Mitch Edwards has a professional background in marketing, but don’t let that fool you, he is a talented and bespoke interior designer. Best known for his mid-century, Palm Beach styling, Mitch brings out the potential in fixer-uppers Australia wide.
After recently appearing on The Block with his partner Mark, Mitch chose to hone his skills further by attending the Interior Decoration Essentials 101 for seven weeks at Coco Republic Design School in Sydney.
Read our Q&A with Mitch below as he shares with us how he started in his career, notes on his signature style, and upcoming projects.
Q: Why did you choose the Coco Republic Design School?
A: I’ve been a fan of the Coco Republic stores forever, so I checked out what they had to offer and when I started researching, their courses just stacked up for me against what the others had on offer. My design experience is all by instinct and by experience, so I wanted to learn from true professionals, someone who knew more than me. Coco’s courses are run by teachers who are highly qualified professional design teachers who also hold some seriously impressive bodies of design work, diversity of style and experience.
Q: What course did you select to study and why?
A: I did the interior Decoration Essentials 101 (7 weeks). This is the area in which I am most interested and I’ve had a lot of inquiries from people wanting me to decorate and style their homes. I truly think that if you are going to call yourself an interior designer or decorator and do it in a professional capacity, you need more than just instinct, you must have a clear understanding of the professional fundamentals. I love to play with colour, space and design, and I’m not afraid to challenge or even break the rules - but you need to know the rules that your breaking and why.
Q: What did you get out of the course?
A: Coming out of the course I am more confident in my décor design and I will continue to make some bold choices. The big difference is I can now challenge myself with a clear understanding of the principles and if I’m breaking a rule, I can do it with courage and intent while sharing this passion with clients wanting to express their unique style.
Q: How did you get into the design industry?
A: My professional background is in marketing and communications and when my partner Mark (a psychologist working in a senior corporate capacity) and I became a couple 15 years ago we soon realised we had it all – all except money! We were both earning decent money but through a combination of providing well for my kids and Mark leading a comfortable inner-city Sydney lifestyle, as a team, our funds were not going to give us the lifestyle we wanted. Property presented as an opportunity to get ahead, we started buying rundown inner-city apartments which we renovated and styled and sold. What started as a means to an end had ignited a passion in us both to create beautiful spaces.
Q: What are some of your past accomplishments in this industry and what is your latest design project?
A: In 15 years we have added new life to 20 of our own properties and numerous client homes. Some projects have been complete internal rebuilds and others have been more of cosmetic makeovers. Our latest design project is a 4 level home built into the side of a hill with views forever across Newport Beach Sydney to the ocean. The home would have been on-trend in the early ’80s but it’s now tired, dated and in need of the love it fully deserves.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style is bold, unapologetic, not dictated by the rules and could be described as brave and confident. But in saying that, I am not locked into any one design style, every home deserves to be unique and treated as the only one. There are so many aspects that should dictate the direction in which a home is styled – location, surroundings, the building, and of course the people who live in it. My style has a stamp of bold and I will never take the safe easy colour by numbers route, but I will always include colour.
Q: What/ who inspires/ excites you in the industry?
A: There are so many great designers I take inspiration from that I’m conscious of and many, many more that have no doubt impacted my subconscious that it seems unfair to leave anyone out… But right at this moment, I’m loving watching some of the work by Greg Natale, Steve Cordony, Blainey North, whom all have lots of fun with colour and brave enough to be original. Oh, and whoever is designing the few pieces of homewares creeping in the Gucci clothing stores, I’m loving it. I’m going to research it when I finish what I’m doing right now!
Q: Any plans for future designs or projects?
A: Our Newport Beach house we are just starting is going to be pretty consuming, but not being shy of taking on just that bit too much, we’ve got a few collaboratives design projects kicking off as well as multiple client projects on the go, oh and there might just be a few TV gigs in the works, watch this space.