clients at Hot Black get the TLC they deserve. Her role includes delivering cutting-edge marketing campaigns, building relationships with key clients and establishing new business opportunities. 

Emma is a self-confessed tea addict and a brunch enthusiast, but don’t worry – she’s always up for a boozy session, too!

Michaela Mills - Senior Graphic Designer

Michaela is our in-house Graphic Designer, bringing a new dimension to the design team. Design and communication go hand-in-hand, and Michael’s global experience showcases the importance of combining the two different aspects together. Michaela specialises in wayfinding, advertising and branded content. Her creative and unique approach allows her to deliver innovative ideas.

Michaela fills her spare time playing hockey, tennis and mountain climbing!

Ash Ward - Interior Designer

Ash is an energetic and passionate Interior Designer, which is reflective in all the work she delivers. Having started as a Graduate Designer with the Hot black team, Ash is now an integral part of our design team and works closely with her client’s to ensure expectations are met and the project outcome is successfull for everyone involved. Her creativity and persistence provides a strong foundation for every project.


In her spare time, Ash is teaching herself to play the ukulele!

Sarah Duran - Project Co-ordinator

Sarah brings ten years of experience to the Hot Black team, having successfully managed the fit out of commercial offices, airline lounges, restaurants and cinemas across Australia, Europe and the United States.

Sarah is passionate about ensuring our clients experience is a seamless transition into their new working environment. This is achieved through open and timely communication as well a collaborative working relationship between the team, client and builder.

Sarah is currently rearing her son to follow in her footsteps and become a project
co-ordinator himself.

Tonic — Wellbeing Consultant

Tonic is the official mascot for staff health and wellbeing. Her role is to be a motivating force behind the hard work of the Hot Black staff, and is there to assist with stress relief and day-to-day mentoring. Her presence is invaluable to team morale, and she aims to keep everyone happy with her playful attitude and adorable face.

In her spare time, Tonic loves to play at the beach and dress up for costume parties!

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