Interior Design: DECUS

Over some sparkling S.Pellegreno and a chocolate brownie I talked home, style and everything fabulous with principal interior designer Alexandra Donohoe from Decus Interiors. Decus was born from an obsession with the profound effect interiors have on our daily lives.
Alexandra made the leap into interiors over 10 years ago based largely on life-long intrigue with the notion of personal taste and style. Since then she has worked for several of Sydney’s most notable design firms honing a passion for the notion of home and its significance within our lives. Here is a small insight into Alexandra & Decus.
Tell us about yourself & how you became an interior designer?
Technically it is my mother’s fault!! My earliest memories are of trailing behind my mother around furniture and antique stores every weekend as a little girl.  Before I knew it I was rearranging my bedroom just about every month and requesting my walls be painted to accommodate my ‘new scheme’ at the cheeky age of 8.  Fast forward almost 20 years, stints in some of Sydney’s best firms and a degree in interior architecture and I’m fortunate enough to profess true love with what I get to do each and every day. Which is a blessing because it can certainly have it’s pulling-out-hair moments so sometimes love goes a long way!
What room in a residential house if your favourite to work on?
That’s a tricky one!  I love designing every room, however if I was to pick one it would be the living room.  It’s the space where families and friends congregate, so it invariably has to fulfill numerous roles and wear different hats depending on who occupies the space at any given time.
What would you say is the biggest no-go when it comes to interior design?
Anything that involves the words “Feature Wall” in that order. That and re-productions.
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What is your go to shop for a house warming present?
Depending on the recipient definitely Ondene in Double Bay, Sydney for something gorgeous or Royal Design for something pragmatic.
You have great personal style as well – can you describe it?
Thank you!  I’ve coined a term which applies so to many things in my life… and that’s ‘Make it up as you go’..  I’m fairly time-poor and so when I do have a break I’d much rather to be at a beach of on a mini-vacation or with friends than shopping.  I tend to purchase staple pieces locally in big quick bursts, as in half-a-wardrobe at a time. Not dissimilar to my design aesthetic – I favour unusual combinations, textures and colours. I can guarantee I will always be the one running out the door in the morning brushing my teeth and conducting a conference call simultaneously!
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Please share your favourite home style tip that you preach…
Invest only in what you respond to.  I have a policy that I buy what I love, as I need it, when I can.  If in the future I have to make adjustments to things as family and little ones come into the fold, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.  In the meantime – life’s too short not to buy the beautiful table or the mohair velvet chair because “one day maybe something or other yadda yadda..”  deal with the here and now.
What has been your most memorable moment since you started Decus?
Walking into a room of 10 male clients and contractors, presenting the concept on my own and getting it over the line.  That was a turning point.
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Describe your style and what are your favourite home brands you love to work with?
If I were to pick a word it would be ‘unexpected‘.  I love, love, love pairing unusual combinations together.   This can be through texture, colour, form, age.. the list goes on!  I will say that the aesthetic direction of a project is heavily influenced by the clients’ personality.  My clients live in their homes day in day out so it’s crucial they have input and that input will always steer a project in another direction.  My favourite interior brands are Moroso - a progressive/quirky Italian furniture manufacturer and Classicon - a German manufacturer that fosters both progressive design alongside it’s classics range.
What city is your favourite for inspiration? 
NYC!  Melting pot, melting pot, melting pot.. And it’s an easy to city to enjoy. Never a dull moment.




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