With the vision to make beautiful interiors accessible to everyone through design and styling, Andrea set out to create a space for herself in the crazy world of interior design! Here’s an in-depth interview with the lady behind SIBA Interiors, where she talks about how she found her calling, her design ethos and how she grew her brand from ‘Style It By Andrea’ to what we now know as ‘SIBA interiors’!
- How did your journey start?
Waaaay back before I had kids and my husband and I bought an old duplex that we renovated over time and then sold. I project managed the process and over saw every aspect of this renovation and every one since then. It sparked a bit of a passion and in me and after another couple of renovations I realised I loved all things interiors. After a push from a friend and real estate agent I started styling homes for sale and everything snowballed from there.
- When did you realize your calling?
I think around the same time we started renovating back in 2007 and I loved every aspect of it. I loved dealing with the tradesmen and designing the properties interiors so that we could make the most of their features and create functional living spaces. I would find myself itching for the next project and finally realised I needed to do this as a business.
- Any particular life-experience that moulded your interest towards interior design?
I think life experience in general is actually a great asset to have when designing a home or interior space for someone else. I also think having renovated our own homes and taken risks with our own designs means I know what it’s like and can relate to the process. There are things you learn from the renovating process that you can’t be taught in a school. I also worked at a stone benchtop company for a year as I wanted to learn that part of the industry before I launched my business. The more I learned about the industry the more I wanted to be in it. I did a lot of research and met a lot of people before I started SIBA.
What is your design ethos?
I truly believe that beautiful interiors should be accessible to everyone and that it doesn’t need to be an intimidating experience for clients. With clever design and styling, you can have beautiful sustainable spaces that reflect who you are and your lifestyle. I also like supporting local and Australian businesses where possible.
Tell us more about your business and how you went about starting it?
SIBA Interiors actually started as ‘Style It By Andrea’ and evolved to the acronym SIBA. Back then I was property styling (often for free!) as a way to build my profile. I started with a visual diary of the work I was doing mostly using Instagram and other social media. We were also about to renovate another home and I planned on using that as a showcase for what I could do. I then engaged with a fabulous business consultant called Spreading Roomers who helped me enormously to re focus my business and re-brand.
Any specific challenges you faced while starting- off?
Lots! But I was determined to make a go of it. I did a lot of work for free (intentionally and unintentionally) and learned the hard way about who I could trust along the way. My enthusiasm and the fact that I loved what I was doing was also my downfall at stages but I chalk it all up to a great learning experience. I still love what I do and have to pinch myself some days that SIBA has come as far as it has.
Apart from work, what are your other interests? Where do you find your inspiration?
I still love renovating and our own house is a constant source of inspiration as it’s still not quite finished! It’s an older character home we renovated and now live in with our three kids. I also love to travel and count myself lucky I got to do a lot of it before I had kids. Other countries and cultures are always a huge source of inspiration.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say it’s relaxed and eclectic. I don’t prescribe to one theme and I love using colour.
Tell us more about how you find your style inspiration for your splendid design projects?
I use everything from Instagram to magazines to Pinterest. Often I’ll start with one great piece of furniture or a fabulous feature tile and design around that. Or a great colourful artwork and go from there.
What is your method when it comes to design? Or, when you take on a new project?
I like face to face meetings or consultations and the opportunity to spend some time in the space. I take notes and ask lots of questions. I usually then go away and start putting a look together and work on it from there.
Tell us about your favourite project so far, or one that stood out in particular?
I’m not lying when I say I’ve loved aspects of all of the projects I’ve worked on! I truly love seeing a space transform or seeing the final product and having happy clients who love their new space. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows but it’s usually a rewarding experience. If I HAD to pick one, I did love styling the Roxby Lane showroom recently.
What aspect are you the most excited/passionate about when doing custom home-design projects?
I love seeing how the space evolves from my head to a design concept to a finished product!
How did you discover Art Hide? What is it about the brand that appeals to you the most?
I had been following them on Instagram for a while and had the opportunity to use their products in a fit out I did. Their products are edgy and different and not something you find in every shop! I love how they are their own style and unencumbered by trends.There is a lot replication out there and I love the fact that Art Hide is authentic.
Why Art Hide? What do you think of their collections? Why does it appeal to you?
I love that they create pieces that are unique to their brand and ethos. They don’t jump on the backs of other designs and are truly innovative.
Any personal favorites from their signature rug collections? Any other products that you are a fan off?
I’ve always loved their Arlequin rugs. They are so versatile and I think hides are a great long term piece of décor. Hides and natural products (like wool etc) add warmth and great depth or layering to a room. I’ve also always loved the Angulo tiled rugs.