How Interior Designer Tali Roth Decorated Her Melbourne Home In Record Time
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to Caulfield North in Melbourne, where Tali Roth and her family have relocated in the past few months, following years spent living in New York.
A few months ago, interior designer Tali Roth and her husband and children moved into their new home – and they didn’t change a thing. No renovations, no touch-ups, no little projects. Just straight into the space in Caulfield North, which used to belong to Roth’s grandmother. It was she who built the building originally, and after she passed away sadly in 2020, it was made available for Roth and her family, who had recently returned to Melbourne after living in New York for several years.
In the space of just four months, Roth has transformed the building into a family home, purely off the back of the furniture, artwork and decorating accents that she already owned in New York. “I didn’t know that we would be living here, so it’s really all of my existing furniture from our life in New York simply rearranged differently,” she explains. It’s a testament to Roth’s eye as a designer, in-demand with clients both in the US and at home, that she has been able to so seamlessly translate her Manhattan-cool interior style into a fresh and modern Melbourne home.
“I buy pieces I love rather than purchasing pieces just because they look good with something in my home or fit a particular space,” Roth explains. It’s the reason why, say, her glossy, vintage travertine coffee table looks as good in her new space as it did in the family’s New York loft. And same goes for her collection of artwork, which includes a painting by Paul Davies. “Of course, you buy certain things that are specific over time, but the bulk should be ‘love’ pieces,” she adds.
It’s good advice, and one that she applies all throughout her home, from the airy living space with its portrait gallery of pictures hanging above the sofa – her favourite room in the house – to the bedroom. Roth loves a “chic and serene” sleeping space, which she achieves by keeping the clutter away. Her top tips for styling a bedroom are to “have sufficient storage” to ensure there is no “visual clutter”, opt for neutral colours – “light or dark, depending on personal taste,” she says, and Roth herself prefers a clean, matching Bed Threads linen set in White – and symmetry. Oh, and the most important of all? “Make your bed every morning,” she enthuses. “It’s a must!”
Hi Tali! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
Hello! I am an interior designer focused on high end residential with a splash of hospitality and commercial experience!
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I have always loved making people feel and look amazing. When I was a child I would counsel all my friends, dye their hair, do their makeup before going out and style their outfits. My interiors are much the same – I want to help people express their creativity and create a space that looks amazing and feels incredible to live in!
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I started off studying psychology and was relatively far down that career path when I started making my own clothes. Three years in fashion aged me 67 years but I couldn’t shake how enriched my life felt by creating… so, I decided to go back to school and study interior design at RMIT. I graduated and moved to New York a week later with my husband and set up my business there.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I always start with the client. The client is the most important and then I look at the space. My experience is heavily weighted in the renovation space so I often work with existing conditions and I like to let the space initiate the conversation and set some of the parameters with the design.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
Instagram has been an incredible marketing tool. In terms of strategy I think learning that I am in fact in the service industry and whilst people pay me for my opinion (whether it’s what they want to hear or not), you do need to put ego aside and be able to put the client first. I often viewed myself as an artist or creator so it took me a while to learn that.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
Not listening to my instincts has always been a bad idea. Setting boundaries has also been a difficult but worthy lesson as a mother in particular.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
There is no single best thing. The steady growth and learning has been amazing. I feel like every year that has passed my business has only gotten better. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the rug line I did with Empire Rug Collection in 2019 it was an incredible learning experience and I loved making product again!
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Figure out what you are good at and hone that skill. If you are a people person you will be great at client relations and the public side of interior design. If you are very into precision and detail go to a CAD course and learn the basics in floorplanning and schematic planning and try to get a job at a firm. If you love colour and textiles perhaps work a retail job at one of the fabric suppliers just to learn the way of the industry!
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
Four months only!
Shop Tali's look with our White Bedding Set.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
No we have not touched a thing!
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
There are way too many. First things that come to mind!
I love my Paul Davies painting.
I love my entry bench from Gustavo Bittencourt in Brazel.
I love my Mario Milano Head Dining Chairs.
I love my vintage travertine coffee table.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
No not really. I am fairly settled and don’t need anything. I do collect pieces and constantly swap things around so I am not opposed to it. I look at second hand and vintage furniture all the time!
Which is your favourite room in the house?
The TV room. It is thrown together and is so, so different from every space I have ever lived in. It feels retro and bright and beachy all at once and I love it! I also love my bedroom. It’s so chic and simple and serene.
Shop Tali's look with our White Bedding Set.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Keep clutter away! It’s important to ensure you have sufficient storage and if you don't then add a dresser and storage side tables as the most unnerving thing in a place of rest is visual clutter. Try and keep symmetry for a sense of space and opulence. (I.e: If you can have two side tables and two lamps or sconces then do so).
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I am currently finishing up a few gorgeous homes that we began at the start of 2020 in New York City which I will share soon. I have another product collaboration in the pipeline and a couple of jobs in OZ hopefully starting soon!
For more from Tali, follow her at @talirothdesigns
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