Q&A WITH INTERN MONICA BIRD

We have been so lucky having star interior design intern Monica Bird helping us out in the AKD studio. Her colourful personality and lipstick has certainly brightened up our Monday mornings over the past few months!

Growing up in Sydney’s North Shore and spending summer holidays at the beach ignited Monica’s love of nature from a very early age, which she now cites as her main source of inspiration when it comes to her approach to interior design. Coupled with a mother and grandmother who are both amazing painters, the creative gene has clearly been passed down to this lovely lady.

Monica describes her design journey in her own words: 
‘For my HSC major work I made a series of lampshades and won an award for them which was really exciting and encouraged me to pursue a career in design, so after high school I enrolled at the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS). I loved it, however after a couple of years I wanted to take a break from full-time study so I travelled around Europe for a year. When I returned home I started working as an Account Manager in a marketing agency, however three years later I was sitting at my desk bored and unhappy and realized that I needed to go back to doing what I really loved – interiors. When I walk into a space I notice everything from paint finish to door handles, and everything in between is what makes me truly happy! Pretty soon after I ended my marketing career and enrolled in TAFE to finish my interior design degree!’

Before Monica leaves us to finish her Interior Design Degree at the Design Centre Enmore (DCE) at Sydney TAFE, we sat down with the self-confessed ‘Queen of Puns and Dad Jokes’ to ask her some serious questions . . .

THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Optimistic, fun, spontaneous! 

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?

A lawyer. I wanted to wear a suit, have a briefcase and earn lots of money! 

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

In terms of design it’s more a ‘what’ rather than a ‘who’. I am inspired by nature. The interesting patterns, colours and unusual organic forms are limitless and really influence my approach to spatial planning and materiality selection.  

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT?

My favourite design magazines are always on rotation! My go-to interior magazine is Frame as it explores interior architecture and publishes cutting edge inspiring spaces. I love Belle for its beautiful interiors and for sourcing the latest fixtures and fittings. And I’ll be a Vogue lover for life with its lush spaces, both local and international.   

WHAT DIGITAL MEDIA DO YOU DEVOUR AS A STUDENT OF INTERIOR DESIGN?

There are so many amazing creative outlets at the tips of our fingertips these days! I get my daily dose of digital design inspiration from Dezeen, ArchDaily and Yellowtrace. I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Instagram HAHA. Even if I only have 5 spare minutes in my day I’ll always check out @kellywearstler and @camillewalala

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

I don’t follow trends but nor do I consider myself a trendsetter. For example, I’ll put together outfits that are an extension of my random personality. I’m obsessed with animal prints, patterns and am not afraid to mix all of these!

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL?

Working as an interior designer in New York. I would love to experience living in a new city and am drawn to the Big Apple as I am intrigued by its eclecticism and feel it has a lot to offer in terms of creativity. As an emerging interior designer, being exposed to forward thinking global design would challenge what I have learned so far and hopefully make me a stronger designer! I’m also obsessed with the TV show Girls, which is set in New York . . .

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

Definitely the welcoming and lovely studio team! And being able to see how Alex and the designers work on projects from an initial consultation to developing a concept design and material selection, right through to construction and even assisting at a photoshoot (or two!) has been a great learning experience and truly inspiring! Thank you so much for having me around these past few months!

Image 1 via © Monica Bird / All other images via ©Alexandra Kidd Design