Living in London I worked for a property developer specialising in high-end residences. We provided a complete end to end experience, purchasing, renovating, decorating and providing staff for houses and apartments throughout the UK and Europe. My role as project manager gave me the opportunity to work and collaborate with interior designers and architects. This was an invaluable experience for gaining insight into the world of high end design. It also provided me an understanding of what information is needed from the client, for a designer to truly execute their brief. When I think about me as a designer after this experience, it really gave me the ability to enhance a client’s style and know the right questions to ask.
After working with the property developers, I decided to make the career switch and went on to study at the Inchbald School of Design. Studying in London allowed me to immerse myself in the rich culture and history of English and European design. Inchbald was wonderful in that it didn’t prescribe how to design. They guided and nurtured my own style which helped me develop a design identity. One of my biggest takeaways was how the English mix their patterns, textures and contrasting colours, often in an artfully subtle way.
Coming back to Australia brought a few challenges and adjustments to the way I had previously designed. It was important to make that transition into the mindset of a Queensland designer, embracing the focus on outdoor living rather than the cosiness and emphasis on indoor spaces like in the UK. Ultimately however my training and experience from studying and working in the UK provided me a hybrid style of design that focused on the principles of English design adapted to Queensland living and style.
With my background in residential design this is something I wanted to initially focus on. I think there is real value in being able to design a client’s home to truly reflect who they are and improve the way they live. I often find clients frustrations within their home (i.e. functionality) can have a domino effect in their life. Being able to address these issues and add personality into their space, enables them to be more efficient, contributing to a quality of life they may have previously not enjoyed.
It’s very much an observation game at the start. I am looking at what they’re surrounding themselves with, do they have a signature style, what are they wearing. Generally, most clients have a few key pieces or ideas they want to incorporate, so this helps set the stage. I also get them to complete a mood board. I find this helps articulate what they do and don’t like whilst we discuss elements of images that resonate with them. This usually uncovers a theme and initial designs for their space form from here.
I’ve got varied jobs on at the moment ranging from Consultation to Design and Decoration. The beauty of Langlois Design is that we’re a full-service studio offering Design, Decoration and Styling services so there’s a lot of variation in tasks day to day. We’re currently working on a renovation on the Sunshine Coast with a fabulous ocean view, Several bespoke furniture décor & joinery jobs, a workers cottage shake up rearranging the configuration to add an additional master ensuite, consultation on the design layout & ff&e of a heritage renovation, and the renovation and extension of a traditional Queenslander. It’s really enjoyable working with my clients on these projects as they each bring their own sense of style and requirements for me to work with.
I have been fortunate enough to travel and experience different cultures that influence my design aesthetic. Being able to draw inspiration from foreign designers and architecture enables you to interpret their essence into your design. The beauty of design is that its constantly evolving and changing so consuming a mixture of past and present literature whether it be books/magazines or social media is a must for me.
Generally, Wilson and I (my poodle side kick) go for a walk in the morning and grab a coffee from our local cafe. After making sure I’ve had my coffee hit and clearing my mind for the day ahead, I spend the morning doing admin tasks and ticking off the ‘to-do’ list. After that I’ll move onto any sourcing that is needed which means hitting the pavement and visiting suppliers. Once these tasks are completed its back to the office where I put to paper the designs and ideas I have been mulling over throughout the day.
I have so many people both that I know and don’t know who I would love to design for! Each has their own reason but what draws me to them is how, through design, I could help enhance their home life. I think it would be incredibly interesting to design the interiors for a high-profile person. Someone who sees their home as a true sanctuary. What does it mean when they come home and can “turn off”? What does the decompression journey look like from walking through the front door? What feeling do they want to achieve in the different spaces? It would be interesting to see how their home life and offline presence can be reflected in design. These questions can be asked of everyone just at different levels, I think.
Recently we dipped our toe into office design and are looking to expand into the hospitality sector. Ultimately though, our core business is residential, and we are continuing to raise the bar in designing homes that our clients enjoy living in and want to share with their family and friends.
AN INTERVIEW BY FLAMANKO SOCIAL