We talk to Lisa Kefford from She Builds Interiors about all things design, the incredible community of fellow BuildHers and why she loves plantation shutters. Thank you for your time, Lisa!
"Our clients are often amazed at how moving a piece of furniture can completely change the vibe, energy and feel of their space."
Tell us a bit about your business.
She Builds Interiors is about making a big impact in our clients' homes through carefully considered interior design, build and styling. Clients are often amazed at how moving a piece of furniture can completely change the vibe, energy and feel of their space. They're stunned by the instant results!
The industry is extremely competitive and completing my recent renovation, Project U2 has given me the content I needed to really establish my credentials. Along with breathtaking editorial photographs by Dylan James I have live examples of my own work from design through to execution, which has enhanced my portfolio.
It’s fantastic to see so many women designing and building homes. Can you tell us about how BuildHer Collective supported you?
I attended two of BuildHer Collective's incredible workshops in 2019 and co-founder Rebeka Morgan gave me great advice for completing Project U2 on budget, which was really important to us. This year I signed up to the BuildHer Masterclass program and was invited to have an editorial photographer capture the project for real estate sale listing purposes and potential publication.
Becoming part of the BuildHer community has been such a blast as I have connected with BuildHer members, businesses and people from all over the world. Totally gobsmacked! I’m looking forward to this translating into more opportunities to develop and style properties, which are already on my radar.
"I’m always trying to develop myself. Workshops are a great way to network and meet people who are happy to share their knowledge."
What would be your words of wisdom for women considering a career in interior design and build?
I believe in studying the area, working in it and being coached or mentored so you get the theory and the practical experience. I have a Diploma of Interior Design and a Diploma in Building and Construction and I’m always trying to develop myself by attending workshops. It’s a great way to network and meet people who are happy to share their knowledge and advice, which personally has helped me become more savvy business-wise. Examples include Julia Green and Greenhouse Interior's styling workshops, Megan Morton and The School's styling classes and and Lauren Li and Sisalla Interior Design's workshops.
Knowing how to attract and retain a good team of tradespeople and ensuring they deliver high-quality work is key. When you are starting out there is a bit of trial and error before you find the right group of people who you can trust.
"The colour palette needs to appeal to the broadest spectrum of potential buyers. It turned out very much how I wanted it: soothing with designer elements."
Your recent renovation is so beautiful. How would you describe the style for this project and where did you get your inspiration from?
I planned to sell the unit and so the colour palette had to appeal to the broadest spectrum of prospective buyers. I’ve had the design in my head for ten + years and it turned out very much how I wanted it: soothing with designer elements. That was definitely my ‘strategic’ selling goal! My key potential buyer was a down-sizer or someone who loves to entertain but wants a smaller, turn-key building envelope with plenty of style and all the mod cons.
I love bespoke details and have been brought up to honour authentic design in anything: furniture, clothes, handbags... you name it! I appreciate that the designer has potentially taken years to create a piece. This life-long passion has been reflected in the project where I chose design pieces like Normann Copenhagen's Bell pendant lamps, the ORI Wall Lights and Afteroom Coat Hangers.
"I like that all DIY Blinds products are made in Australia. I support local and Australian businesses whenever I can."
You chose DIY Blinds PolyLux® plantation shutters and they look incredible. What were your top reasons for choosing shutters?
I've had a love affair with plantation shutters for a long time! They go brilliantly with the palette and my design ethic externally and internally, they don’t date, are becoming increasingly popular and were the best choice space-wise and for ease of maintenance. Plus potential buyers absolutely adore them. When my husband and I were looking at an investment property 5 years ago I danced a happy step of joy when I saw the house had shutters!
I like that all DIY Blinds products are made in Australia. That resonates with me and my values. I like to support local and Australian businesses when and where I can.
How did you find the process of measuring and installing your DIY shutters and can you offer any tips to our customers?
I followed the DIY Blinds online guide to measure all my windows then organised for one of your team to come out to ensure the measurements were spot-on and get some advice. It really paid off as DIY Blinds recommended I install new window winders so I could recess fit my shutters and get a truly seamless look. We also decided on a bespoke solution for the entry shutter because the window had a fixed pane. For ease and efficiency DIY Blinds did the installation too.
My top tip would be don't hesitate to call DIY Blinds if you have any questions or want some advice. Their customer service team is very helpful.
"I love bespoke details and have been brought up to honour authentic design."
What’s next for She Builds Interiors?
I'm already scoping my next unit project as we speak! I’m being encouraged to develop a house by everybody: real estate businesses, BuildHer Collective of course and family and friends. New enquiries for styling, support and advice are coming in and I am linking with great local artists and suppliers such as Kimmy Hogan, Norsu Interiors and domestic home builders to name a few.
I'm also trying to sink my teeth into the Buildher Masterclass program as it’s super relevant. They are mentoring and assisting me in scoping further opportunities. Exciting times!
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