for La Maison Jolie
We talked to Rani Engineer the founder of award winning La Maison Jolie about her passion for interior design and her love of recycling, reusing and refurbishing furniture.
Visit the La Maison Jolie blog for design reviews, inspiration and great features. www.lamaisonjolie.com.au
Can you tell us a little about yourself and how La Maison Jolie was formed?
I have always been a creative soul. As a child I was inspired by my mother and I would spend hours watching her paint watercolours and oil on canvas. In school I enjoyed studying commercial art and textile design. Just recently I completed a Cert IV in Colour & Design from ISCD, Sydney and a very interesting Up-cycling Course from My Antique School, UK. My weekend mornings are usually spent drawing and colouring on the playroom chalkboard wall with my almost 2 year old toddler or working on a DIY project for our home.
Interior styling has always been a passion of mine, ever since my grandfather bought me my first doll’s house when I was eight and I stayed up all night sticking craft paper onto the walls and rearranging the tiny furniture.
Nothing’s changed, well except instead of the doll’s house, I now paint walls, rearrange furniture and update accessories in my home.
La Maison Jolie started in 2011 purely as a creative outlet, somewhere to document my day-to-day design and DIY successes and challenges. I didn’t have a plan in mind since I never thought that anyone was even going to read my blog! I just wanted a place to write about interior design and what inspired me. From then to now…it sometimes amazes me how far the blog has come.
What’s the best thing about what you do, why do you do it?
I like reviewing new design products and accessories, styling and photographing them and have been very fortunate to work with some well known brands. On the blog, I love sharing eclectic DIY design and craft projects and I’m constantly challenging my own design ideas. I also interview unique and upcoming interior designers from all over the world to provide them with a platform to promote their work on my blog and social media via my Design Interview posts.
Why I do it? Because I love it! Great design is like the classic little black dress. It has the power to change how you feel. Walking into a light filled, clutter free, impeccably styled yet lived in comfortable room makes you feel happy and joyful as against walking into a dark, cluttered, impersonal space! And it is a great platform to connect with like-minded people.
La Maison Jolie is a niche interior design blog with I hope a lot to offer in terms of inspiration and creativity and I sincerely hope that readers derive inspiration and enjoyment from what I do and what I write about.
We know you create client design boards, where do you draw your inspiration from for these?
I create a lot of mood boards for clients both local and international. These e-design boards are based on a client brief and budget discussions and also things that I feel will suit and fit the client’s lifestyle. I gather inspiration from everything that is around me – nature, flora, fauna, art, food, textiles, local markets, travel, family and friends. I then create a mood board to put together my ideas to find colours, styles and themes that work cohesively and finally after a lot of editing, I arrive at something I can feel truly happy to present to the client.
How important is a design board when planning a room?
A design board is very important when planning a room. It gives me clarity and helps me move past self doubt. It also acts as an inspiration board and helps both the client and me visualise what the end result will look like. Most importantly it helps to finalise all my design choices.
Style board created by Rani Engineer using Design it Yourself.
Tell us more about your love for recycling, reusing and refurbishing furniture
Through the medium of my blog I share affordable interior styling and DIY tips with my readers. But most importantly I’m a believer in recycling, repurposing and reusing. Taking something old and breathing new life into it and making it useful and unique is a great feeling. I hope through my blog and social media, I can influence people to gather inspiration from things around them and encourage them to upcycle and repurpose rather than become a part of the ‘throwaway’ society.
How would you describe your style?
My style is constantly evolving as I come in contact with various designers, products, trends and styles. Currently I’m drawn to Scandinavian designs and of course the latest wabi-sabi style of design (not to be confused with wasabi!). Wabi-Sabi is a concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics which centres on the appreciation of imperfection, and is based on the principle that beauty is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”.
What is your favourite room in your home and why?
Every room in our home has been a labour of love. However my favourite would have to be my bedroom. It’s a tranquil space even though it is always a work in progress. I am drawn to all shades of grey and love a neutral and natural colour palette. My inspiration for the bedroom was a calm and serene Scandinavian coastal colour palette. I’ve added colour through the use of artwork, cushions, throws and accessories. The organic wooden chandelier and the contemporary hanging pendant lights add a touch of luxe. It is a quiet, comfortable and pretty space to unwind and relax in.
A few words about Design it Yourself
What do you think of the Design It Yourself tool that’s now available?
The easy to use Design It Yourself online tool is absolutely fantastic! It is provides you with the tools to express your vision and create the most beautiful, custom and well thought out style boards along with providing instant access to the shopping list and costs. It is a holistic tool to designing and I will definitely be using it often.