Where you studied and what: Interior design at TAFE as that was all we had back then.
When you started your business and how: My dad was a builder so I grew up in the industry. I was always on sites for as long as I can remember, collecting bits and pieces and creating rooms as young as 13! After studying 20 years ago, I started off as a visual merchandiser but interior design became my true passion. Ultimately we got our building licence to renovate and build so now we have a turn key business that creates the look and design from start to finish including styling and furniture – the complete vision for clients.
The best business advice you ever received: Don’t compare your business to any one else. Be an individual, go with your gut and have a grand plan! You need to be able to foresee your end goal and put the steps in place to create your dream business.
Size of team: We have three people including myself on the front line, plus a tribe of trades.
Your proudest achievement so far: Having my children say that they want to be just like me when they grow up! They see how hard I work and then see the magazines, TV shows and the opportunities it creates. It’s very cute when they want to be around when we are filming. They see that hard work pays off.
When did you realise you’d made it? I think you always strive to become better at your craft. I don’t think you every really ‘make it’ as such, however it is lovely to be recognised with new clients saying that they saw our work in a magazine or a home they loved on a TV show. Also, the feeling when a client walks into their new home and they burst into tears of joy, you know you have made it!
Best investment you’ve ever made in your business: My husband. He takes care of all the paperwork, accounting and is a fantastic sounding board for me. He is way more logical and analytical than me so with my creativity and his business knowledge, it works well.
What do you outsource? We have fantastic trades that we call on to do some of our build works. We have an upholstery team for soft furnishings and craftsmen to customise pieces if we cant find them.
Biggest challenge in running a business: Time! I’m a hands-on control freak so this takes time and energy. Clients rely on me and when they are spending their hard earned money on creating their dream home I won’t allow anyone else to make decisions. I have a studio but also work from home so it’s not a normal 9-to-5 job!
Favourite project of all time: My own home as I had free rein to do what I do with all the bells and whistles, including furniture and styling. Having access to so much, it allowed me to really go to town and show my style.
Whose work inspires you? I love a lot of American designers as our style is the Hamptons style. People like India Hicks, Victoria Hagan, Suzan Kesler, Mark Dsikes and Bunny Williams are all fabulous!
Describe your own home: I live in a classic Hamptons style home. We did a huge renovation using Scyon Walls cladding to create the weatherboard look. It has a very indoor/outdoor feel and is comfortable and very layered. People don’t know where to look when they come to our home as there are so many beautiful pieces, vignettes and pieces to see. I find them forever looking around to try to take it all in!
Your advice for would-be designers/stylists: I think you need to get experience in the craft by learning the basics – colour, design, fabrics and products. Social skills are important too because you find that a lot of the time you become a psychologist, counsellor and friend. A strong work ethic is important too.
What you’re working on at the moment: We are filming our second series of Ready Set Reno for Channel 9. We have two homes and our farmhouse project which is massive! I am also helping Deborah Hutton with her new home in Sydney and am the interior designer on the new Open Homes Australia – the first series was a huge success so we are now filming our second.
We also have a lot of clients across Australia doing builds and renovations. Plus, I’m an ambassador for Scyon Walls where I share my experiences as to how to create the Hamptons look.
Do you love your job now as much as ever? I really don’t feel like this is a job! To be totally honest I get to do what I love with the people I love and create beautiful homes for clients. I get to design and create, be amongst other creatives, go on buying trips around the world to source amazing products and indulge in fine fabrics. What more could I ask for? It is an incredible thing to wake up every day and jump out of bed excited to do what you love.
- Colour: Blue
- Piece of furniture in your home: Chairs
- International designer/stylist: Andre Tchelistcheff
- White paint colour: White on white
- Accessory for a wow factor: Boston fern or orchid. Blue and white ginger jars and great fabric for cushions.
- Open plan or separate rooms? Open plan
- Luxe or casual? Both mixed together
- Neutral or colourful? Both mixed
- Linen or cotton bedding? Linen. Once you try it you will never go back.
- Wallpaper or paint? Wallpaper
- Bath or shower? Both
- Tea or coffee? Herbal tea and great coffee.
We’d love to know who you’d like us to shine a spotlight on next!