After years of travelling around the world interior designer Di Henshall is bringing the best ideas in global design to Brisbane in her new Teneriffe studio

Interior designer Di Henshall is well recognised by readers of glossy architecture and living magazines and this year she celebrates 25 years in the industry where she has made her name creating beautiful spaces. She also has made the move to open a studio in Brisbane for the first time, choosing to commute from her established home and practice on the Sunshine Coast more frequently as demand for her services here has grown.

But Henshall has hardly felt limited by her geographic base on the Sunshine Coast. One of her recent residential projects incorporated pieces sourced from 21 countries including Brazil, Sweden, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand and France, an interior that will forever be remembered as one of her ‘dream’ jobs.

Staying ahead of global trends is a vital aspect of her success and Henshall, a former architect, travels to Europe several times each year and Italy remains a favourite destination.“Italy is always fabulous. They’ve got no fear of patterns, everything in Italy is patterned. I think that here in Australia we would find that a bit overwhelming but you can take small measures of their love of patterns and apply it here quite successfully.”

The global financial crisis appears to be influencing interiors in exactly that direction. “The world economy has a huge effect on design. During the GFC there was a lot of bright colour and texture. That also happened after the war – people wanted big shiny cars, bright red designer tables; it was a reaction to oppression.

“We are still feeling the effects of the GFC and people are still gravitating towards colour for this reason. It helps people feel better about themselves.”

However, Henshall finds Brisbane homemakers more cautious in design compared to their counterparts in other capital cities and they need more of a push to steer them out of their comfort zones.

“I find inspiration in nature, the natural beauty of Australia, the light, the water, the trees and the flowers. They all have something truly inspirational about them. When you see all of these things around us it does inspire you to start creating more beautiful things.”

In the end, a good result is not about trends, says Henshall. “The client is always the person we are trying to tap into and the design finishes often reflect how I see them personally. I have clients at the moment who have no idea what they want but their personalities are so strong and vibrant, that’s what I have based the whole design on. You cannot be governed by what somebody else is doing. You need to be aware of your own lifestyle and work from there instead of following the trends,” she says.

Di Henshall’s studio is at 91 Commercial Road, Teneriffe, open by appointment only.