Q&A with internationally acclaimed interior designer Anna Giannis

Melbourne born and raised Anna Giannis is an internationally acclaimed interior designer and multidisciplinary stylist with over two decades in the industry. We sat down with Anna and chatted about her breakthrough experience, the type of styling she does, as well as her favourite project she’s worked on:

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Q: When and why did you become an interior designer/stylist?

From the age of eight I remember dusting our lounge room and then moving items around. My design DNA gene I inherited from both of my parents; my father a skilled furniture maker, carpenter/ builder, and my mother a seamstress.

I have a strong, natural spirit and love for architecture, interiors and textiles. Everywhere I go I am drawn to looking up and down to discover what elements surround me in a building, hotel and people’s homes. After university I went into the corporate world, however five years later I wanted to fulfil my passion and went back to RMIT to study Design and Decoration.

Q: What was your breakthrough experience?

Launching my own homewares label and then manufacturing in China was the springboard to many overseas projects. The biggest breakthrough experience was when I was in New York setting up an office on Fifth Avenue to launch my homewares collection.

Q: How would you describe your personal aesthetic? What is the style of your own home?

My personal aesthetic is drawn to colour. I love mixing eras and furniture styles. Homes need to be more about the people living there rather than following trends and formulas.

Q: What sort of styling do you do?

I mainly do residential, bespoke properties; however I am currently working on a commercial project.

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Q: What is the biggest challenge of being an interior stylist?

Scheduling time out to re-energise and travel (when we can again...).

Q: Who have been some of your clients?

Very private, wealthy individuals…

Q: Do you have any personal favourite projects you've worked on?

Last year I completed a farm house and now I’m working on a restoration and renovation double-storey Edwardian in inner-Melbourne.

Q: Anything else you want to share? A funny moment since working in the field, a moment of crisis (Covid!) or a learning curve?

I would love to see people experiment more with colour and texture, wall colour, wallpaper and textured furnishings.

For Covid learning: our homes more than ever need to be functional as well as comforting to our souls; and we need to invest in a good home office!

If you were a ____ you would be a _____:

A flower: Peonies, as they are bold, happy and elegant.

A TV show: Velvet – a Spanish show on Netflix which was based on a family-owned fashion empire.

An iconic woman: Melina Mercuri – a Greek actress, singer and politician.

A colour: A combination of black and white for its boldness and brightness.

A dessert: A souffle – it’s light, intricate and unexpected.

A song: La Belle by Lady Marmalade, because it's happy and timeless.

A cocktail: A martini – it’s strong, unique and classic.