Where you studied and what: Diploma Interior Design & Drafting at Melbourne College of Decoration, RMIT.
When you started your business and how: I started my first business when I was 23 as I started freelancing after my full-time job, then again in 1999 when I got back into design and doing art commissions.
The best business advice you ever received: Know your strengths and delegate what isn’t.
Size of your team if you have one: It fluctuates from 4-to-8 depending on the jobs going at the time.
Your proudest achievement so far: Still doing what I do!
When did you realise you’d made it? I don’t think I have ever done that. I get to one project and stand there in amazement and excitement, but the next one is nipping on my heels so it’s time to pour your heart and soul into the next.
Best investment you’ve ever made in your business: Employing my PA, she has made a whole difference to how my business and life runs.
What do you outsource? 3D renders, fly-throughs and bookkeeping.
Biggest challenge in running a business: The back end!
Favourite project of all time: It is the one I have just finished and I designed the residential interiors as well as the village, consulted on exteriors and landscaping for an integrated aged care and dementia village. It is life-changing to the residents and the families.
Whose work inspires YOU? There are so many. Kelly Hoppen was a major inspiration to start with then Kelly Wearstler, Kit Kemp and Zaha Hadid.
Describe your own home: It is a Victorian building retaining most of its features with lots of modern functions. The furniture is classic with bold colours, shapes and a few unexpected surprises.
How big should your rug be? It always depends on the room and the feel you are working on – I hate a rule that says your rug must be a certain size as then it strikes a fear that if you don’t have it, you have it wrong.
Your advice for would-be designers/stylists: Get dirty, build stuff with your own hands, carry all the furniture, paint the walls and know the efforts of every trade and staff member. When you learn the ‘chain’ you have a better understanding of the final result.
What you’re working on at the moment: I have a pension in the Greek Islands, a wellness gym in Amsterdam and an apartment in St Kilda. I have a 2019 range for Harris Scarfe and my third art range for Urban Road is about to be released as well as starting series 12 of Selling Houses Australia.
Do you love your job now as much as ever? I think I love it more than ever — the opportunities and scope of design are bigger than they’ve ever been.
- Colour: Black
- Piece of furniture in your home: Cary chair from my Elegant Muse collection.
- International designer/stylist: Kit Kemp
- White paint colour: Dulux White on White
- Accessory for a wow factor: Art
- Open plan or separate rooms? Open plan
- Luxe or casual? Luxe
- Neutral or colourful? Colourful
- Linen or cotton bedding? Linen
- Wallpaper or paint? Both
- Bath or shower? Shower
- Tea or coffee? Green tea
Shaynna’s latest series Buying Blind airs on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm on Nine.