An interview with TD Creative Agency
A Brisbane based interior design agency
Today we interview Tara Denis the founder and chief interior designer at TD Creative Agency. TD Creative is a Brisbane based interior design office that conceptualises, designs, decorates and styles Interiors & Events.
Tara shares with us an honest and open account of how she found and chose a path in interior design, her design style and her favourite One Fine Print.
Who are you and what are you about?
I am Tara Dennis, and I am the Founder / Chief Interior Designer at TD Creative Agency.
I am all about interiors. Every type and shape, every size and form. It’s what I think about, dream about and work within, and the interest is all encompassing. As a child, I loved redecorating my bedroom, changing the décor depending on my favourite movie at the time, and no doubt driving my parents crazy with the requests to paint this and move that, and constant reinvention. As a teenager however, my love of interiors took a back seat to a social life, and I forgot the creative side of my soul, leading to a bachelors degree in business management. In my early twenties, I thought a role in corporate property sales suited me just fine… I lasted less than two years, enrolling in an interior degree, and jumping back into the creative realm. Three years into my degree I started TDCA and became self employed. Three years later and TDCA is made up of myself and my assistants Hayley and Netania, and we work across hospitality, retail, commercial and residential interiors and now also design, style and coordinate weddings and events. It hasn’t exactly been a linear journey, but it’s been entirely organic and I am so proud of the business we are creating.
Our work is humble and responsive. We just want to create the perfect background to everyday life.
Describe your design style.
My personal design style is dark and moody, rich in texture, masculine with a luxe side and layered with stories and moments of friction. TDCA’s design style however, is multi-faceted and a reflection of our clients and their brief and target market. We like spaces that are comfortable and invite you to stay a little longer, but are functional, practical and most importantly, enjoyable.
What is your design motto or mantra that you try and live by?
This is hard to answer, and I thought about it for a while, but I can’t say that I have a specific design motto or mantra that I try and live by. I have a lot of general life or business mottos that inspire my thoughts and give guidance in my decisions, but not any that are specific to design. I think this is because the design of all our work is a direct reflection of the brief received and requested outcome from the client. Ideas such as “the devil is in the details” and “never assume” and “always triple check” feel like common sense and relate more to processes rather than design. Perhaps I can’t recall a specific design motto or mantra because I’m open to different styles, concepts and perspectives, which means I need to keep an open mind and not be fixed into preconceived ideas.
How important is art in a space?
To answer this, we must consider, what actually is art ? Is it a painting on a wall or a sculpture on a coffee table?. Perhaps it’s a commissioned piece of furniture, created in close collaboration with the owner of the home and an independent artist, or a lighting feature, throwing shadows onto the wall, creating an abstract installation. Whatever the form, art is much like beauty – its value depends on how it’s perceived in the eye of the beholder, and as such, its importance is tied to the end user. At TDCA, we personally believe that art in a print, painting or sculpture form is pertinent to an interior. We source and include these items right from the commencement of a concept, and ensure that all pieces tie in with the surrounding elements, whether that’s a piece of furniture, curtains over a window or perhaps paint on a wall. We feel that art in these forms is important as it provides another layer to a space that is inherently unusable, yet entirely cohesive due to its expressive form.
What advice would you give to a client when choosing art for their home?
Buy what you love and it will work. Don’t worry about trying to stick with a theme, or a concept or a style. Don’t worry about if things will match or work together or feel cohesive. An art piece needs to speak to you personally. It has to have meaning, and needs to convey a sense of your self when you are not around to explain. If it speaks to you, then its enjoyment is coming from the heart, and if you only choose things that come from your heart, then they’ll always work together.
Which is your favourite One Fine Print and why?
With my personal design style in mind, it should come as no surprise that “Press on to your destination” is my favourite One Fine Print given its moody, atmospheric vibes. I remember the first time I saw this print – I was instantly struck by the haunting moment and story it contains – where are the logs going to, where have they come from, what is their intended use? It contains so many different little threads of stories, and I love the strong graphic of the logs and truck against the muted, foggy surroundings. This print makes me think, and it also makes me feel, and this is why we’ve had it pinned to our office board for a year or so now.
Can you explain the mood board you created and what your process was?
The mood board I put together is heavy on texture and natural tones, reflecting the vibes I get from my favourite One Fine Print. When I look at the print and think about the fog, it makes me want to find a warm, comfortable space, filled with lots of books, tea, wood and coffee, savouring a moment and pausing in time. It makes me think about the senses and how we interact with our interior surroundings, so I put in spaces that are highly considered, spaces that I feel would tell a story just like the One Fine Print, asking questions like, what conversations has this space heard? Who does it belong to? Where do they come from? With my mood board I attempted to create depth, and layering, and create a sense of intrigue.
What would be your absolute dream interior design project?
Right now, we are actually working on a few dream projects – whether because they have a dream client, brief, space or style, or they’re a dream because we’re undertaking them much earlier in the history of TDCA than I was anticipating. But, if we’re talking absolutes, then I’d have to say a dream project would consist of a client that was wholeheartedly trusting, a budget that was generous enough for details but limiting enough to create challenges, a space that was a complete blank slate that had flexibility of services integration, a brief that was open and a schedule that was relaxed, in a killer location with a hand picked team of experienced contractors and artisans. That would be the absolute dream.
What is your favourite place to find inspiration?
My favourite place to find inspiration, aside from the encyclopedic directory that is Pinterest, is in the every day elements of life and moments of travel. It might be in the curve of an armchair or the pattern on a poster – inspiration can be found all around us if you look at the world with an open perspective.