Written by Olivia from Mercer School of Interior Design.
Anyone can hire an Interior Designer, re-fit their home with brand new furniture and accessories and create a beautiful space. But once the shiny excitement wears off there is a sense of something missing, something you can’t quite put your finger on, a feeling perhaps. However, with Melanie this is not the case. She has the inherit ability to extract the ‘story’ from her clients and tell it through the design of their home. Putting the ‘heart’ into their home.
My name is Olivia and I am in my final weeks of study at Mercer School of Interior Design. I am sitting at my dining table (because who actually uses their office?) with a ‘woman’s balance’ mix in my diffuser, running off coffee and pure passion. I have just completed an internship with Leo & Lotus which has been such a wonderful experience, giving me the confidence to jump right into my new career. I have worked closely with Melanie and have been able to observe her approach to Interior Design. On my journey with Leo & Lotus I have learnt three key values that I believe is the secret to putting the ‘heart’ into your home.
One. Be Kind.
…but what exactly does that mean? Melanie seems to have a great relationship with everyone she encounters. Whether that be suppliers, crafts people, trades people, artists, clients and… interns! She does this by making everyone feel valued and appreciated. She gives sincere praise, appreciating what you do well and actively listens with genuine interest in your thoughts and ideas. Being kind to one another brings a positive energy to the space, opens the doors for collaboration and attracts like-minded people into your life.
Two. Bring Love into your Home.
Bringing love into your home can be as simple as learning where the pieces have come from. Have they been hand crafted with love in Australia from a business that has been in the family for generations, or a start-up where someone is working a day job and then pulling all-nighters to make their dream a reality? Are the pieces crafted from artisans across the globe bringing wealth into their community and allowing the craft to continue to be passed down to the next generation?
Unfortunately, with a majority of pieces being mass produced to keep prices down and margins high it is likely that you have some pieces that have not been made with love. Instead, they were made in a third world country where the crafts person is working long hours with very little pay; having to sleep on the factory floor away from their family because it is too costly to commute. While most of us don’t think of this reality (because it is carefully hidden from us), Melanie is very aware and it is in the for-front of her thoughts when she is designing. Afterall, while the items will still function as expected, they will bring that warm feeling when we know they have been made with love.
Three. Become a Story Teller.
Your home is much more than a ‘display home’. It is your sanctuary and an extension of yourself. What I have learnt from Melanie is that every client has a unique story to tell and it is about discovering the story and then helping the client to express that story through their home. This may be through re-upholstering some beautiful antique armchairs that have been passed down the family; or framing some paintings that were bought at a market and then stored in the linen cupboard (where we keep all the things we love but don’t know what to do with!). Your home should be designed in a way that it can grow with you and you can continue to tell the story…so be sure to enjoy the journey and continue to put the ‘heart’ into your home!