Words by Alek Rose
Just as you can often tell a lot about a person based on their clothing, interior design is an easy way to gauge the character of a business or a person. The skill to tell a story through design is what most designers strive for and many never achieve. Studio Distil focuses on designing interiors tailored to a client, capturing what makes them so unique. Studio Distil was founded in Sydney in 2016, you’ll find the studio’s luxurious and timeless work in Australia and also Asia. We found some time in-between interiors to ask Louise Liu, Creative Director of Studio Distil, about the power of interior design.
What was your first memory of realising the importance of interior design?
When I was a child my father took me to the National Art Gallery of NSW. I remember getting more excited as I moved through each curated space but at the same time, the atmosphere commanded calmness from me. When we walked outside again, I instantly left that composure inside. I was in awe at how a space can influence your emotions.
How can interior design be used to tell a story?
I’ve always believed that the story behind a design is paramount. It’s intangible but you feel it unequivocally as you move through the space. When you have an overarching concept, your design elements will fall together to tell the story, from materiality to texture and form to scale. The key is in the details.
What aspects of a client do you look to for inspiration for their interior?
I am always attentive to their specific purpose for the finished space. I like to get to know the client on a personal level to create a space that they are wholeheartedly comfortable in. I look to their interests and their history – it can be anything from their favourite film, to the history of their site.
What are the key ingredients when it comes to a successful interior design space?
A balance between fantasy and objective. A provoking experience with heightening of the senses, feelings and thoughts. A strong connection between the user and the space and finally, comfort.
What intrigues you about spaces and how people interact with them?
No two people will move through a space in exactly the same way. That’s why the journey is an exclusive experience for each individual. This intrigues me and I want to heighten that experience.
Do your ideas about interiors translate into your own home?
I try to surround myself with items that I love and look at each individual piece based on its own merit.
What is the one item in your home that you could not live without?
My bed! Sleep is so important. My laptop and coffee machine are tied in second place.
For you, what is the most important room in the house?
I want to say dining room because that’s where you can consume the most wine, however for me it’s whichever room you spend the most time in.
What are your other interests outside of interior design & how do they propel you in your work life?
I love film and fashion and I draw inspiration from both whether it’s the colour grading or how the fabric drapes. I am also fascinated in anthropology and it gets me thinking about humans and our relationship with space.
What is the most gratifying part of your job?
A client loving their new space.