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Danielle Langlois’ name has become synonymous with clever, sophisticated Interior Design. Her work brings out her client’s personalities in some colourful and extraordinary ways.

In this short interview, we explore her Interior Decoration process in detail to get a better understanding of exactly what’s involved at each stage of the process and how she creates spaces that her clients love.

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Let’s start by creating a bit of distinction between interior design, and interior decoration. What is the difference?

Yes, they’re often confused. But put very simply, Interior Design is a case of setting up the space and Interior Decoration is about filling the space.

Interior design is the practice of creating an interior environment that addresses the needs of the people using that space, whilst also corresponding to the architecture. It’s then up to an interior designer to interpret these needs in the form of space planning, design and material selections to create a clear theme and flow.

Interior decorating, on the other hand, is what you put into the space. This includes everything from the furnishings to the accessories, and while aesthetics are important, functionality is key! The balance of a visually appealing and livable space is what makes the perfect home.

When you’re in the role of interior decorator, what is the goal you want to achieve for your client?

This goal varies from client to client, and it is established at the beginning of each unique project. If it’s a family home with children, durability is key. If there are important existing pieces to be used ensuring the room is cohesive at the end, is the flow right? Do we need to look at the furniture floor plan to ensure we are maximising this? It’s our responsibility to ask the right questions to get the best end result for our client based on their needs.

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“It’s our responsibility to ask the right questions to get the best end result for our client based on their needs.”

When you embark on a new interior decoration project, where does it begin?

Well, the beginning of any interior decoration project starts with getting to know the client. I make sure to ask the right questions and explore their individual tastes to really get a solid understanding of who they are and how they want to live. I also get to know my clients through platforms such as their personal Pinterest boards or by observing their individual fashion sense and their home and inclusion of existing pieces.

It’s all about determining the end goal of the project and ensuring that Langlois Design will elevate their home decor in a unique, true-to-who-they-are way!

What would you usually present back after this process? How do you confirm your understanding of what the client wants?

We would present a mood board made up of inspirational images that demonstrate the look and feel we are after, which can also be made up of finishes and certain furniture pieces that were dominant in the Pinterest boards. Overall these images will be used as a reference for the selections moving forward so it’s important this sets the correct tone!  

Where and how do you source your pieces and materials? What are you looking for to bring each space to life?

I’m always looking to get the most out of every budget and mixing bespoke and “off-the-rack” pieces is how I achieve this. Hiring an interior designer means that you have access to a wide range of trade products that the general public can’t always get. It’s important that we create spaces that are unique to you and to ensure these pieces are carefully curated.

Functionality is also incredibly important, as 90% of the time, it is at the forefront. This doesn’t mean aesthetics gets thrown out the window—there are lots of materials out there that can be used to satisfy both. This also comes down to your preferences and lifestyle and how much maintenance you are willing to put in!

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“Hiring an interior designer means that you have access to a wide range of trade products that the general public can’t always get.”

How do you know when you’ve found the “right” decorative pieces for a home?

There’s a mix of ‘gut’ and analytical thinking in the final product. I rely on my gut to know if a scheme aesthetically goes together, however, I’m guided by the furniture floor plan and list of requirements from my client in the actual furniture selections.

Once you’ve sourced all the pieces and materials, what happens then? And what is usually your role?

Once all the schemes are pulled together, including furniture selections, any custom furniture designs, rug and fabric selections, lighting selections, accessories and art, a cost breakdown is provided for the client to make sure they’re fine to proceed. This is where the client is able to really see an in depth preview of what will be brought into their home, and we will visit showrooms for final approval as well.

Once everything is locked in, the procurement and delivery coordination commences. This is where it’s up to me to get the ball rolling on bringing everything to life, organising and overseeing the starting process, before passing on the install and handover to the trade professionals.

When working to a budget, what are some of the ways you create personality, without breaking the bank?

My advice here is don’t try and spread your budget over the whole house. If you do try to opt for that route, you will only be able to get a handful of pieces and no room will look truly finished. Concentrate on the most lived-in room and finish it completely. This way, you will have a beautifully layered space that you can enjoy and be proud of! You can then move onto the other spaces when budget and time allow, creating gradual cohesion for a satisfying end result.

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“There’s a mix of gut and analytical thinking in the final product.”

And as we start to wrap up, what do you believe makes a great interior decorator?

I believe it entails a genuine understanding of one’s client and being able to bring the client’s personality alive. The space should reflect and bring a smile to their face when they walk in, and this is always what I strive to achieve (and have been able to do with every project so far!).

What advice would you give to anyone who is considering engaging an interior decorator?

Interior decoration can sometimes be looked at as the cherry on top when it comes to home improvements. It is, however, an equally important factor. An interior decorator is spatially aware and is able to ensure the proportions of the furniture to your space are correct whilst also making it look beautiful. There can also be cost advantages to hiring a decorator due to their access to a wide range of trade-only furniture. Your furniture is what gets used day in and day out, so it’s important you get this right.

Thanks for your time today Danielle, this has been extremely helpful! Where can our readers go if they would like more information?

Yes, they can be in touch directly by phoning 0413 345 762 or through the Contact Us page on our website!

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