Designs on transformation

By Bruce Madden, Financial Media Services. 

Think about the most inviting, elegant, warmest home you have visited recently. How did the combination of built space and decor make you feel? Think how you may have quietly admired the apparent ease with which the owners made their home flow seamlessly together.

Are some people just born with a good design gene?

Like the gardener with a ‘green thumb’ there are those among us who can seemingly conjure beautifully designed living spaces with minimal effort. These people appear – to us design-challenged mortals – gifted with raw natural talent, creativity, colour…a grand vision.

Or can the art of transforming a built space be learned? Apparently so.

Meet Naomi Findlay, Fitzpatricks client, mother of four kids, blogger, best-selling author, award-winning interior stylist, entrepreneur, former academic, wife and a PhD in medical radiation science. Naomi is the high-achieving yet fiercely modest force behind a business she founded to help teach others how to ‘stage’ internal spaces for maximum impact.

This business is called the International Institute of Home Staging and it harnesses two of Naomi’s great passions: interior design and teaching. Naomi has three businesses, aside from her most impressive job – parenting four kids under 14.

Her other business brands include Silk Home Staging & Styling, and a business under her own name, that has become synonymous on a global stage as a leader within the emerging industry of home staging, home renovation and property investment.

Clearly, for certain people, almost anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Not that she is motivated by accolades, like her recent nomination for the coveted Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Says Naomi: “In all of this, the greatest joy I receive is in helping people to transition in their lives. Usually there is a great deal of trust involved between myself and the client, as I help them to downsize a home for example or set up their very first home.

“It is just very cool to be able to help people in their transition,” Naomi says.

When staging a home for sale, Naomi says the primary ingredient for success is, you guessed it, trust.

“People let you into their home and your job is to establish that relationship in order that the client trusts what you are about to do with their home. I can honestly say, the home staging market is all about establishing that relationship. Then it is a matter of designing the home to attract the target market, creating spaces that show new buyers the full potential of the property and ideally also create an emotional link.”

Naomi’s timing into the world of home staging could not be better.

Australians love property, and can access a smorgasbord of home renovation television programming from reality shows about auctions and renovating to global property design documentaries. Who knew that the small screen struggle over a choice of wall tile wold prove so popular, not to mention homing in on that elusive record sale price for a completed bricks and mortar work of art?

For Naomi however, home design and interior staging represents not just a popular topic. It is symbolic of her own transition, from science student to medical scientist, to academic, to mum, to business owner and now a renowned creative who has had the last say on the advice her careers counsellor gave her in High School that “clever girls like you don’t do art.”

Actually, clever girls like Naomi Findlay, PhD, can do art. And anything else they please.


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