Laura from Equnox Designs - Industry Insights
We got chatting with Designer/Stylist- Laura about her role with Equnox Designs and their recent project "City Artist" which was just been completed in Paddington. The apartments only bathroom got a complete transformation using our Potts Point Carrara look tile and the Broadwater Matt White Penny Round mosaic.
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
Everything that makes me happy, can also inspire me. Everything that makes me a better designer, I cherish. I'm a creative person who believes in the power of beautiful and unique interiors to transform our daily lives. Growing up in Germany and leaving my home country when I was 18 to travel and live in various countries, has definitely shaped me and defined my style.
I love going to showrooms, shops and events. It’s safe to say that meeting and learning from interesting as well as talented Designers has become one of my greatest passions. I love scrolling around websites, social media accounts and also often drown myself in interior design magazines.
What I love about interior design is the unique set of challenges that arise with each project and the learning and growing of new skills that can be acquired and utilized in order to successfully accomplish the needs for the project.
I love to renovate, design, decorate residential and commercial spaces; always with the intention to make my clients' spaces more functional, desirable and valuable.
When starting as an Interior Designer and Decorator for Equnox Designs, I was able to pursue my passion and I have been able to work closely along an amazing team of professional architects, building designers and developers. I love working in a Development company as our work is very versatile and we have many different types of projects ranging from small renovations, like our Paddington project, to bigger jobs like our 10 Townhouses in Shellharbour.
Each new project is a new challenge. I never get bored during the designing process. There is always something new to learn, discover and create.
In my day to day tasks I'm responsible to create these unique interiors for each job which usually involves: Design meetings with the clients, creating mood boards and material boards for first design ideas, plan and create a functional and beautiful floor plan; which involves space planning to maximize the layout. Selection of furniture, lighting,fixtures, finishes, rugs and accessories as well as choosing colour schemes and lighting plans. The list is endless, but to get a better understanding, my job starts in the planning stage all the way through to the point that we can hand over a beautiful and bespoken space to our client.
What inspired you to pursue a design career?
My interest in fashion, design and appreciation for beauty really started at home during the early stages of my life. I was lucky enough to grow up with a mom who has a great sense of style. She has definitely been one of my biggest inspirations as she used to redecorate our home every season, so I learnt to love interior design.
I also loved redecorating my own room when I was a teenager. I used to drive to Ikea with my friends regularly to look for some new and beautiful decorative items to make my room unique and fit my character. I always felt like I was in a safe and happy space while redecorating my room.
I decided to give up my old full time job to pursue my design career. I undertook an interior design course online and quickly realised that this was something that I have always been passionate about. Since then, I have finished a couple of different short courses to define my style and knowledge.
I can definitely say that I've established an uniquely refined eye and understanding of how to create a beautiful space through color, shape, and pattern over the years.
Overall my passion drives my purpose! A house is only truly made a home by the ones who enjoy it every day. I strive to design homes that reflect who you are and speak to your personal style, your lifestyle, and your ideal life at home.
What did you renovate?
The “City Artist” is a full renovation of a small and old apartment in the beautiful suburb of Paddington. The goal was to develop the property to raise its ranking in the renting market and its value in the housing market.
A small apartment renovation with a huge design impact. The brief outlined a modern Art Deco approach to transform a small one bedroom apartment into a bar-like residential hanging place. The full strip-down demolition gave us the opportunity to start from a white canvas, and create something breathtaking.
We chose brass details, marble and timber to create a luxurious interior design, making the fully renovated kitchen the main feature in the apartment. While our team incorporated a comfortable sitting area, adding up to the bar-like experience.
The black matte sink and detailed mirror make the best combo with the Potts Point Carrara look tile and the Broadwater Matt White Penny Round mosaic on the wall. We definitely knew in a small space like this that besides the feature tile choices, the tapware, and small details are the perfect opportunity to add some glitz and glam to the bathroom.
What motivated your clients to renovate?
A complete renovation was certainly the first thing in mind of our client when purchasing the apartment as an investment property. We thought it was only fitting to give the apartment a total makeover and create a really fun and timeless, classic with an edge art deco style. Now that the stunning apartment is finished, our client has put it up on the market for rent.
How would you describe your style?
My style is quite modern and chic. I enjoy neutral colour schemes and black & white designs with clean lines. However, I also love creating spaces with other designs especially when it reflects the owners style, whether it is traditional, modern, contemporary, country, scandi, boho or hamptons style. I love combining and mixing different styles together to create a different atmosphere for each house.
For this particular project we used bold colours and brass finishes to recreate a fun and vibing art deco city apartment. I loved playing around with different textures in tiles and tapware to give the apartment bold statement pieces. One of my favourite statement pieces are the brass finished lighting fixtures in each room.
Does working with a client have its challenges?
This client was particularly easy to work with because we share similar tastes, and it helped us get along very well. But what made it even easier is that she had a specific vision that we were able to create for her.
Of course, this is not always the case. Sometimes clients can be indecisive and struggle to understand what they want. In those cases, we create mood boards and material boards for them, and our team makes some 3D renders to help them visualise the finished project.
Talk us through the process you take in the planning stages of the renovation!
The first step is the initial consultation where we get to know the client and their needs. It’s generally the first time that we see the space that we are renovating in person.
If the client has a specific theme in mind or style they like, they most often have pictures to show us, and we go on to create a mood board from there.
If they aren’t sure what they want, we guide them through different options and show them some inspiration pictures. We can either customise a mix of different themes and styles they like or we give them 2-3 different options to choose from.
Personally, I love using Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. I normally save photos as I scroll down, either for later inspiration or for specific projects and organise them into different folders. It is very handy to have social media accounts from suppliers and partner companies to be able to quickly show the client some products and materials. I find it much easier to show the clients inspiration photos before going to the actual shops.
I came across TileCloud on Instagram and quickly started to be a massive fan of the great tile choices you guys have to offer. I ordered a couple of samples online as the process was super easy and fun. The delivery was extremely fast and I couldn't wait to see the actual quality and texture of the tiles.
I showed the client photos of the newest renovations posted on your website to help her get a better feeling of how the tiles work in different spaces and also showed her the tile samples. I only have been to your showroom briefly to pick up some additional tiles, but I am definitely looking forward to taking clients there for my next projects.
Were there any delays? How long did the renovations take?
Because of the nature of the apartment and its structure, we found some hiccups along the way. Being located in an old apartment block definitely has its challenges at times. We had to come up with clever space saving ideas for both Kitchen and Bathroom as we wanted to maximize the space.
As we are unfortunately still in a global pandemic, shipping and delivery times have taken longer than expected which led to a slight delay of the project. However our team was able to accommodate these issues quickly and our client was very happy with the end product.
We chose TileCloud because it is an Australian company, it supports easy ordering of samples online and trade accounts for businesses are easily set up. Personally, I enjoyed the great customer service and of course the amazing products. Shopping online was a lot of fun, and thanks to your Instagram there were enough photos to help the client visualise what she wanted.
And, thanks to the showroom in Rosebery, It was super easy to drive to the warehouse and get the missing tiles we needed.
Any advice for first time renovators?
Scroll, scroll, scroll. Gather enough inspiration pictures from Instagram and Pinterest to make a good mood and material board. But be sure to not get side tracked by too many ideas or it will be hard to mix everything together.
Keep your budget realistic for what you want. It won’t help you if you expect a million dollar project to be done with a couple thousand.
Yet, even if you’re trying to be very cost effective, check Australian companies. It may bring your budget up a bit but it will be worth it in the long run, especially if you run into any problems. Also, don’t forget to measure 3 or 4 times before ordering anything. And plan for delivery times for furniture and other materials to be longer than usual.
Lastly, before getting anything done, you should get a second and third opinion. After all that time searching, it’s hard to spot obvious mistakes.
How can we find you?
Check out our website and blog here: www.equnoxdesigns.com.au
And you can follow us on all our social medias or join our monthly newsletter here: linktr.ee/EqunoxDesigns