26 Aug An Interview With Marylou Sobel
When deciding to work with an interior designer, it is important that not only their sense of style and unique design portfolio appeals to you, but also them as a person. The same goes for me as an interior designer; I have to build a relationship with my clients, firstly to understand their lifestyle and how that relates to the project at hand, to then bring that vision to life, working with them closely at every stage.
I’ve often found people to be curious about my own processes and styles, so today I’ll let you see a little bit of me, through an interview-style blog.
What sort of projects are you passionate about?
I am passionate about residential projects, whether it’s a classic European styled home, heritage home that requires a fresh breath of life, a contemporary home needing an eclectic boost and working with an architect to build a new home from the ground up. It’s about giving our clients a home they did not even know was possible.
I love working with growing families. Being able to work in a holistic way, incorporating my designs across the full scope of work from selecting the hard finishes right through to the finer soft finishes and artwork. Then watching the installation take place and the project come to life, all the time exceeding the clients’ expectations in the transformation process.
My favourite projects are those where clients give me the freedom to weave my magic and design into their dream home in collaboration with them and the architect. I love immersing myself fully in the project and working as a team.
Describe your perfect client
My perfect clients are a couple, with a growing family, often having multiple homes. I consider both partners’ needs and work to mediate their differences so that they enjoy the process with little stress and the results speak for themselves. They are busy people, building their dream homes. I enjoy being part of that process.
My perfect clients trust my ability from the start, trust my process and see the value I bring to them. They trust the journey, allowing me the freedom to design, whilst consciously collaborating with them or others such as an architect, all the time bringing them outstanding results. My perfect clients want to hand over everything to me and just want the job done.
I would like to condense the rooms into more functional spaces, so we have fewer, but larger rooms that accommodate our current needs. Now that our children have moved out, we use the spaces so differently. A new state of the art kitchen with a longer island for entertaining is top of the list. Then I would like to lift it up and place it on a beach somewhere…
What is something people don’t know about you?
I am not a tea drinker at all. Never have been. I do love coffee though and have even completed 2 barista courses.
I love to dance. I took modern jazz from the age of 5 until about 28, even going to casual classes at The Sydney Dance Company at the Wharf when I first emigrated to Australia from South Africa. I still enjoy going to performances at both Sydney Dance Company and The Australian Ballet.
What’s the best bit of design advice you have been given?
I have been given more than one piece of advice that I would say has been invaluable. Employ people to support your business, i.e. designers, bookkeeper, marketing help, etc… even if your business can’t afford it, as it will assist in growing your business, and it’s true.
Have systems and processes to streamline your business, something I am constantly developing.
What is Marylou’s colour palette?
Out of Africa – warm, earthy, stone, flax, taupe, ochre, green, burnt orange, a touch of purple and lots of black and white. Having said that, I love all tones of colour that have a saturated intensity to them.
What do you love about interior design itself?
It feeds my soul, it’s an incredible creative outlet for me. I feel passionate about design. It’s a large part of who I am, it’s the way I see the world through colour, shape and texture. It sounds cliche but as they say, I eat, sleep, and drink design. I love the challenge of solving design problems for my clients, creating beautiful spaces.
You’ve spent your whole life loving interior design, what life skills do you bring to being an interior designer?
I am a good listener, and can easily empathise with people. I am perceptive, and transparent in my style of communicating. I am very good at interpreting a client’s brief. I use these skills in everyday life, especially with clients.
What’s it like working with an interior design team?
It’s essential. It’s impossible to wear all the hats. A wonderful sense of support and freedom for me. Design requires collaboration and a combination of expert skill sets to bring the best results. We also feed off each other so the atmosphere in our studio can be quite electric at times, exciting and rewarding. Obviously, tense and stressful too when we feel the pressure of a situation…which is part of the design. But best to take it in one’s stride and stay focussed.