Chris Carroll

Interior Design Blogging

Chris Carroll

“I don't think you can be a good designer without some form of study.”

Chris Carroll is the Sydney stylist behind The Life Creative; an interiors blog that aims to make decorating easy, fun and affordable. With a background in journalism and design, he is currently authoring his first book on the best places to eat, drink and shop in Sydney. Since starting the blog in 2012, he has appeared in numerous interior design magazines and hosted decorating segments on The Morning Show.

1 What is the Australian interior design industry like, how is it unique?

I think the best thing about the Aussie climate is that consumer tastes are so diverse. Other countries get stuck in a particular style, but we're so varied here. As a designer, it allows you to play a lot more with different aesthetics and the demand for designers seems greater.

2 How would you describe the difference between interior decoration, interior design and interior styling?

This is a really grey area and everyone has a different take. Essentially, a lot of it has to do with what you're qualified in. A stylist and a decorator often overlap in terms of skill set. They can both decorate a home or style a shoot (in most cases). A designer is more qualified to work with architects, move walls in a home, specify construction etc. There's different study involved to become an interior designer.

3 What's the secret to staying relevant in the industry?

Stay open and explore. I find the greatest things on social media; trends, new products, local creative types. Also, don't be a style snob! Amazing pieces can cost $10 or $1000. It's all about how you put it together. Listen to what the market is telling you, too.

4 What's the secret to running a successful business in the industry?

Similar to the above - be open, roll with the punches, get a feel for what your target market is after and work out ways to deliver it. There's no point starting something when there's no demand for it. Either find where the demand is or find a way to create the demand.

5 What advice would you offer students looking to get into the industry?

Study, for sure. I don't think you can be a good designer without some form of study. Also, work with loads of people, ask them for help. Be confident and let people know what you're doing. The best opportunities come from networking and sharing your dream with people who will listen!

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