Mikayla leads her all-female team at Heartly with grace, drive and endless energy. The architecture, interior design, decorating and styling team have become a go-to reference for stylists and Heartly has been featured in publications such as House & Garden, Fete, Kitchens and Bathrooms, Home Beautiful, Green and Inside Out.
We recently collaborated with Mikayla on styling the recent renovation of a stunning Fairfield Victorian home. It was no surprise to us when the project was shortlisted in the 2019 Australian Interior Design Awards. Mikayla’s designs are striking and often light-filled, drawing in the presence of nature from the outside. Not only do her designs induce an elevated and balanced mood, but they are also practical and always incorporate clever and savvy functionalities… we can’t help but wonder if this aspect of her design comes from her ability to thrive in her balancing act (we’re not the only ones to notice this about her work - House & Garden featured Mikayla in their editorial Neat Tricks).
Heartly is at the forefront of Australian design yet still stays true to their catchphrase of ‘designing with heart’. We chatted to Mikayla about her creative process and inspirations.
Can you name a few things that creatively inspire you?
I draw inspiration from all aspects of life, I am open to all kinds of influences. It’s kind of like breathing, it just happens. This morning, for example, walking my daughter to school along the river we noticed the fluorescent pink clouds on the horizon through the trees. There is beauty in many different forms all around us, noticing it is the key.
I think it also helps that I am naturally adventurous, I want to squeeze the most out of life. I love to travel and explore diverse cultures, talking to people from different backgrounds, wandering through ancient streets, admiring architecture from different eras. Good design transcends all trends; I delight in discovering art, buildings, landscapes and fashion that achieve this. So, inspiration comes in many forms, often it’s just in the ordinary things.
What are the first few questions you ask your clients who are doing renovations to their home?
It is really important to us that we understand what each client wants to achieve. We take time to develop this understanding and take care in listening. We ask our clients about the aesthetic they want to create, the way they envisage using their home and about their future plans for the property.
Do you think being a mum changes the way you design family homes?
Yes, because we completely understand when people say…
- We need two living areas!
- We need a place for all the junk of everyday life to be accessible but also concealed
- We need a place for the kids or adults to retreat
- And more recently, I understand when people say they want their home to be a flexible space where the family will grow and change and where the kids can stick around for as long as they want
You use beautiful textures and colours in your designs. Where do you start when building a colour palette?
We start with peoples’ personalities really, by the time we get to the palette we have come to know people quite well through the broader structural design process. So, we have learnt about what inspires them and we really are at the heart of what they want to create. Then, from a practical perspective, we start with flooring!
How does being based in Melbourne Australia impact your work?
We are truly lucky to be surrounded by such a strong design community in Melbourne. There is so much brilliant and creative work going on around us. Much of what is being designed and constructed here is incredibly unique, so we are influenced by that, encouraged to think outside the box and not be restrained by norms when commencing the design process. Plus we have immediate access to the world via Instagram and other mediums. I love living in Melbourne, I feel very lucky that this is my home, although I am determined to spend a year living in New York at some stage, so I am also working on making sure that happens, preferably at a time when my knees will still allow me to run around Central Park.