An interview with Australian Interior Designer: Dannielle Parisi

Janice: Dannielle, I believe you have a love of mid century modern design. When and where did that passion begin and why does it inspire you? 

I think the love for MCM aka Mid Century Modern began in my childhood. That is the furniture and style of the times. I think it was reinforced by the programs I would watch on television and film as well; Thunderbirds, Get Smart, The Man From Uncle, James Bond, The Italian Job, etc.

Also my play time from toddler years up was all about drawing, and building with Lego, and I recall rearranging walls, designing multi story homes in great detail. I still love watching those old films, and never get tired of that era. Having said that, I have a real appreciation for many styles of architecture and art. Georgian homes, for instance, are very livable for today. You can find inspiration from every era of architecture.

Janice:  As a designer you must be always looking forwards. What would you would like to explore in the near future?

My forward focus is all about what needs to be done. I don't like or even look at trends, they simply don't interest me. Each project is about what the client needs, what suits the space, how it will function, and how I can make it beautiful or interesting. You won't find the latest edition of any architectural design magazine in my hand. I get my inspiration from many sources, and I do my best to keep up to date when it comes to building materials. I look for eco-friendly products that are sustainable, non/low toxic, and have minimal impact on the environment. They also have to fulfil my desire to support local business, function well, belong to the space, and to be interesting and beautiful. I'm not averse to the odd Ikea hack either. I'm currently constructing a one off piece for a long standing client, turning a Victorian pastry stand into a new piece of furniture. Utilising something from the past, to create something new is exciting.

Janice:  You're  have skills as a designer of bespoke objects and you are a visual artist. Are there any artists or art movements that have particularly influenced and inspired you?

Art has been a way for me to express my emotions, which I don't like to do in reality. I did train as a ceramic artist, which involves planning your piece, working out what you want the end result to be, working out how to create that, and then attempting to do that, but not always successfully. When I was studying ceramics, I was very drawn to Art Deco, which in some ways is the starting point of MCM, and you can see how one evolved into the other. There is never a plan when I sit and paint, it just evolves. I am self taught, if you don't include doing art classes in high school. I'm very drawn to most art, and even from an early age would spend hours at the Art Gallery of NSW, or in a little art gallery in a suburb of Sydney somewhere. Some of my art includes my poetry, which is extremely personal.

I think architecture has been my biggest influence when I think about it. It really defines everything. You start with the outer shell, and work your way in. It doesn't matter if I'm designing a kitchen, bathroom, or entire house, or if I'm picking paint colours, roof finishes, pool finishes, or custom designing furniture. Everything begins with the outer shell. Everything comes back to function. Everything comes back to the client, the project, the whole design. It's holistic.

Website details are:

Bio: Trained as a Ceramic artist and Interior Designer, and currently training as a Building Designer. I've officially had my own business for over 22 years, although I started earlier, (I was commissioned at the age of 18 to select colours for my parents own house in Collaroy, an $80,000 paint job).


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