Kristel Marshall  from Joy Design


Words: Manuela Millan
Photos: Cricket Saleh

We caught up with Kristel Marshall from Joy Design to chat about her recent refurbishment of The George Public Bar AKA The Snakepit, an iconic Melbourne club in St Kilda. Kristel is a powerhouse, taking charge of the interior design, project management and also running the practice. We love the tones, materiality and thoughtful details that she has put into this project, and we think you’ll love it too!

 Photo credit:  Stephanie Rooney

Photo credit: Stephanie Rooney

 
The collaborative element of the design process is always exciting for me, the working and re-working of ideas to refine a design. I love the rush of ideas that happens when I get started on a new project ... I love watching what I envisioned in my head come to life
— Kristel Marshall
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MM:When did you start your interior practice?

KM: We are about to turn 2.

 

MM: What’s your favorite part of being a designer?

KM: Starting out, I was surprised at just how intimate my job is. My residential clients bring me into their homes, their private spaces and tell me how they live. I have really enjoyed getting to know my clients on such a personal level. When a project finishes, I miss them (and have been known to send texts telling them just how much!)

The collaborative element of the design process is always exciting for me, the working and re-working of ideas to refine a design. I love the rush of ideas that happens when I get started on a new project, and I know it is a cliché, but I love watching what I envisioned in my head come to life.  

 

MM: What has been the hardest part of designing a public/hospitality job?

KM: It hasn’t really been hard per se, but hospitality spaces often have to perform multiple roles. My clients have needed their spaces to move, from bar to function space and back again.

 

MM: Can you define your style?

KM: Personal. I have an ever-evolving home (just ask my husband and daughters!) that is an eclectic mix of hand me down, handmade and hand-picked from vintage stores. I adore the Parisian ability to seamlessly blend contemporary design pieces with antiques and vintage. I think there is something very special about a space that tells a story about its inhabitants.

 

MM: What can't you live without?

KM: iCal. My little family. And blush.

 

MM: Who/What are you most influenced by?

KM: Art. My interiors often start from an artwork. I love specifying interesting, inspiring art and I love drawing out a colour palette for the room it is going to star in. 

 

MM: What was your childhood like? Did you grow up in a creative household?

KM: It was a creative childhood. I was always “making”. One of my most prized possessions was my Crayola Caddy and I lusted after my sister’s 72 pack of Derwent’s. I was always colouring something and I have always been drawn to how colours work together. My mum was a big contributor to tapping into our creatives sides when we were small. She introduced us to art and opera and literature and music. I got my first camera when I was about 8, a Kodak Ektralight and I was a very keen photographer. I remember how exciting it was to wait 2 weeks for processing! I still love photography, it’s a passion project.

 

MM: What is the first thing you do in the morning?

KM: Cup of tea, then conversation, then making kids’ breakfast.

 

MM: Can you recommend a good read / good playlist?

KM: I have just finished Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (beautiful writing, so vivid) and White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Both strong female authors and I totally think you should read them if you have the time. Florida (also by Lauren Groff) and Circe by Madeline Miller are next on the list and I have also heard great things about An American Marriage by Tayari Jones so I am keen to read that one.  I also wish I had an infinite design and fashion coffee table book specific bank account! That would be amazing!

 

MM: Can you recommend a coffee place and a restaurant in Melbourne?

KM: I am coming at this question from the point of view that when we have coffee/eat out these days we are predominantly accompanied by two small children! So, with that in mind, we really love Hawk & Hunter in Ripponlea for great coffee and awesome colouring in pages! Hawker Hall on Chapel and Illona Staller in Balaclava are our current favourites for after 4pm. Both places are super welcoming of little people and don't get cross if they knock over their water, drop the crayons, cry. Always a good thing! Plus, they serve really amazing cocktails.

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