Interior Design

Interior Designer Q&A – Elizabeth Burger

Having to create beautiful and unique interiors day in and day out, we couldn’t help but wonder, where do Interior Designers find their inspiration? We sat down with Guymer Bailey’s Interior Designer, Elizabeth Burger, from our Melbourne studio to find out this and more.

First things first, tell us a bit about yourself…

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I’m a recent transplant to Melbourne, having spent the last two years in Perth and most of the years before that in my hometown, New Orleans, Louisiana. I love old buildings, live music, and good food. My most recent design experience was in heritage renovations, but before that, I had experience in corrections, healthcare, and airport redesign.

What do you love most about being an interior designer?

I love having the opportunity to shape the spaces people spend time in. I think a lot of people overlook the psychological effect that interior spaces can have on those who use them. I also really enjoy collaborating with other designers and architects during the creative process.

Who or what inspires your design? Do you have any influences?

I’m inspired by historic architecture, specifically the scale, proportion, and rhythm of historic buildings which I try to apply even to new construction.

Walk us through your design process, how do you create an interior clients love?

I like to start by brainstorming really out there ideas and then reigning myself in from there. I also think it’s important to remind myself that an interior a client loves doesn’t have to be something I love (but it’s always more fun if it is!).

What has been your favourite project to design?

I worked on the renovation/restoration of an 1890’s Gothic Rectory building that had previously had a major renovation in the 1960’s. Peeling back the layers to figure out what was original, along with adapting the space for modern use, was such a fun challenge. The space was also full of amazing antiques and items that had all been abandoned, so I got a few souvenirs too!

What would be your dream design project?

My dream design project would be a major project that combined historic architecture and new construction. Designing a new building that both complements a historic building and also stands alone as a great piece of architecture is something that very few people achieve. Finding that balance in interiors is also difficult, but it’s a challenge that I love.

What is your top interior design tip?

Don’t overthink it. The simplest idea is often the best.

Interior Designer Q&A – Severina Galvin

With our internal environment playing such a crucial role in our happiness, productivity and wellbeing we sat down with Guymer Bailey’s Senior Interior Designer Severina Galvin from our Brisbane studio to ask her what really goes into creating interiors people love to live, work and learn in.

First things first, tell us a bit about yourself...

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My interest in the design field began with visual arts exploring painting, printmaking and sculpture initially and then evolving into installation art. Interior design then became the next logical step for me as I was more interested in exploring a person’s interpretation of their environment and how they come to assign meaning to their experience of it.

I graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 2000 with a Bachelor of Built Environment (Interior Design) and Graduate Diploma in Interior Design. I then worked in interiors for a variety of Interior Design and Architectural firms and also Government both in Brisbane and Sydney on projects big and small, which eventually led me to my current passion for sustainable design.

What do you love most about being an interior designer?

Interior design is a collaborative process of a series of ideas, constructs and decisions about function, aspirations, culture, cost, time and carbon among others that have a very tangible built environment outcome. I thoroughly enjoy seeing how this unfolds in its unique way on every project like a puzzle or a maze.

Who or what inspires your design? Do you have any influences?

Influences and inspiration that affect my thinking come from a mix of sources that are mostly sustainability, popular culture and technology based.

Some of these include the ReNew and Sanctuary magazines, Dezeen online, Indesign magazine, Australian Institute of Architects’ EDG newsletter, GBCA publications, newsletters and events, Design Institute of Australia’s Artichoke magazine and Spark newsletter, CSIRO’s publications, blogs and newsletter, Meetup environment and sustainability group’s events, and a host of sustainability vlogs.

Walk us through your design process, how do you create an interior clients love?

My design process begins with getting to know the client, their brief and the project background so that I can understand the main drivers for the project and what really matters to both the client and end users of the interior.

Next, I explore the specific sustainable design possibilities and challenges that can be influenced. A project-specific strategy of ideas then emerges to align the values and drivers of the project with its functional requirements and the desired sustainability outcome. The rest is negotiation and teamwork.

What has been your most favourite project to design?

Rather than having one favourite project, I tend to enjoy bits and pieces from various projects, such as:

  • Incorporating beautiful daylight and sky views in a fitout with no windows through the use of solatubes

  • Achieving just the right “quiet in the zone’ feel at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space

  • The way reflected sunlight shines and sparkles off the mirror splashback tiles in a breakout space

  • Achieving just the right feel of quiet and ‘in the zone’ sense at the work pods in a co-shared workspace space together with the sparkly mirror splashback tiles

  • Reading that violence is down, and staff-inmate relations have improved in a prison project I worked on; and

  • Getting away with specifying only ESD certified wall cladding for a large townhouse development

To name only a few!

What would be your dream design project?

Anything where sustainable outcomes are valued, and we don’t have to demolish what is there to build it new again.

What is your top interior design tip?

Reuse, recycle and reduce of course!