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Maria is a renovator-turned-interior designer and has created a luxurious new home for her family that’s contemporary but full of warmth and elegance.
Tell us about yourself. What does your work entail and where does your love for interior decorating stem from?
“I’m a mum to two beautiful young girls and married to a sports fanatical husband. After working in the advertising and marketing industry for more than 17 years, I decided I needed a career change to pursue something more creative. Having completed a few home renovations and a knockdown rebuild, I realised my passion was for interior design, styling and homewares. I was born to a commercial builder and a very stylish mama, so building and style are in my DNA.” says Maria.
“I am currently completing a Diploma in Interior Design and have just started my business Studio Black Interiors to be able to help people create their dream space and solve those decor dilemmas. I certainly feel like I am living my dream!”
Tell us about your home.
“My husband and I took on the challenging task to build our own home (as owner-builders) last year. It was the most stressful, but rewarding year of my life!
“We built the house in Canberra in 10 months (and didn’t get divorced!). Our family home is a four bedroom, two storey home with a style that’s a mix of minimalist and modern. I love simple palettes, clean lines and no clutter. I’m a cement, stone, timber and marble type of girl.
“Building it was one of our greatest achievements.”
Where did you turn to for inspiration when considering the design and decoration of your home?
“Before we began building, I used to cut out pictures from magazines and scrap book my favourite looks (totally old school I know!),” laughs Maria.
“Now I seek inspiration from the world around me. I get inspired by beautiful architecture, fashion, photography, the colours I see every day in nature, as well as seeking inspiration from the amazing talent we have in this country. I love to read design blogs and magazines, and also follow my favourite designers on social media to keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations.”
What do you love about your home most?
“I’m still in the building honeymoon phase, so I love everything!
“I love the high ceilings in the main area of the house, which are built around the sun — it creates such a warm, light-filled and inviting space.
“The materials I have used — timber, concrete and stone, paired with a palette of crisp white, greys and charcoals — form a great base to make other features pop like the copper pendants in the kitchen.
“I LOVE artwork and its ability to really personalise a space. Art is how I have brought colour into my home.
“I am also a sucker for tiles. I think my favourite room, is the little guest powder room because the Carrara marble hexagon tiles just steal the show!
“I also love my kitchen, I spend the most time in it so it had to be practical, functional and good looking. The cooper pendants just give the space the WOW factor. Those pendants are my hero piece as you enter the space.”
Describe your style? How is this reflected in your home?
“Minimalist and modern with a bit of Scandi thrown in!
“I love a neutral colour palette, simple and understated furniture, ultra clean lines balanced with the occasional pop of colour through art, natural fibre throws or furs, or a single piece of furniture.
“I’m a minimalist at heart and love a modern look that’s also warm and friendly.”
“I like to live as clutter free as possible (this is often a hard look to maintain with two young girls!) so it’s important that every space and item has a function.
“I love mixing inexpensive items with a few statement pieces for a personalised look. I often find that it’s important to spend your money on the biggest item in the room and incorporate smaller accessories that may be on a budget.”
If there was anything you could change about your home, what would it be?
“I built this house before I started my interior design course. After studying for the last year, I have learnt so many things from my amazing teachers (who work in the industry) and all my gorgeous and talented class mates.
“I think if I had the chance to change anything I would have taken more risks, and been more creative as I am more aware of what’s available in the market and where to source great materials.
“I also would have budgeted for all new furniture! It’s been challenging incorporating pieces that don’t really suit the new style (think heavy furniture and lots of red décor from early 2000!).”
What pieces are most special to you?
“The items that make me most happy is the artwork I have chosen for the house. It’s not expensive by any means, but it gives me such happiness as each piece I have chosen has meaning and a story behind it.”
Thank you so much Maria for sharing your luxurious and contemporary home with us. To keep being inspired by Maria, follow her on Instagram @studioblackinteriors.