https://milraypark.com.au/the-magazine/inspirational-creative-clare-le-roy

Inspirational Creative Clare Le Roy

The Little Design Corner
Inspirational Creative Clare Le Roy

It was an unexpected turn that motivated Clare Le Roy to live a life she truly loved and become an interior designer. Milray Park Gold designer Clare, or Dr Le Roy (she has a PhD in change management), commenced her career in the corporate world, steadily climbing the ladder. When her middle son was born with a rare genetic condition with profound disability and serious health issues, her life changed dramatically.

We talk to Clare about life, her career, what she loves about creating homes for people and how she gets inspired.

“…from that point, I was determined to start living a life I loved.”
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner

How did you get into interiors?

My love of interiors has been a lifelong passion and started as a child when I used to move things around in my room every other weekend! But my pathway to running my own interior design business has been a little unconventional. I started my career as a PhD qualified change manager and was working my way up the corporate ladder. About nine years ago I took a break from that world to have my three kids and our lives took a traumatic and unexpected turn when my middle son was born with a rare genetic condition which means that he is profoundly disabled and has very serious health issues. This dramatic change made me realise that you only live once and from that point, I was determined to start living a life I loved.

I had gone back to work after having the kids and as an outlet, I started writing a design blog in 2014. My aim has always been to try and help people with their design problems. Too many people think it’s an overwhelming and difficult problem to pull their homes together so I started writing articles to help decode their design problems. After about six months my blog had grown to a readership of more than 35,000 readers a month and I started getting reader inquiries about me helping me with the design and styling of their homes. I had realised there was a gap in the market for down-to-earth interior design that still had a very high end feel but was functional for families as well as affordable. Over the past few years, my business has grown very fast and I have worked with more than 70 clients on projects of all sizes. I still see my job as a change manager in many ways. The personal transformation and journey that I see clients go on as they embark on improvements to their home is such an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Tell us about your first interiors project?

My first paid work was helping some friends who were moving house and needed to style their home for sale. They had been given a massive quote from a home staging company to style their home for sale but I told them I thought that was a complete waste of money. So instead we put the budget allocated towards purchasing pieces that they could take to their new home and enjoy. They loved this model as their house looked great for the sale AND they got to have new furniture for their next house as well. The outcome was fantastic as they got more than $400,000 over what they wanted for that house.

Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner

Can you tell us about your favourite space in your home?

I’m very lucky to have just finished my own large renovation project. We put on a large extension at the back of our house that is completely flat for our son, who is in a wheel chair. We are all loving having so much room and of course I designed all the interiors myself so have loved seeing it come together. But my favourite new space in the house is definitely our “Men-tertainment room”. The four boys (three big and one small) that I live with named it that – sort of like a man-cave I guess! But it’s basically a media room with a massive lounge where we can all sit together and watch movies and hang out. It’s awesome!

Do you have any favourite pieces?

I have a vintage Parker chair that was given to me by my father. It was the first thing he ever bought with his first pay check back in the 1950s. It has sentimental value for that reason but also because I think I got my love of design from my father, who always decorated his houses with amazing flair!

Where do you get inspiration from?

I’m a serial magazine reader, although don’t have much time to read these days. My favourites are Fete, Inside Out and Houses. But I also get huge inspiration from online blogs and resources. Pinterest and Houzz are huge for getting new ideas and my favourite blogs are Est, Yellowtrace and The Design Files.

What’s your next big challenge?

My ongoing challenge is time! There’s never enough hours in the day to get what I want done.

Whats on your dressing table?

Paw paw cream, hand cream, a faux plant, some decorative items, a drink bottle and massive pile of unread design magazines!

Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner

What is your…..

….Favourite café in Sydney?

I’m always changing but current favourites are Calibrate in Roseville and The Incinerator in Willoughby.

…Favourite thing to cook?

I enjoy making lasagne, as it’s my boys’ favourite meal. But more often than not I have to buy it as I just don’t have the time!

…Best home décor tip?

Don’t take it too seriously! And if you really aren’t confident with what you are doing then get some professional help as you’ll save money in the long run.

Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner
Image: The Little Design Corner

…Furniture wish list item?

A Jardan Nook sofa. I nearly bought one for my new renovation but couldn’t justify the cost while I still have little boys in the house.

…Favourite quote to live by?

Aim high and do your best at everything you try.

Get your space designed by Milray Park Designer Clare Le Roy and see more of her portfolio here!

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