Our (True) Story

Our philosophy is simple.
We listen.

We believe that renovating and building your dream home can be a fantastic experience. A great story you’ll want to tell your friends about.

We listen to how you want to live in your home and design buildings that not only look great, but work brilliantly and make you feel good, too. Yes, true story.

Meet Dan and Lewis

Dan Gayfer

Mum was an oil painter and Dad a highly regarded ceramic tiler so it’s perhaps no coincidence that I chose to become an architectural and interior designer.

While labouring for my dad post Year 12, I was absorbed with all the components that make a building site tick and went on to study at RMIT. After a stint at another design studio, I started Dan Gayfer Design in 2011.

Lewis and I are very much on the same page in regards to built form, spatiality, materiality and our approach to design. And being able to sit side by side with one of my closest mates doing what we love; it honestly doesn’t feel like work.

Lewis Marash

Just like the little boy who wanted to be an astronaut, I wanted to design houses. I met Dan when we were both studying but we didn’t start working together until 2017. I’d mentioned that I was designing my parents new residence and he asked to see the plans. I like to think he immediately recognised my design talent and asked me to work alongside him!

We work collaboratively on all components of our projects, however, at documentation stage our individual talents shine and we hone in on that little/big part of the project where we can showcase our skills to their fullest.

I’m a true believer that the best workplaces have the most fun. Which is what we do at True Story.

Our Process

  1. It starts with a casual chat. If we both feel a story can be told where our pages align, we visit your home to learn more about you, your family and your brief. And we listen…carefully.
  2. When you put your trust in us (thank you), we start to think. About your brief. Your budget. Your site. Of ideas, options, a concept. We model, draw and present. When you are happy, we are happy.
  3. These ideas are then formalised into a whizz-bang set of drawings. If it needs to be built, we draw it. In a lot of detail. Town planning? Engineering? Tender? Building permit? Consider it done.
  4. And then we build. Well, not literally us, the builder. Visiting site is one of our favourite things; problem solving, meeting, checking, sourcing, reviewing. We know you don’t have the time, so we will do it all for you.

What Our Clients Say About Us

‘We were fortunate to have our Fitzroy North renovation in the safe and creative hands of Dan and Lewis. They brought a fresh, collaborative and positive approach to our project, we loved seeing how the two of them worked together and complemented each other's styles and expertise to unlock our vision. We would be more than happy to recommend True Story to anyone!’

Matt S, Fitzroy North
View Project

‘I think Dan and Lewy are very unique in how fun and relaxed they are to collaborate with!! From what I can see from friends who have worked with designers — it is not a common experience.’

Melanie Hemsley, Thornbury
View Project

‘We feel so lucky to have had Dan, Lewy and team on board for us for our recent Fitzroy North home renovation. They are clever and creative and worked with a level of responsiveness, fun, experience and care that made the process run so well. We are so happy with the result, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend.’

June Walch, Fitzroy North
View Project

Selected Press

2024
Habitus Living
House Northroy
2024
Hunter & Folk
Zigzag House
2023
The Local Project
Fitzroy North Residence
2023
The Design Files
Fitzroy North Residence
2023
Inside Out Magazine
Fitzroy North Residence
2022
Habitus Living
Thornbury Residence
2022
The Local Project
Thornbury Residence
2021
Hunting for George
Barkly House
2021
The Local Project
Barkly House
2020
The Design Files
Melrose Terrace

Awards

2021
Barkly House
Houses Awards (under 200m²)
Shortlist
2020
Melrose Terrace
Houses Awards (under 200m²)
Shortlist
2019
St Kilda Apartment
Houses Awards (apartment)
Shortlist

Urban and rural residential design by Dan Gayfer and Lewis Marash.

3 Nicholson Street,
Brunswick East, Victoria.