Melbourne's Best Interior Designers: Creating Beautiful and Functional Spaces
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Melbourne’s Best Interior Designers: Creating Beautiful and Functional Spaces

By Prue Miller
Tue, May 2, 2023 9:11amGrey Clock 4 min

Melbourne has a well-deserved reputation for elegance and style with interior design, and with so many to choose from (especially if money is no object!) we thought a short list of the best interior designers, was needed. Please note, these are in no particular order, because everyone is quite frankly, fabulous.

Simone Haag

An impressive portfolio of stand-out projects is the calling card for Simone Haag. Her website opens with a quote from editor of Vogue Living, which is pretty impressive. Young, enthusiastic, brave. Her studio core values are Discovery, Connection, Significance and Belief. Her “Art House” is a firm personal fav.


Christopher Elliott Design

Melbourne Interior Designer

The Richmond base designer has an elevated contemporary style, that transforms spaces in a thoughtful, memorable and meticulous manner using bold colours, clever use of light and interesting textures.


Flack Studio

Just flip through The Elwood House pictures to see the breadth of design expression that comes out of this studio, both residential and commercial. They master the contemporary elegance brief with ease, while still allowing a ‘touch of daring’ as they say, to create a holistic design.


Megan Hounslow

Is it okay to say Megan Hounslow’s paintings are in fact what attracted me first? A bit off topic, but then again maybe not. The Hounslow touch is pictorial and nuanced. The Netherby House project is a study in rapport between contemporary and heritage aesthetics.


Nickolas Gurtler Office

With studio values, such as ‘transportive, immersive and thought-provoking’ , it is no wonder the studio has such an impressive following in residential and commercial design. Their talented curation of items is an art form in itself.




This Abbotsford studio, which offers full architectural services, has an unpretentious honesty that creates happy spaces. Their profile says “interiors created by Heartly are creative, confident, practical and beautiful”, and that’s true. They were shortlisted in the 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards for Canning Street Cottage.


Mr. Mitchell

If repeat and referral business is a signpost to a good studio, then Mr Mitchell deserves to be right up there. Twenty-three years in business, and still producing vital, magazine worthy spaces that will outlast fads and trends – because as we all know, elegance is forever in style. His Mittagong project?  To die for.



Alexander Pollock

Aaron Wong leads the award-winning Alexander Pollock team as they create outstanding interiors for private residential and commercial residential projects. While all the homes are Insta worthy, their command of eclectic design is outstanding – the Kew House, for example, is brilliant.


Six Pieces Interior Design


Finding the perfect piece for the space is a drawcard to this full-service design studio. Although mentioned in other studios, the quality of 2D and 3D renders is fantastic here, guided by the fully qualified and experienced principals Caroline Lawton and Titia Huggard.

Camilla Molders Design


Not just a great place for design, but also a strong advocate for environmental responsibility. But back to interior design, with 20 years’ experience under her belt, contacts and resources are no issue for the studios informed, bespoke designs – from lofts to mansions, this practice is a go to.


Is it better to hire an interior designer?

Interior designers can be a better option if you’re designing a whole house because they can oversee the entire project for a more cohesive look. Interior designers also have access to trade prices, and often have longstanding relationships with trades and suppliers that can lead to lower costs, a smoother project and a better outcome in the long run.


How much does an interior designer cost in Melbourne?

Like most things, you get what you pay for. An inexperienced designer may charge between $50 to $90 per hour, but the average cost is between $100 and $300 per hour. It’s best to discuss budgets and expectations upfront to avoid disappointment or confusion.


At what stage should I hire an interior designer?

If you’re building a house, it’s wise to get an interior designer on board as early as possible, ideally during the planning stage. Often, they can help with critical details such as kitchen layout, storage options and materials selection, which will give you a realistic idea of budget.


How do I find the right interior designer?

Social media is your friend here. Many interior designers are active on Instagram, posting progress images, as well as finished spaces. Just be careful to check that the images they post are their own work. Alternatively, word of mouth is still a valuable source. If you visit a house, a restaurant or even a boutique hotel you like, ask who designed it. Be sure to create your own portfolio of images to take to your first meeting to help convey your ideas.



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Italy, Land of Uncollected Garbage, Combines Running With Trash Pickup

At the World Plogging Championship, contestants have lugged in tires, TVs and at least one Neapolitan coffee maker

Wed, Oct 4, 2023 4 min

GENOA, Italy—Renato Zanelli crossed the finish line with a rusty iron hanging from his neck while pulling 140 pounds of trash on an improvised sled fashioned from a slab of plastic waste.

Zanelli, a retired IT specialist, flashed a tired smile, but he suspected his garbage haul wouldn’t be enough to defend his title as world champion of plogging—a sport that combines running with trash collecting.

A rival had just finished the race with a chair around his neck and dragging three tires, a television and four sacks of trash. Another crossed the line with muscles bulging, towing a large refrigerator. But the strongest challenger was Manuel Jesus Ortega Garcia, a Spanish plumber who arrived at the finish pulling a fridge, a dishwasher, a propane gas tank, a fire extinguisher and a host of other odds and ends.

“The competition is intense this year,” said Zanelli. Now 71, he used his fitness and knack for finding trash to compete against athletes half his age. “I’m here to help the environment, but I also want to win.”

Italy, a land of beauty, is also a land of uncollected trash. The country struggles with chronic littering, inefficient garbage collection in many cities, and illegal dumping in the countryside of everything from washing machines to construction waste. Rome has become an emblem of Italy’s inability to fix its trash problem.

So it was fitting that at the recent World Plogging Championship more than 70 athletes from 16 countries tested their talents in this northern Italian city. During the six hours of the race, contestants collect points by racking up miles and vertical distance, and by carrying as much trash across the finish line as they can. Trash gets scored based on its weight and environmental impact. Batteries and electronic equipment earn the most points.

A mobile app ensures runners stay within the race’s permitted area, approximately 12 square miles. Athletes have to pass through checkpoints in the rugged, hilly park. They are issued gloves and four plastic bags to fill with garbage, and are also allowed to carry up to three bulky finds, such as tires or TVs.

Genoa, a gritty industrial port city in the country’s mountainous northwest, has a trash problem that gets worse the further one gets away from its relatively clean historic core. The park that hosted the plogging championship has long been plagued by garbage big and small.

“It’s ironic to have the World Plogging Championship in a country that’s not always as clean as it could be. But maybe it will help bring awareness and things will improve,” said Francesco Carcioffo, chief executive of Acea Pinerolese Industriale, an energy and recycling company that’s been involved in sponsoring and organizing the race since its first edition in 2021. All three world championships so far have been held in Italy.

Events that combine running and trash-collecting go back to at least 2010. The sport gained traction about seven years ago when a Swede, Erik Ahlström, coined the name plogging, a mashup of plocka upp, Swedish for “pick up,” and jogging.

“If you don’t have a catchy name you might as well not exist,” said Roberto Cavallo, an Italian environmental consultant and longtime plogger, who is on the world championship organizing committee together with Ahlström.

Saturday’s event brought together a mix of wiry trail runners and environmental activists, some of whom looked less like elite athletes.

“We like plogging because it makes us feel a little less guilty about the way things are going with the environment,” said Elena Canuto, 29, as she warmed up before the start. She came in first in the women’s ranking two years ago. “This year I’m taking it a bit easier because I’m three months pregnant.”

Around two-thirds of the contestants were Italians. The rest came from other European countries, as well as Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Algeria, Ghana and Senegal.

“I hope to win so people in Senegal get enthusiastic about plogging,” said Issa Ba, a 30-year-old Senegalese-born factory worker who has lived in Italy for eight years.

“Three, two, one, go,” Cavallo shouted over a loudspeaker, and the athletes sprinted off in different directions. Some stopped 20 yards from the starting line to collect their first trash. Others took off to be the first to exploit richer pickings on wooded hilltops, where batteries and home appliances lay waiting.

As the hours went by, the athletes crisscrossed trails and roads, their bags became heavier. They tagged their bulky items and left them at roadsides for later collection. Contestants gathered at refreshment points, discussing what they had found as they fueled up on cookies and juice. Some contestants had brought their own reusable cups.

With 30 minutes left in the race, athletes were gathering so much trash that the organisers decided to tweak the rules: in addition to their four plastic bags, contestants could carry six bulky objects over the finish line rather than three.

“I know it’s like changing the rules halfway through a game of Monopoly, but I know I can rely on your comprehension,” Cavallo announced over the PA as the athletes braced for their final push to the finish line.

The rule change meant some contestants could almost double the weight of their trash, but others smelled a rat.

“That’s fantastic that people found so much stuff, but it’s not really fair to change the rules at the last minute,” said Paul Waye, a Dutch plogging evangelist who had passed up on some bulky trash because of the three-item rule.

Senegal will have to wait at least a year to have a plogging champion. Two hours after the end of Saturday’s race, Ba still hadn’t arrived at the finish line.

“My phone ran out of battery and I got lost,” Ba said later at the awards ceremony. “I’ll be back next year, but with a better phone.”

The race went better for Canuto. She used an abandoned shopping cart to wheel in her loot. It included a baby stroller, which the mother-to-be took as a good omen. Her total haul weighed a relatively modest 100 pounds, but was heavy on electronic equipment, which was enough for her to score her second triumph.

“I don’t know if I’ll be back next year to defend my title. The baby will be six or seven months old,” she said.

In the men’s ranking, Ortega, the Spanish plumber, brought in 310 pounds of waste, racked up more than 16 miles and climbed 7,300 feet to run away with the title.

Zanelli, the defending champion, didn’t make it onto the podium. He said he would take solace from the nearly new Neapolitan coffee maker he found during the first championship two years ago. “I’ll always have my victory and the coffee maker, which I polished and now display in my home,” he said.

Contestants collected more than 6,600 pounds of trash. The haul included fridges, bikes, dozens of tires, baby seats, mattresses, lead pipes, stoves, chairs, TVs, 1980s-era boomboxes with cassettes still inside, motorcycle helmets, electric fans, traffic cones, air rifles, a toilet and a soccer goal.

“This park hasn’t been this clean since the 15 century,” said Genoa’s ambassador for sport, Roberto Giordano.


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