ANNA GIANNIS is a Melbourne-based interior designer whose work is imaginative and inspiring. Anna creates atmospheres that incorporate furniture, home décor, art, and textiles.
Recognised in Australia as a leading interior designer ANNA GIANNIS infuses references of history into spaces that provoke an environment that reflects the client’s signature style.
Each project Anna undertakes is unique and original balancing both classic and contemporary elements to produce bespoke spaces of pure indulgence and enjoyment.
Please tell me a little about your passion for Interior Design and when you first began Interior Design as a profession?
My parents were both creative especially my late father who was a craftsman furniture maker from Greece who later became an incredibly talented builder, and my mother was a very skillful seamstress. I grew up watching my father work and apply his perfectionism to everything that he did. I think I somehow inherited this.
I first began my profession in 2001 after I went back to RMIT as a mature age student. My first design gig was decorating for Myer Melbourne when they had an interior decorating division. It was a great training ground and I met many of Melbourne’s best showrooms and suppliers and twenty years on I still do business with them, like my friends at Cromwell Furniture.
What is the thought process when engaging with a new client?
From the onset, it’s important to me to build a good relationship with my clients. You become so invested in their dream of building that you form an incredibly special bond. Part of this job is about extracting and understanding what it is they want to build and how they want their home to look and feel. This job is part designer and part therapist at times!
What drives your design decisions and where does your inspiration come from for each client?
Design choices and specifications come from the brief. It is extremely important to present design options for your client, where they can see themselves living there. Inspirations come to me from everywhere, from my own imagination from the artisans that I work with from fashion, the beauty of nature, and naturally from travel.
What are the basic questions that you ask to all your clients before starting a project?
- What would you like to see your home look like?
- Where is the property?
- Is there a lot of natural light?
- When does this need to be completed?
- Is there a budget? You would be surprised how many people answer not really…let’s just see!
- Is there something special that you already own something of sentiment or heirloom that you would like to see incorporated into the new space?
How do you keep modern as an Interior Designer?
It is important to stay fresh and current and to be able to show your clients new and exciting materials, ideas, etc… I attend trade fairs both here and overseas annually to see new releases and I also stay close with my artisans to create new and exciting pieces. The collaborative process is a joy.
How do you select colours and are you influenced by colour trends of the year?
I personally don’t get influenced by the colours of the year as I prefer to focus on the project and colours that will suit my client’s personality and lifestyle.
What is your favourite Interior Style / Period and why?
I appreciate all the gifts that have come from each period. If I had to select a favourite, it would be the fusion of Neo-Classical, Rococo, and the modernity of the contemporary style. I love the Neoclassical style that is characterized by grandeur of scale, and the simplicity of geometric forms as well the lushness of the baroque period that incorporates decorative arts, art, and beautiful textiles. The contemporary style is the other third that calms the balance of the space.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the buzz and the butterflies of starting with a new client and project. I love all the moving pieces and the discussions that go on with different people, the builder, architect, and trades. I love the exhilarating feeling when the end is near, and my clients are living in their dream space!
Interview by Melinda Sullivan
Words by Anna Giannis