We recently spoke with Louise Walsh, principal of Louise Walsh Interior Design & Decoration. Louise established her firm, following 15 years of experience in the industry. Through her work, Louise strives to create spaces that are warm and inviting, beautiful and practical. Louise and her team work with clients on every step of a design project from the initial concepts and planning all the way through project management and the installation phase.
She works on projects that span from classic to contemporary, and the goal is to integrate form and functionality. With a head office in Lennox Head and offices in Brisbane and Sydney, everyone at Louise Walsh Interior Design & Decoration derives inspiration from the world around them. In 2016, they were included in the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review, and they have been featured in publications including Madison, House and Garden, and Belle.
We had the opportunity to talk with Louise about not only her work but what inspires her on a personal level and some of her special projects such as the Glenlyon heritage project in Brisbane.
1. When did you first decide to become an interior designer and stylist and how did you get started with your design business?
I was first introduced to interior design in high school when we had to build and decorate a model house. I loved every aspect of the challenge so much so that after finishing high school I went onto study Interior design. After working in Brisbane, London and Sydney for design firms over a period of 10 years in 2010 I moved to Northern NSW to start a family and my business.
My first design jobs remained in Sydney and after a few years we started working regularly in Brisbane and Byron Bay also. Due to projects being in different locations I decided Lennox Head would remain our base and developed systems and a design team which now allows us to work interstate and internationally.
2. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Tight deadlines and the fluctuation of project schedules can be challenging to manage at times. Regardless of systems and estimated building schedules projects often run over and/or stall and therefore interrupt other project schedules. It’s not something you can always plan for so at the time you just need to juggle the work load to ensure projects stay on track.
3. Is there an interior design style you favour and do you have your own design aesthetic?
We try not to be limited to any one style rather we enjoy the diversity bought to us by our clients’ brief and the challenge to develop this into a balanced interior. I suppose a common thread through our portfolio is the use of proportion, layering of materials and always a rich textural palette. It’s important to us that our interiors always appear ‘lived in’ and are a reflection of our clients’.
4. Who are other interior designers you admire?
Internationally some of our design heros are Christian Liagre, Piet Boon and architects such as the late Zaha Hadid. Locally Australia has an abundance of incredible designers and architects and we’re always inspired to see the latest work of Fiona Lynch, SJB, Flack studio to name a just a few. Our industry awards showcase the work of brilliant Australian designers so we’re always staying up to date with those.
5. What inspires you?
Travelling by far is the biggest inspiration for me. It allows me to get back to nature, attend trade fairs, discover local fashion trends, artists and the work of other architects and designers. To be able to travel is such a gift.
6. What do you think is the essential piece of furniture we should all have in our bedroom?
A bed! We all need an inviting place to retreat at the end of a long day so the bed should be layered with delicious textures and fabrics to make it feel luxurious and welcoming. The bed is usually the hero in the room so we spend a fair bit of time detailing the bed with a feature headboard, linen and accessories.
7. What key element do we all need for a chic living room?
A feature chair is paramount in any living room. Whether it be a ‘show’ piece, a reading chair, a recliner, I find that having a feature chair provides a point of interest, personality and often provides a desired comfort for our clients’.
8. Do you have a favourite project or story behind a project?
The Glenlyon heritage project in Brisbane is a very special one for me as I’d worked with the client before and we had a shared passion for the design aesthetic and property. Simply it was a great brief, “have fun”, you don’t hear that very often!
The clients’ enlisted a dream team of builders, joiners and specialist trades and gave us the freedom to design without restraint to ensure Glenlyon was delicately restored. Reflecting personally it was a very special project for me as I completed it whilst undergoing heart surgery and had to juggle to see it to fruition and I’m so pleased I did. It is a magnificent home and every time I go back to visit I’m thrilled to see the clients’ enjoying it as intended.
Let's get personal ......
1. What else are you passionate about besides your work? Food, travel and people.
2. What is your most treasured belonging? A necklace my brother gave me and my late grandma ‘Peggy’s’ chair
3. What's one thing people may not know about you? I am a lover of dogs and rarely go far without my two kelpies Kobi and Dash.
4. In 10 years I'd like to be .... Wiser and more well-travelled
5. What can't you live without? My 6 year old sons giggle.
Certainly, Louise and her team will continue creating beautiful homes and projects for clients and finding inspiration in travel, food, and people.