Beginning her career down a different path, Sarah has combined her knowledge in marketing and events with her passion for beautiful interiors to create Maitland Street Interiors. After craving a more creative outlet beyond corporate life, Sarah found it studying Interior Decoration at RMIT before launching the studio in 2016. Her ambition has always been to create beautifully resolved spaces that bring retreat-style living into the home – directly influencing the way people feel, every day.

Sarah Elshaug designer q&a australian interiors

What do you wish the public knew about design

It takes enormous creative input to curate and resolve selections for a project. With so many considerations such as interior style, colour palette, functionality, budget, installation constraints, time frames, mixing old with new, a rooms decorative features, window placement and space planing; plus most importantly sourcing those one off pieces for clients to fall in love with – it is a time consuming process to deliver an inspired interior from concept to completion. Interior Design is so much more than creating pretty pictures!

For someone thinking about hiring a designer, what advice would you give them?

Your designer will become the friend you never knew you needed! They will support you to clearly articulate the outcomes you are wanting to achieve, push you to be brave with your choices and will invest your budget wisely. So be open to the process and build a trusting relationship together from the start – after all your designer is tasked with creating an interior that will shape your ultimate lifestyle at home.

What design myth would you like to bust?

That your home should look magazine ready at all times! We live in such a visual online world these days and tend to feel we have to have the ‘look’ in order to keep up with the Joneses. Your home should be a reflection of you and your family and no one else. So take a step back and focus on how you’d like to ‘feel’ at home every day, rather than how you want your home to ‘look’. Creating a beautifully resolved interior is about giving you and your family that ‘ahhhh’ feeling when you step in the door at the end of a busy day.

What is your favourite part of the design process?

It’s got to be the day after install day! When I get the call from my client’s telling me how much they love their new spaces and how calm they feel in their day-to-day. One client recently told me how amazed she was that her girls now take pride in their bedrooms, keeping them neat and tidy and making their beds daily. By involving all family members in the design process, it’s so rewarding to have created a lasting impact on how they enjoy their home together.

What is the one thing you wish your clients knew before you engaged them?

Most of the time client’s are flying blind when it comes to their budget for furnishings and this can mean that they feel unprepared for the cost of a project once quotes start rolling in. So I always create a room by room budget overview right at the start of the project, based on my client’s aspirations for how they want their home to feel. We collaborate on this document until we have a clear picture of what they are willing to spend by room. I then ensure that all concepts I present meet their budget expectations, and there are no surprises during the project.

Where can we find you?

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