Lorena Gaxiola Q&A
Q. Why partner with an architect?
A. Interior design and architecture complement each other beautifully, but if managed separately, it can create a disconnect between exterior and interior environments. At the same time, if you have one or the other manage the entire process alone, the result is often weakened on one or more specific aspects. Joining forces with an architect will help the team work toward a shared triumph and inevitably strengthen the end product.
Q. What is your perception of the Australian luxury market?
A. After being in Sydney for the past eight years, I see tremendous growth of culture diversity. Marketing campaigns in real estate were once streamlined and I didn’t notice much progression at first, but competition has skyrocketed tremendously.
The hospitality industry, on the other hand, is adapting to culinary variety. Fine dining is increasing, causing a demand for creative and interactive spaces that entertain the customer.
To me, Australia is a utopia. I’ve always appreciated how Australian culture celebrates forward-thinking creative, but I think great ideas often need to be enhanced by original and unique products. Unfortunately, Australians do not have a wide variety of resources that, for example, the US may have, hence the reason why we see the same product being used in the same way time and time again. There is a need for a wider range of variety in the luxury market because the elite do not want what others have.
Q. How many projects have you designed over the past 20 years?
A. I’ve designed over four hundred projects, merchandising project fit-outs exclusively for developers, looking to attract a very specific buyer profile. I have worked on single-family and multi-family projects from the ground up, for all budgets and styles and in various markets, from entry level to multi-million dollar homes and everything in between. I like to be involved from concept design and guide the architecture through comprehensive research of the target market and its living behaviours. I have also participated in a variety of unique projects in hospitality, retail, government, commercial and public spaces. Most recently, I developed an entire lifestyle brand designed to fill a void in the market for beautifully crafted products that are also functional and stylish but, most importantly, display artwork that transmits a story that people connect with.
Q. What is your background? What made you study interior design? And, how long have you been playing a part in the property development industry?
A. I was born and raised in Mexico, educated in the United States and recently imported to Australia. My father and my brother are both architects and I grew up with that strong creative influence. I wanted to follow my father’s footsteps until he introduced me to interior design, suggesting I be a complementary service—an added value, if you will—to his architecture practice by earning a degree that offered an in-depth study of the ways people behave and respond to their physical environments. I have been practicing interiors for over 20 years.