Style and Substance: An Interview with Tali Roth
Have you ever looked at a beautifully decorated home and wondered, “How do they do it?” When admiring gorgeous magazine spreads and stylish renovations on TV, it’s easy to forget these interiors don’t just pop into existence fully formed. Instead, they come from a ton of hard work and talent. But who are the faces behind those incredible designs?
I’m Mandy Schremmer, a writer at DrewandJonathan.com, and I decided to take this chance to interview some of my favorite interior designers. Besides stealing some great tips and tricks, I wanted to hear how they got into the industry and what personal inspirations have made them who they are.
This month, I interviewed Tali Roth, the founder of the self-titled studio, Tali Roth Interior Design, which is based in Melbourne, Australia. We discussed how she went from studying psychology to transforming homes, her biggest lesson learned, and her thoughts on the future of design.
How did you wind up in interior design?
I studied psychology because of my love of people, individuality, emotions, and behaviors. Then, through a strange course of events, I got into fashion. Towards the end of running my clothing label, I began drawing more and more inspiration from interiors and architecture… which led me to study interior design.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is bold, warm, and unique. I am drawn to juxtapositions of colors and textures and love the tension between opposing forces.
Who and what are some of your biggest inspirations?
Mid-century design, particularly furniture, inspires me endlessly. I find a lot of fulfillment in the old. I also draw from the colors of fashion and nature.
Tell me a little about your interior design process.
I start with the planning in 2D, then attack any of the built spaces in terms of style and materiality, and then delve into the detailed elevations. Once construction details are sorted, I go through the same process but with furniture, lighting, and soft furnishing. I give the clients a lot of options and flexibility, as it’s important to me that they feel connected to the design.
What is the best decorating advice you have ever received?
If unsure, always take something away.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your design career?
Trust your gut! It’s mostly right!
How do you balance both style and function?
I think function is first and foremost as it pertains to the flow of a space, which is always where I start. I like to balance the overall “stylish” with the comfortable and simple to ensure that all the spaces I create feel approachable and timeless.
Which room in your home do you spend most of your time in?
Kitchen and laundry room. A close second is the living room.
What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on?
I love most things I get to work on! It sounds untrue, but I really have a good client base. I loved working on Grace, a clothing store, and I have loved working on my Armadale project here in Melbourne, as the clients are equally cool as their tastes are epic!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of the design process for you?
Getting to know my clients and seeing them super happy and comfortable, and owning their own space.
Where do you think the future of design is heading?
This is a complex question! I think spatially, we might be leaning back toward more chopped-up interior spaces instead of open plans. In terms of design, I think we are heading into a maximalist phase… I think this always happens during a financial downturn as we crave more vibrant interiors. Social media has definitely influenced us all. I think it has created a lot of sameness; I’m not sure how we will get past that!
All photos taken by Nick Glimenakis.
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