This March, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day by featuring a business minded and interior focused woman every week throughout the month, starting off with one of our own, Nicole Arvela.
Coming into her 13th year with Life Interiors, Nicole started off as a Sales Consultant with the brand and has become one of our most valued (and most stylish!) team members. She now heads the Creative team as our Senior Buyer and Creative Director, overseeing so much of what content and furniture makes it out to you.
Her stunning home is filled with Life pieces, including her most recent bedroom addition, the Cuba Rattan Chest of Drawers, which ties in perfectly with her existing Norah Rattan Bed and Norah Bedside.
Nicole lets us into her home as we chat to her about all things design and what it's like to work at Life Interiors.
How would you describe your personal interior style?
My personal style is definitely a mix, but you could sum it up as modern eclectic.
Our home definitely has a vintage vibe; whilst I really love modern furniture pieces, our home has quite a lot of vintage pieces that are really special to us. I like to mix new and old together as I find that this can create a space that has character and soul.
Our home has a slight seventies colour palette, with warm earthy tones, blended in with pops of colour through artwork or homewares. Overall, we have definitely chosen a more earthy palette to live within as it creates a sense of calm, and ties into our bush surroundings.
For Life Interiors, our aesthetic is drawn from a vision for Modern Australian Living, which is a love of comfort, quality and a relaxed lifestyle. Our ethos is to provide everyday Australians with great design that is accessible to everyone.
We work really hard to create products and collections that are practical, functional but we are also on the lookout for key trends that we can apply to our ranges. Our buying team is always on the lookout for new fabrics, colours and products to add to our growing range.
Tell us about your role here at Life Interiors and what your favourite part of it is.
My role is Senior Buyer and Creative Director. I head our local buying division, which includes selection and curation of our local brands and products; I also assist with our overseas imported furniture selections and curation.
Covid has really changed our buying process, our team use to go overseas and locally to visit trade shows multiple times a year, but now we are doing things virtually which is quite a change, but it gives us more time to really work on curating and selecting the products that we are wanting to introduce to market more specifically.
As the head of Creative, I manage the process of concept-to-creation from start to finish. From a buying perspective at the end of every season our team analyses our product mix, what is working and what isn't, which products resonate with our customers, and how we can improve our overall assortment. We will then have a clear vision for the products we are looking for coming into the new season.
The buying and development time between placing an order and actually getting the products in store can sometimes take up to 6 months. So, we are buying ahead and working on marketing plans, visual merchandising, and content creation in between, which then rolls out into all of our other areas in the business and most importantly, on our website.
The favourite part of my role would have to be our content creation, we have an amazing photography and styling duo that we work with, Citizens of Style, and the ability to create spaces with all of the furniture products we have purchased is really an amazing end to end process. I absolutely love what I do and the company that I work for, and feel extremely grateful to be able to work in an industry that I am so passionate about!What do you consider to be the most important/ rewarding thing about being a woman in 2022?
I am honestly so lucky to work within an industry that really nurtures and encourages women and I feel like that will continue and grow for 2022 and beyond. I also feel very privileged to work for a growing company that is made up of 75% of women employees, girl power!
Life’s co-founders and business owners, Geoff & Basil, are a great testament to men supporting women in their professional development, and trusting us within some major roles within the company. I am also so lucky to work closely with two amazing women in our Local buying team, and they motivate me every day.
Life work’s with a number of Australian homewares brands, and the majority of them are creative women with whom I have had the pleasure to work with over the years, the passion they have for their products and brands is truly inspiring.
So, tell us about your newest Life product and how you styled it within your home?
The newest Life edition to our home is the Cuba Rattan 3 Drawer Chest of Drawers.
We also have the Norah Queen Bed and Norah Bedside Tables, which we have had for a couple of years now and we absolutely love them, so I choose the Cuba to really tie in and complement our Norah setup.
Our lounge and dining space has a lot of our vintage and more walnut furniture pieces, so we wanted something a bit different, modern and light for our bedroom, so all pieces of furniture being in oak has really brightened up the space.
I love art and homewares and love to layer them together, the palette was chosen around a brown and earth toned artwork from my local favourite Noel and Gladys, by artist Ash Lelie. I then teamed it up with some amazing new art prints from The Poster Club for some pops of colour, and have featured the beautiful organic Aura Mirror, which are all available to purchase through Life.
Add in a stack of homewares books, some super cool ceramics and candle holders and the space is complete.
If you could choose 5 products from our entire collection, what would they be?
Offset Dining Chair, Casablanca Dining Table, Monet Armchair, Artemis Mirror, Tivoli Floor Lamp