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Genine Noakes

Getting to Know – Genine Noakes of Genine Noakes Design Studio  

Meet Genine Noakes, Interior Designer and owner of Genine Noakes Design Studio. Having always worked in creative industries, Genine pursued a career in interior design after a successful home renovation. Genine describes herself as a ‘slave to the visual beauty’ and whilst she doesn’t follow design trends, is drawn to natural elements and aged form. Find out more about Genine’s journey and how she works.


Tell us a little about yourself
I moved to the Inner West to raise my children 18 years ago. It was the best move I have ever made. My children are now 18 and 16, so we are able to take back some time to indulge in ourselves again. Before children, I spent my working life in creative industries, starting my career at a young age of 16 working in the Australian music industry then into television and film. So interestingly enough my hobbies and passions have always been entwined with my work, with the addition of eating out.


How did you get into interior design?
We had a property in Byron Bay, which I renovated when my children were very young. I found absolutely loved the process of renovation at every stage, and I felt like I had the knack for it. Once my children both entered primary school, I used the time to study for an advanced diploma in Interior Design at Lidcombe Design and immediately after I qualified, I started work straight away.


What approach do you take?
I don’t follow interior design trends. I’d rather connect with my clients and give them the confidence to express their own style. Everybody has their own style but some just don’t know how to interpret it aesthetically, and that’s why they need an interior designer.

I leave it up to the client on how they move forward with a project. Some like to work collaboratively and be involved whilst others throw all of their trust at you and leave you to it.


Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere and it’s not something I look for – it just appears when it does, whether it is from travel, nature, old precincts or a coffee table book.


Do you have a particular area of interest?
I’m a complete slave to the visual beauty of an aged form, whether it’s a historical building, worn timber or rusted metal. I’m drawn to natural elements in particular. I love how they patina with time, adding a textural layer to create a calming environment.


What has been your favourite project to date and why?
Boon Luck Farm in the Byron Bay Hinterland for the Chat Thai Family. The Chat Thai family traditions run deep and their whole being is about food and the connectivity which food brings. In this space, they have entertained most of Australia’s top chefs and artists, all of whom comment on what a warm and welcoming feeling their house is. Being a very busy family they gave me their full trust in the design and free reign. The family were so pleased with the result, that I was gifted with a trip to Thailand!


As a designer, has social media changed the landscape for you at all?
Absolutely it has. It’s allowed designers to have direct connection to consumers and clients. A lot of our work now comes from social media, it’s the new marketing and advertising tool – and it keeps evolving, so it’s critical to keep up to date


Do you have a favourite room in the house to design and why?
The kitchen, it’s the heart of any home.


Three words your clients would use to describe you:
Creative, passionate, committed.


Favourite places in the Inner West?
Definitely the Bay Run, which ends in a coffee at Fruitologist in Rozelle. Haberfield now has a couple of dining offerings which has bought me back to this precinct, Yakitori Jin for a real sense of Japan and Happyfields which has hit the spot for what the younger market want in food – the best coffee too. Closer to home, I can’t forget my own local Trovatinos in Wareemba for pastries and Gelato.


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