How did you start in interior design? Have you always worked in this industry or did you do something else previously?
There was never really another option for me. I grew up in a family of builders and was often on building sites with my dad. I had always been creative so knew I would end up one way or another in this industry.
I studied Interior Design at RMIT and after graduating worked for a large commercial architectural practice, as well as a much smaller high-end residential practice. After several years of design and documentation I was keen to learn more.
I moved on to work for Neometro as the Design and Development Manager for five years which gave me a huge amount of experience in every aspect of the planning, design and building process which has really influenced my approach to design and helped me to narrow down my passion.
I now have my own business called NP.CO Interiors & Styling, where I focus on residential design and styling of people's homes.
Could you tell us about an interesting project you’ve worked on recently?
I have recently worked on a project with Four Square and BKK on a boutique development in Fitzroy called 108 Leicester Street. It's a fantastic project in that it provides a gap in the market for inner city living that isn’t a small two-bedroom apartment in a larger development, but it isn’t a house on a block in its traditional sense either.
They are four storey and three storey garden terraces with generous light-filled bedrooms with master suites and WIRs that take up entire floors. There are open stairs detailed with brass mesh panelling across levels; a critical feature of the design that creates a sense of luxe on the open-plan kitchen and living level. The individual rooftop gardens would have to be the most generous in size I have seen, particularly this close the CBD.
I was approached to consult on the interiors for the project and together with the developers and architects we reviewed the layouts and finishes to get the most out of every space. Everyone brought their expertise to the table and it was a great way to work. Every townhouse went through the same process and was looked at from the perspective of the buyer/inhabitant.
Its not a matter of applying a cookie cutter process, they are each treated as separate homes, each have different aspects, orientations, access, square meterage and therefore need to be looked at individually. At the end of the day these will become people’s homes so you need to bring some level of sentiment and emotion into them.
When you begin a new project, how to you begin the process and what are you trying to achieve?
The initial part of the process is to meet and greet with the client to gauge what they are after, what they want to achieve and get a feel of their home. This part is not only important for me to see whether they are a right fit for my business as much as it is for them to see if Im the right designer for them. You can spend years working on a home with a client as you add to their collection, and circumstances always change along the way, so its important that the initial meeting is one where you are on the same page and that you click both professionally and personally.
I always like to take my clients to the showrooms so they can touch and feel the proposed pieces and it gives me an opportunity to point out detailing and quality that might not translate in a visual presentation.
When you’ve finished a project, how do you judge its success?
A happy client to me is what I would consider to be a successful project!
What I'm passionate about is informing my clients about, not only where their furniture comes from and how it was made, but also who it was designed by, and the concept behind it. I think then you really see them embrace their new home, take pride in it and be excited about where they live, that is rewarding for me. It's exciting to see how they then make it their own too!
What advice would you give to a young person thinking of starting out as an interiors specialist?
Get as much experience as you can in every aspect of interior design from planning, site experience to furniture selection. I believe building industry relationships is really half the foundation of your career, its incredibly supportive and encouraging once you are a part of it, so start early as those relationships will carry you through your career.
Where do you live now?
My partner’s building business is in Blairgowrie so we made the sea change to the Peninsula a few years ago when we started a family and its been amazing for us. I still come into the city for work once a week but coming home to the calm and quiet is the perfect balance.
What’s your dream home, anywhere in the world?
I would love to live in a house designed by John Pawson or Tadao Ando.
Get to know Nicci Green
Top tips for buying off the plan
Former Fitzroy factory