A Look Inside The World of Kate Lawrence Interiors
Website: Kate Lawrence Interiors
Photography: Hannah Blackmore
Photography: The Palm Co
We are fortunate enough to interview some incredible people in the interior design industry, and Kate from Kate Lawrence Interiors is no exception. Kate’s ability to design a home in a way that stimulates emotion and the way she manages to always create a space that feels inviting, homely and unique makes her a true Style Maker. Kate’s path into her interior design career began when her love for renovating had her questioning her job in the media world. After taking that leap of faith and following her true passion for interior design, Kate went on to become a qualified interior designer and is now a rising influence in the interior industry. Kate’s interior expertise is used alongside her AFL partner Luke, when working on various personal projects together. Alongside this, Kate works with her own clients to help create and bring to life the vision they have for their home. In this interview, we learn where the formation and inspiration behind Kate’s personal style came from, take a look at some of her latest design projects, and hear how she made her way through the various challenges and obstacles that often arise when working in the world of renovation and design.
Hi Kate, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Can you share with us a bit about your background?
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me! I started my interior design journey in 2015 when I decided to leave my full time job and follow my gut which was leading me to this new career path. I was definitely scared to take that leap but I am a big believer in trusting myself and my own intuition whilst blocking out the external commentators. I had always loved design as a child. So many people have that common story growing up of loving to change their room around, paint their walls a new colour (if their parents agreed) and I too was like this. I had always dreamed of being a wedding planner/stylist but never had the courage to do this so instead I left school and studied Media Communications. I think I really needed this time of maturing and trialling new things to figure out what it was that I truly loved. My partner Luke and I had renovated an apartment in Coogee, Sydney and absolutely loved the experience. He grew up with a Dad who is a carpenter so he too loved being in this environment. This was the catalyst to go back and study as this renovation completely lit me up and I knew in my gut it was right.
What does ‘Style’ mean to you?
Style to me is a form of communication and a way to express your personality. I don’t believe any person has the same style. Yes you can have similarities but every single client I have has something truly unique about their own ‘Style’ which is very special.
How would you describe your personal style?
Figuring out my personal style really took time. I was worried it was boring as I didn’t like to use colour in my own designs. Now I have just learnt to embrace the use of natural materials and earthy tones and have found that there are lots of people like me, who too, prefer this pared back look. So if I had to sum this up in a few words I would say a minimalist style which celebrates timber, concrete and all of natures earthy tones and textures.
How and what made you get into interior design?
Our first renovation we did gave me that real push for me to go and explore this field that I had a really strong connection to. I think I always had that desire to want to do something creative, hence the childhood obsession with planning and styling weddings, at one point I even wanted to get a panel beater like my uncle so I could transform and do up old cars! There is a common link with these industries though and that’s bringing things to life or seeing transformation. With that little bit of experience behind me from our renovations, I really just wanted that qualification to give me the confidence to go out there and proudly say I was an interior designer.
What is your favourite aspect of being an interior designer?
Working with all different people. I thrive being around people and I love that my job brings me in contact with some many amazing, different kinds of people. Each person has different desires for their projects and being able to truly understand them and guide them is something I love about my job.
What are some of the tools and programs you use to assist you in the planning and design phase of your projects?
My absolute favourite program is SketchUp. When you are a visual person it is so rewarding to see something come to life even if that is in digital form. I wouldn’t be able to design without a program like this. I think that is why programs like SketchUp and Style Sourcebook are so key to our industry as it's a visual journey you go on when building, renovating or styling.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced over your years developing, renovating, and designing projects?
Imposter syndrome was a major challenge for me in the early days of starting out as a designer. I think this is super common in any industry. There are so many talented people out there but just reminding ourselves that there is enough room for everyone and there is no right or wrong is key. Literally everyone does things differently so identifying what works for you and your clients. Each project I do I learn something different, I adapt and press forward. I would dread to look at some of my earlier processes! Renovating and developing is a different challenge in its self but one I absolutely thrive on. Trying to find areas where you can afford to develop and for a profit but whilst always staying true to myself, that is producing something I am whole heartedly proud of. I think as well a challenge I have faced whilst doing Duplexes is how much I miss renovating. There is something so exciting about working with the bones you have. I would love to one day return to that.
Who are some of your go-to suppliers in the industry?
I have a few suppliers at the moment which are front of mind for every project. Farmers Doors for amazing timber doors, Faucet Strommen for Australian made tapware and Nood Co for eco-friendly concrete basins which are just simply stunning!
"Style to me is a form of communication and a way to express your personality. I don’t believe any person has the same style. Yes you can have similarities but every single client I have has something truly unique about their own ‘Style’ which is very special."
- Kate, Kate Lawrence Interiors
We absolutely love your latest project, Mamá. Can you tell us a bit of background about this project?
Thank you! This project was super special to me. It was the renovation of my family home which myself and my 3 siblings grew up in. My parents still live here but haven’t done anything to it since it was re-built after we lost the original house to a bush fire in 1997. My Mum was diagnosed with a rare cancer last year so it was a very strange and confronting time for my family as our Mum is our world. My Mum and Dad actually ended up living with Luke and I for about 6 months during the renovation and whilst Mum recovered from a major operation and started her radiation. She is a natural with this sort of thing so we really enjoyed talking day and night about her home. It was really such a perfect distraction to be doing this project and made me so happy to see her happy as it come to life.
What was the main influence for the neutral palette?
My Mum's style was very evident in the original home which had a mix of hardwood timber flooring, terracotta tiles and solid timber joinery. So I feel we really paid homage to the home and just bought life back into it. Our first trip was to Di Lorenzo Tiles where we came across this beautiful travertine tile, which we ended up using in her ensuite. I think this tile really formed the palette for the entire house. I love working with natural materials so this was a dream job/client for me.
What were some of the suppliers you used in this project?
- Faucet Strommen for the Tapware
- Farmers Doors for the cabinetry and Harris Kitchens & Joinery who worked their magic with this product
- Custom Concrete bench tops in the kitchen and bathrooms were by Set in Steel
- Tiles were a mix from Eco Outdoors, Di Lorenzo and Beaumont Tiles
- For the furniture my favourite piece was the Bobby Stools by DesignbyThem and the linen sofas by Lounge Lovers
Where do you draw inspiration for your design projects from?
My inspiration comes from lots of different places. I have been lucky to travel quite a bit to places like Morocco, Italy, Spain and South East Asia. All of which ooze inspiration. I also find myself completely inspired every time I login to Instagram or Pinterest. I love connecting with other designers, who I have so much appreciation for. Furniture also gives me a lot of inspiration as I like my designs and the soft furnishings to perfectly blend.
Are you working on any exciting upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us?
Yes! This year is a big one. I have so many great client projects which I am really excited to see come to life this year and next and also my own development which I am documenting and will release in a little web series to share with you all.