When we first spoke to Lauren a few years ago for our TalkFEST event, we were excited to learn a little more about her design background and passion for teaching others. When recently offered the popup podcast studio at Melbourne Central, we reached out to chat to Lauren again and was delighted to have her come into town and talk to Kribashini in front of a crowd of shoppers - not daunting at all!!! Talking through all of the many and varied design roles in the industry, we think you'll gain a little more insight into all of the lingo in this chat. Enjoy!


S3 E46_Banner_Lauren Li

Design roles - do you know the difference?

Lauren li from sisalla breaks it down for us

should i know the difference?

One thing our BuildHers often struggle with when they start our course is navigating all the different design roles.

There are so many specialist designers in the industry. What do they all do? And how do you know which ones you need for your project?

in this podcast we are talking about the different kind of design roles

We thought it would be really fun to chat with Lauren Li to help shed some light on the different designers in the game and what they all do. Lauren is the Founding Director of Sisalla, a beautiful Melbourne-based interior design studio. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Lauren spends her time designing, teaching, mentoring, and running courses. Needless to say, she knows her stuff!

In this episode, Kribashini and Lauren chat about the different design roles, what they do and how they differ from each other. Lauren also shares her hot tip for designing and creating a space that you love, and that is to do what you want! Don't worry too much about staying safe or following trends. Think about the way you want to live, and design accordingly.


Let us know what you think about this one, won't you? If you'd like to leave us a little review, that would really help us out too... it's so easy to do in the App where you get your podcasts. Thanks in advance! xx

If you have a topic or question you'd like us to cover, contact us here.


    • [2:45]: Define what you're looking for and find someone who matches those skills. You might want to go with an interior designer or an interior architect, who is someone who does spatial planning, thinking about the space from the inside out.

    • [4:00]: If a designer is not a registered building practitioner, they can't submit drawings so will need to work with a draftsperson or architect.

    • [5:30]: How an interior designer will think about a space in terms of daily flow but an interior decorator will usually come in at the tail end of a project to pull the project together.

    • [6:50]: A lot of Lauren's clients have decision fatigue. She shares about a client who came to her for a new splashback and how it transformed into completely re-doing the floor plan.

    • [8:40]: Lauren talks about getting to know her clients and how understanding the way they live helps give the best outcome

    • [10:05]: The word stylist has almost replaced decorator but Lauren wants to bring it back. There is a lot of skill in creating custom furnishings which a decorator will do. A stylist is someone who will buy off the shelf and arrange them in an artful way.

    • [12:15]: Styling for a photoshoot is a lot of work and they view a space in 2D as opposed to thinking about real life.

    • [13:30]: Teaming up with different specialists will give you the best outcome.

    • [14:45]: Property styling sounds fun but it's so much effort that culminates into one day. We all have a different way that we like to work in our own projects.

    • [15:50]: Lauren likes to plan and have visuals to show her clients what the project might look like.

    • [16:40]: Think about how you want to live. Make it personal to who you are and don't be swayed by what's trendy or playing it too safe.

    • [18:00]: Unless you're building to sell, don't think about who will buy your property. Do what you want to do and enjoy it. People often fear doing the wrong thing.

    • [20:20]: A lot of people have rooms they don't use. Lauren is drawn to a smaller space with beautiful furnishings and quality fittings.

    • [21:20]: Lauren talks about The Design Society, the courses on offer and her Facebook group.

    • [25:15]: The building and renovating is a journey.


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We have several Facebook Groups at BuildHer Collective.


This group is for members only - BuildHers and  DevelopHers. This is a closed group for women who are doing our Build Like a BuildHer program or who have joined our DevelopHers Masterclass.


Anyone is more than welcome to join our Women who Design, Decorate, Renovate & Build group. You will note that it's a closed group. Just ask to join and if you're into building and renovating.

This is such an amazing and supportive FREE community, so come on and join in the building goodness!