Up and coming interior designer Lisa Katsikitis is making waves. The recent TAFE SA Graduate shares her passion points and future aspirations.
PHOTOS: KRISTY BURNS
Lisa Katsikitis helps turn people’s interior dreams into reality, designing bathrooms and kitchens that are functional yet beautiful.
The school-teacher-turned-designer wanted a change in career pace and to work in a field that creatively fulfilled her when she enrolled in the Diploma of Interior Design at TAFE SA.
“I was looking for a program that was practical and hands-on. The TAFE SA lecturers are really well-connected to the industry, and I love the possibilities of [interior design],” she says.
“The course was comprehensive in skills that weren’t just drawing, but also the many forms of communication you need.”
Since graduating, Lisa has been employed as a design specialist for leading renovation company, Brilliant SA. Her passion is designing accessible spaces that are also dignified, modifying kitchens and bathrooms with mobility fixtures that don’t resemble a stark, aged-care facility.
“People should still be able to have beautiful homes,” she says. “I had a client where grab rails also doubled as towel rails. [Products] don’t have to be hospital blue or chrome – they can look gorgeous.”
A sweet spot for Lisa is the nexus of relationship-building, problem-solving and flexing creative muscles. The interior designer enjoys gleaning clues from clients’ homes as to what colours, finishes and materials they like, solving their structural household woes while reflecting their personal taste throughout the design.
“It’s lovely getting swept up in the excitement of seeing the vision come to life,” she says. “If you can tap into something that reflects the personality and interests of the client, that’s going to give you the perfect inspiration. I get personal satisfaction solving a problem creatively while making clients happy.”
Lisa also naturally gravitates towards biophilic design, drawing inspiration from nature and interweaving outdoor elements into interior spaces to promote wellbeing. Outside of work, she does illustrations of native botanicals and finds her love for Australia’s landscape – its colours, shapes and textures – organically infiltrate her design mind. In 2023, she predicts more people will use native shades and natural materials in their homes.
“People want that beautiful Australian colour palette,” she says. “Green and raw timber is a total winner. What we’re creating inside isn’t replicating the outside, but it’s sympathetic to and pays respect to the landscape.”
While she only graduated in 2021, Lisa has already started to make her mark in the interior industry. She was a finalist in the 2022 Kitchen Bathroom Design Institute of Australia National Design Awards and received an Executive Officer’s Special Mention Award for her accessible undergraduate work. She was tasked with a complex brief for her final TAFE SA subject, which saw her create a kitchen space for a retired couple where the wife was wheelchair-bound.
“The [design] brought together every skill I learnt across two years,” she says. “It was a labour of love.”
DIPLOMA OF INTERIOR DESIGN
Colour your world with an exciting career in interior design. This nationally accredited Diploma from TAFE SA will help you to understand the furnishings, finishes and aesthetics that are integral to creating outstanding interiors.
Learn about colour schemes, lighting, the principles of design, project documentation, creating 2D and 3Dforms, and producing digital models.
The wide range of subjects can be tailored to suit all design interests. Refine your design skills, build your business abilities and graduate ready to join this in-demand industry.
Course Code: MSF50218
Duration: Up to two years full-time or part-time equivalent
Delivery: Tonsley Campus
Course Admission Requirements: Nil
To better understand the link between construction and design, Interior Design graduates may also consider Certificate IV in Residential Drafting [CPP40121] or the Diploma of Building Design [CPP50921]
Visit tafesa.edu.au to learn more.