Interviews, Tips and Advice from Australia's top Interior Designers. A recent feature for Australian Open Colleges Featuring:
Greg Natale, Bespoke Design - Brendan Wong, High End Residential - Darren Palmer, The Block - Justin Bishop, Traditional & Enduring - Sian Macphearson, Est Magazine Editor - Jen Bishop, Interior Design Publishing - Andrew Loader, Residential and Boutique
Justin Bishop is passionate about timeless, traditional style design. Throughout his design career he has worked in a variety of creative fields, developing a passion for the creative process; and always demonstrating an absolute sense of style.
Justin founded his interior design company over ten years ago and has designed a number of versatile projects throughout the country, from the most elegant urban residences to casual weekend retreats and innovative commercial interiors.
As an interior designer he is known for his classically sophisticated interiors, which blend old and new harmoniously. His work has appeared in many leading magazines and interior publications including Belle, Country Style, the Melbourne Age and the Grand Designs magazine. Australian House & Garden recently listed him as one of the 'best of the best' interior specialists in the country.
1 What's the secret to running a successful interior design company?
I think the core of running a successful business is a belief in your product and a passion for what you do. I live and breathe classic style and design, it's ingrained in me. I genuinely enjoy assisting my clients and I'm always excited about working on new properties with them. Of course, a good business head is also a must but primarily in design, it's so important to love what you do.
2 What is the Australian industry like? How is it unique?
I suppose we have our own niche. Of course, we are influenced by overseas trends and styles, both current and past, but there is definitely a fresh, Australian pared-back and slightly rustic style that is truly our own. We have more and more access to international products but we are also fortunate to have a growing supply of brilliant designers and manufacturers right here on our doorstep.
3 What's required to work on heritage design projects?
Working on heritage projects requires a sympathetic and controlled approach to design. It's not an avenue to be too clever and creative, rather it's about showing restraint, being true to a particular design style and executing a coherent, well thought out scheme. I love working on heritage projects as my personal style leans towards a more traditional aesthetic.
4 What are the biggest challenges you face in your daily work and how do you overcome them?
Organisation! As a creative type, this is not my strongest point. It's SO important to be organised when making decisions and passing on information. The slightest mistake can have an enormous impact on the outcome of a project. I make lists and I cross check everything; I force myself to be diligent with my diary and I make sure that I have covered everything on a daily basis.
5 What advice would you offer students looking to build their portfolio?
Get out there and start designing! Offer your services to friends and family. As well as a good education, experience is so important. Record what you do. Photograph your work, whether it's at design stage or completion. You can edit your portfolio at any stage but initially, it's important to create a large body of work. You will gain experience and start to develop your own personal design style.