Phoenix Takes 5 With…Rachel Portaro of Lume Interiors
As part of Phoenix Tapware’s interview series with key designers, architects, builders and plumbers, we take five minutes with Rachel Portaro, owner and creative director of Lume Interiors, to chat about her career, inspiration and current design trends.
Phoenix Tapware: How did you get started in interior design?
Rachel Portaro: I’ve always had a love and interest for home interiors, though once I began our holiday home project I realised very quickly that this is exactly what I wanted to do as a career. I enjoyed every aspect, from sourcing finishes to site visits, and ultimately seeing the project come to life. I enrolled in my design course soon after and haven’t looked back since.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The best part of this job is that there is no typical day. Days can consist of client or supplier meetings, sourcing products and finishes, showroom visits or preparing design concepts. Each day is different, which I love.
Williamstown House project by Lume Interiors featuring Phoenix Tapware’s Vivid Slimline Shower/Wall Mixer and Outlet in Matte Black
What are your favourite types of projects to work on?
I enjoy working on projects where I am allowed the creative freedom to design the ultimate space my clients hope to see at the end of construction, and the flexibility to include bespoke design ideas and finishes that make their home/space unique to their style and lifestyle. Commercial projects are also really fun to work on as they allow you the opportunity to push the design boundaries in terms of colour and finishes that you couldn’t necessarily specify in a residential project.
What do you find to be most rewarding about being a designer?
Creating a home that my clients love and can’t wait to live in and knowing I have been a part of that. Seeing a client actually enjoy the design process with me and excited about the end result is definitely the most rewarding part.
Williamstown House project by Lume Interiors featuring Phoenix Tapware’s Vivid Slimline Pull Out Sink Mixer
What currently inspires you and your work?
I am always inspired by people who have a positive can-do attitude and who aren’t afraid to take the leap to make their dreams happen. This motivates me to always do better in everything I do.
What is your favourite project to date that you’ve worked on?
I am currently working on a new home for a young family. Our aesthetics and personalities aligned right from the beginning and it’s been a real enjoyable project to be a part of. I’ve had the opportunity to include some amazing new finishes in their design and I’m so excited to see the end result!
What are the greatest or most important lessons you have learned along the way in your career?
Always trust your gut, back yourself and your abilities, and if you don’t love it don’t specify it.
What kinds of trends are you seeing in kitchens, bathrooms and laundries?
I am seeing more tactile finishes and hard surfaces, feature lighting, colour and texture included through tapware, tiles, stone, and timber panelling are all popular trends of late, all adding visual interest and a luxurious aesthetic. Clients want these high use spaces to not only be functional to suit their lifestyle, but also a space you feel good walking into every day.
Photography by Dave Kulesza