It is my pleasure to welcome Dina Broadhurst – interior designer based in Australia – amazing talent, stylist, blogger, world traveler and lifestyle editor for Pagesdigital magazine. Enjoy!
How would you describe your style?
Strong use of natural materials with favourites being stone, marble and raw brass. Love the aging process and the character, rather than being precious about these materials I like them to age and show their character. Also using strong colour or graphic black and white palettes with lots of texture is a signature of mine. And I love the furniture and art to be the stars of my spaces and I believe in quality in the detail such as hardware, handles, power points, light fittings and custom made items.
What inspired you to get into design?
It’s something I have always been involved in personally, renovating my first apartment adding on a second story in the roof space when I was 21 years old. After numerous requests from friends and neighbours I decided to take a course and it went from there.
How did you get your first assignment?
My first assignment that was properly paid was an old neighbour of mine who wanted a replica of my apartment next door to him for himself. I did the job in full including project management while he lived in another city. Prior to that I renovated an apartment buildings common areas and gardens within which I lived, as all the neighbours voted me to take on the job at the metting after seeing my apartment interior design. I had also done a hair salon for an ex boyfriend, turning an old office into a 8 station hair emporium.
Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the colors palette. What is your first source of inspiration?
Absolutely, I will find a piece of furniture or art and just fall in love and base a whole room around it. Other than that it may be a single colour that I am obsessed with at the time or a single image from a magazine that I use for my inspiration.
How do you achieve a good scale? Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.
Scale is hugely important and very hard to learn, it is innate, like style. I love grand proportions and oversized pieces and less is more, statement pieces rather than lots of clutter. And surprising the opposite of what you expect, for small spaces a few larger pieces is better than lots of small scale pieces.
What do you enjoy most in your work?
Visiting the factories and seeing the craftsmen at work, like going to the marble supplies and the brass workshops, and I also love the hunting and gathering, having the freedom to slowly gather pieces that you love rather than rush and buy what you need all at once is always the best situation.
What is the biggest mistake people make when they decide to decorate their own homes without the guidance of a designer?
Not having a unified look, not knowing where to spend and where to save, managing a budget, picking the right tone, a couple of shades off can make all the difference, and having the resources to find unique pieces and the experience of materials and how they perform once they become used and part of your environment. Also how to use materials is new and exciting ways.
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
Art galleries, travel, eat, the beach, collaging, writing and updating my blog, yoga, spending time with my son and my family, photography, hanging out and brainstorming with my super creative boyfriend.
Who are your favorite artists?
Interior design: Kelly Wearstler for her brave mix of materials. Le Corbusier. Art: Australian artist Dale Frank and contemporary art. I love so many artist it depends on my mood: Yves Klein, Damien Hirst, Basquait, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin. Photographers: Cindy Sherman, Andreas Gursky and Bill Henson. I LOVE ART.
Your favorite books?
Art and photography books, I love collecting coffee table books, I can never have enough and I have to have every issue of Spanish AD interiors magazine, it’s always fantastic and different.
Your favorite places in Australia?
The White Rabbit gallery in Chippendale for the best contemporary Chinese art. Seans Panorama and Fratelli Paradiso for Food. Blood Orange for fashion. Michel Road Auctions for furniture hunting.
What does success mean to you?
Freedom and knowing that you inspire people.
My signature question – what are the most important design elements?
They are also so important but shape, value and colour are my top priorities… and texture, you can’t get colour right without considering texture.