Coming from a strong artistic background and a mother who was a fashion designer, Noela Coffey always knew she was destined for something creative. This is why, at the age of 18 and at a time when most women aspired to be flight attendants or to get married, Noela chose interior decorating from a government list of trades and began a traineeship to learn the tricks of the trade.
After moving from Melbourne to Sydney many years later, she furthered her studies and eventually opened her own furniture store, Mageia Furniture. “Once I left Melbourne I was virtually working as an interior decorator for various other companies so it wasn’t long before I ventured out on my own. It was more a natural progression rather than a vision,” explains Noela. “Because I had to reestablish myself in Sydney as a designer, I opened up a furniture store (Mageia) offering an interior design and decorating service.”
From the success of her store, Noela grew her client base and closed the storefront to launch Mageia Design, which is now trading as the lucrative Department of Interiors. Preferring to create an individual style for each client, Noela delivers stunning interiors that fulfil clients’ needs with ease and enjoys the challenge of each new project. Noela believes interior design is about listening to the client’s brief and bringing their ideas to life. “I ask all of my clients to supply me with a scrapbook containing all the pictures they have seen in magazines that they like and that represent the type of style they are envisaging,” says Noela. “My idea of traditional, classical, modern or contemporary may be totally different to that of the client.” From there, Noela breaks it down into a particular style and works closely with the clients to provide the best design solutions for the project, while considering their personal tastes and budgets.
“Clients have their own culture which is nice to incorporate, for example, a contemporary apartment with an oriental influence. We offer a complete interior design service including project management from the beginning through to the interior decorating at the end.” Department of Interiors offers services for commercial and residential projects including new constructions, renovations, styling properties prior to sale and custom-made design solutions. Staying inspired is a key factor for Noela, who finds looking back at times past as a great way to provoke ideas for the future. “One of my favourite eras is Art Deco for its simplicity and versatility between 1920 and 1940, and today where it fits quite comfortably in a contemporary setting. Stylising period pieces and working them with contemporary ones can create an eclectic mix.” With many years of experience behind her, Noela sheds light on how interior design trends are moving into a new era of sustainable housing.
The products designers use now must meet certain regulations regarding energy efficiency, while the conservation of natural resources has become a major factor in product selection. Noela believes that “design is radically evolving around energy efficiency and conservation” and she plans for her company to move in this direction. “I would like to see Department of Interiors become a strong force in the conservation of design, preserving heritage and working progressively towards the future of sustainable housing.” In fact, Department of Interiors has become a family affair, with Noela’s daughter Carla joining the team fresh after graduating from a degree in interior design in Canberra. There can only be bigger and better things to come.
For more information visit www.departmentofinteriors.com.au