With an interior design practice and retail space, Richelle Langdon of Oliver Myles Interior Design likes to play with material, textures and colour to give a space personality and visual weight. ‘I don’t necessarily follow trends but look for longevity. I look to add cultural elements to give a space authenticity or history.’
Richelle, how long have you been an interior designer?
I have been a working as an interior designer for over 6 years. Prior to that I owned a boutique homewares store which really honed my love for interiors and unique products.
When did you know you wanted to become an interior designer?
I guess moving out of the retail space into design was a natural progression. The more I studied the more apparent it became that design has intrinsically always been part of my life. From a young age I loved fossicking to find treasures in antique stores and flea markets, instilling a deep appreciation of collecting unique and quality pieces. When I was old enough to drive, I’d take myself off to open houses and auctions on the odd Saturday (no money to bid of course!) just so I could look at the interiors and exteriors of houses.
How did you discover your passion for design?
My passion for design developed at a really young age, piqued by my Mum’s love of renovating. I remember when I was ten on a particular visit to the local hardware store (a weekend ritual for our family) I wandered off looking at front entry doors, not that we were purchasing one. We were a noisy family of six, and I had no idea my parents and sisters had left the store without me. It wasn’t until the family pulled up to the corner store just down the street, they discovered I wasn’t with them. Upon racing back in a flurry to the store, they found me still staring at doors, oblivious to the fact that I had been left behind.
With access to so much imagery of stylish interiors how do you stay true to your own design aesthetic and how do you help your clients find theirs?
Too much information can be a problem – it can become a lot of noise. While I do of course stay current and platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz are a fantastic way to do so, I don’t want to be too influenced. It is my aim to express individuality, so, while I am making selections from what is currently available, it is the way I bring things together that make the space unique – You don’t want to be predictable, you want an element of surprise and our clients are always surprised at what I nudge them to agree to and then how much they love the result. I totally push them past their comfort levels, and while I am met with resistance at times, I am steadfast in my selections. When they see the finished product, there are comments like “oh, now I get it!” For me this is the best bit, I love it!
Having a resource like Two Design Lovers helps in creating spaces that aren’t predictable. You always need a bit of history to balance out the new.
How would you describe your style or design aesthetic? Is that particular to the location you are working?
I have an inherent ability to layer but in a pared back way if that makes sense. I like to play with material, textures and colour to give a space personality and visual weight. I don’t necessarily follow trends but look for longevity. I look to add cultural elements to give a space authenticity or history. So, while I may have my own individual style, I can translate this into very different aesthetics for a variety of clients but maintain my signature running through.
As for location, taking cues from architecture and environment is the first step in my consideration of a colour palette and materials, and what may be played up or played down.
Tell us about your shop/studio? It looks beautiful. Are you selling products or displaying the possibilities, or both?
It’s a bit of both. I’m really proud of the retail front which doubles as the working studio. It’s an open studio space, so there’s accessibility that isn’t often available in interior design. The retail section, whilst small, is full of beautifully curated styling products including cushions, throws, gorgeous coral, giant clams (the real deal) side tables, vases, lamps and collected treasures that I have taken the time to source carefully. It’s a little bit of resort on a busy highway location and I feel totally relaxed there. It has a presence; I feel the hyper-energy in my body drop a notch or two when I arrive, and can see that change when people walk in. That’s what I look to create in all my projects – a positive physical change in reaction to the environment
Also, on display in the store are materials palettes of projects we are currently working on and of those that have been photographed. This open studio space allows a glimpse into my design process and how and where all those little sample pieces end up. I think that instills a degree of confidence. This job is as much as about gaining trust as it is designing spaces.
Are there any particular people or places that have influenced your style?
I’ve always loved British Colonial style; I love the combination of cultural influences and the feeling of history. It’s timeless, adventurous and easy to tell a story. It is also a bit robust and I think that translates well into the Australian landscape and climate. It’s well traveled and evolved. I’m hoping to take a trip to Singapore soon to soak up their colonial architecture.
What do you see as the key to creating a beautiful interior?
Beauty is subjective and can mean different things to different people. I’m a lover of “things” – they tell the story of me, but I also appreciate a clean lined aesthetic that a lot of clients ask for. So how do we give a space like this depth and soul? We work the interior the walls, the floor, the ceilings and doors – we add the detail through these elements so visitors can walk into a space with no furnishing yet still be engaged. Engagement is the key. If a space invites you to explore and linger, then you’ve created a beautiful interior.
Do you constantly have to resist the urge to redecorate your own home?
I design for longevity, so everything I have I love, and each piece has been added over time, so usually I remember where I found or purchased it. I don’t feel the need to constantly update but I do add and change things up. I guess making over other people’s homes provides me with satisfying these urges.
What’s your favourite piece of furniture in your home? Why?
I have a fan backed chair I found on the side of the road which I had reupholstered. It’s the perfect size to use as a floating chair, it has the right amount of curve and the right amount of height. It really is just perfect. It’s not at all structured like a wing back chair. It’s not something you really see around, and I will never part with mine.
How would you define Australian style?
For me Australian style is about connection with the landscape, the use of natural colour palettes and materials like stone, concrete and timber create a ligther visual footprint. Perhaps ‘Refined Coastal’ would be a label I’d like to be associated with: casual living focusing on quality and longevity.
What would be your dream project?
I know everyone says this but I’d love to move into boutique hotel design. I am really into cultural styles and I would love to be let loose. Know anyone with a project like this… I’m the gal!
What’s your favourite piece currently on Two Design Lovers and why?
The Ercol Original Studio Sofa would be my pick. What’s not to love… simplicity with so much curve appeal. It’s a quality mid-century piece that would sit comfortably in a refined coastal aesthetic (so not literal is this aesthetic) and it’s from the 1970’s… Hello, totally cool! 😊
Images have been printed with the permission of Oliver Myles Interiors