interior designer debra cronin

When I first met Debra Cronin, about three years ago, she was living in a light and airy semi only a stone throw from Sydney's Bondi Beach. She told me how she had gutted the place and opened it up for a more modern lifestyle. You can see pictures of the finished result on her website. Debra also told me about a place she had found that was completely different - a rundown terrace that had a lot of character but was also in need of much work. Knowing the lengths that she had gone to with the Bondi property, I knew time and hard work weren't going to be deterrents. Finally, at the end of last year (thanks to a great little 10th birthday celebration for Aura), I got to see this "new" place in all its glory, pictured above. Not only does Debra live there but she hosts Bite Club, a fantastic concept for singles living in Sydney.

Which five words best describe you? Curious, energetic, creative, risk-taker, busy.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I worked as a make-up artist in London and when I moved back to Sydney it seemed a natural progression to to change from making beautiful faces to making beautiful and interesting spaces. I work in a style that I have always loved that is very eclectic and quirky, mixing in the unexpected, finding interesting old pieces, often out of proportion, and generally old and beaten or weathered and I marry those pieces into a gorgeous interior. I seem to find beauty in the most extraordinary places, where it is often overlooked. In the beginning I wondered if I was cutting out a large amount of potential clients but it has worked wonderfully, as the only clients who come to me love what I love.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Follow your instinct and your heart, and don’t be afraid to push boundaries.

What’s your proudest career achievement? It always seems to be the one I’m working on at the time. At the moment I’m working on an exciting restaurant, the client and I are inspiring each other every day; it doesn’t seem like work at all. The result is going to be elegant and feminine, masculine and grunty, and very young.

What’s been your best decision? Moving back from Sydney after 10 years in London. Also getting two fabulous Groodles – walking them in the park or along the cliff walk is the best way to start the day. I especially love the wild, wet, windy mornings when no one else is around.

Who inspires you? Without a doubt Mother Nature.

What are you passionate about? Improving all things that are unusual and interesting.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jack Nicholson.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? To be not so hectic all the time!

What are you reading? SMH online is about all I have time for.

images courtesy of debra cronin