Georgie Shepherd has built an impressive portfolio as an Adelaide-based interior designer. Straddling both commercial and residential properties, her design raison d'être is clear: honour the individuality of each client and push the imagination to create unique, nourishing spaces that are both creative and functional.
Georgie believes that spaces should reflect their inhabitants and delight their occupants every day. In this spirit, she opened her business GSiD (Georgie Shepherd Interior Design) in 2011 and has delivered acclaimed results with her small team ever since.
The studio's trademark is its diversity - testament to Georgie's client-focused approach. These values are no more evident than in two recent projects, where Georgie and her team used The Dharma Door baskets to great effect. The spaces are both varied and stunning, hitting that sweet spot between form and function. We thought you might like to know a little more about this accomplished lady's approach, and how she uses woven baskets in a variety of spaces to great effect.
You have built up an impressive portfolio during the eight years you have run your own business. What influenced you to focus on interior design initially? Tell us a little about your journey.
I sort of fell into interior design at the beginning. I was always a very creative kid and was very into art at school and loved sketching, drawing and painting. Studying Interior Design was something my Dad encouraged me to do and I am glad he did. After university I spent a few years working in the furniture industry overseas and here - also working for a large architectural firm.
My desire to use my creativity and put design first drove me into having my own business and focusing on good, honest, interior design. Each project over the years has taught me a lot and has given me the ability to build a portfolio and brand that I am proud of.
I now have an amazing team of Interior designers who I am lucky to work with every day. We all work collaboratively and push each other to do the best job for each and every job.
What are some of the highlights in your role as an interior designer to date?
Every project is a highlight. There is no better feeling than imagining a space, going on the design journey and then walking into it at the end and seeing it all come to life. The feel of a space is not something you can put on paper. The relationships I have with my clients is also a highlight for me.
You work straddles both commercial and residential projects in Adelaide. These projects obviously differ greatly in some ways - what are the common threads that always contribute to a successful outcome?
Having a strong narrative and concept from the beginning. Whether it is commercial or residential knowing the story you are trying to tell is imperative to the end result.
Tell us about your city generally - what do you love about working and living in a place known for its food, wine and culture? And how do your surroundings influence your work?
All of the above. I love South Australia. It has so much to offer - from the history to the amazing wine and food culture. Although I am most influenced by the natural aspects of our beautiful state. As a family we love to escape down the coast to Port Willunga. Being there always inspires me and If I ever need to recharge and reset it is where I go.
Your interiors always include some stunning, handmade pieces, such as fabric and hand blown glass pendant lighting. Can you share a little more about how you use crafted items in your work?
It is very important for us as a practice to create unique interiors and part of this is including other designers where possible. Whether it be artisans, furniture designers, lighting designers there is so much talent here in SA and the opportunity to work with other amazing designers to create unique pieces.
And what about nature? How does the natural environment influence you and your designs?
I am always influenced by nature whether it be the forms, colours, textures or palette it is always represented in some form in our designs.
Elements like stone, rammed earth and limestone and concrete bench tops featured in The Pavilion. The residential project ‘honours its owner’s passion for Tuscan like textural qualities’. Can you tell us a little more about this beautiful project?
Taking collective references from the modern architectural form and the client’s own inherent love of Tuscan style, we wanted to create a space that transforms the occupant when they enter to an idyllic Tuscan haven. We used a purposefully restrained material palette to create a feeling of tranquillity and warmth, while simultaneously weathering a vibrant, bustling family. Focusing on the details that are subtle but that are noticed over time, the light in the space, the feel of the handmade ceramic handles and the texture of the stone under your feet.
You have used The Dharma Door baskets as storage in The Pavilion lounge. What drew you to these baskets, and The Dharma Door generally?
We love the textural nature of these baskets, the fact that they are individually crafted with natural fibres worked perfectly with our aesthetic. Also that Dharma Door work with Fair trade artisans around the world was another reason we like to support and use their products.
You also used The Dharma Door baskets in the kitchen larder and bathroom at the Bungalow House, also an admirable residential project. The Dharma Door are firm believers that baskets can be used in so many ways for storage and decoration. What are some of your favourite ways to use baskets?
Baskets are so versatile. They can be used instead of drawers for storing everything from toys, bathroom towels to pantry items. They create a soft and textural quality to an otherwise structured space.
The two projects just touched on illustrate a wider pattern with your work, where the end result is always quite distinct and original, with an impeccable eye for detail and layout. How does your commitment to honour the individuality of each client play into your process?
A home should be a personal expression of its inhabitants, It should reflect the way in which you want to live. We love to delve into the ideas that define our clients view on the world.
Each job represents a new narrative, client, architectural form and all these items play into the concept for the space. Each space is individual for us, which you will see in our designs, as each client brings a different brief and way of life to the table.
We are there to enhance the experience and ritual of life. And to create designs that last and are appreciated over time.
And finally, what are your own personal sources of inspiration and joy? What keeps those creative fires burning?
I am always pushing the boundaries, I am never happy with safe and just ok. I love to see where we can take a narrative and what we can interpret from a client’s brief, lifestyle, inspirations. Finding that story or that element in a project that clinches it all together is what is exciting to me.
This is then followed down to every detail - right own to the basket or vase on the shelf at the end. The beauty is in the detail and this is where I get my joy.
Images supplied by Georgie Shepherd Interior Design
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