Nicolle Foster – Interior Designer

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Local expert on interiors and design, Nicolle Foster knows all the tips and tricks to transforming a drab room into a stylish and unique haven. She shares some of her secrets …

> What first drew you to interior design?

I was influenced from a young age by my parents. My father was a builder and they were always designing the next home or ‘speccy’. Mum was passionate about design, and I grew up exposed to lots of design magazines and often arrived home to a newly rearranged or decorated home.

I was given lots of freedom to explore my creativity and that fostered a natural progression into the design arena.

> What are the major aspects of interior design?

It covers quite a complex and diverse field. Interior design differs from decorating, which primarily covers the aesthetics and finishing touches e.g. colour, furnishings, window treatments and accessorising.

Interior Design is much broader and more technical. It includes interior architecture and drafting, a general knowledge of the building industry and all the fundamentals associated with design principles i.e. colour, balance etc.

> Tell us about your business on the Coffs Coast.

Natural Habitat Interiors & Design opened 15 years ago. I had previously been employed by a decorating company and felt the time was right to bring a more comprehensive design service to the region. We pride ourselves on innovative and sustainable design, and we’re comprised of a talented and experienced team.

> What are some of the current trends?

The trend and colour forecasters predict we will be seeing a resurgence of colour as a reaction to global events.

Dulux has categorised these colours and social attitudes as we move toward ‘Expressionism’ – the desire for  individualism, escapism and freedom, ‘Inventive Exchange’– the current obsession with social interactive media, ‘The Essential Home’ – the need to focus on an optimistic future, ‘Ethical Conversion’ – a palette reflecting an awareness of ethical products, ‘Deluxing’ – redefining our luxury as a mindset and encouraging discretion, quality and worth and ‘Staycation’ – expressing an emphasis on personal space and the return of a passion for home relaxation and decoration.

> How often do you see trends changing?

Trends change cyclically as a reaction to global and economic events. The cycle can vary between 3-7 years.

> What are some of the safe and timeless pieces / colours that won’t go out of style?

Anything sentimental and original artwork (including your children’s!). If you love it – leave it … it reflects your personal style, and that never goes out of fashion!

> What has been your favourite job so far?

Too many to mention in the residential sector! I have met many wonderful people and in order to get a clear brief on a client’s requirements, you can become quite close in the process.

That said, I do particularly enjoy commercial work in the hospitality sector. Our portfolio of hotels, pubs and restaurants is now extensive and takes us all over the country.

> Any tips for the DIY decorator?

Trust your instincts, invest in quality and if in doubt, hire a good professional to avoid expensive mistakes. You can see the full range of Natural Habitat’s Interior Design services on their website:

> Thank you Nicolle.

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