Plain Jane Interiors has become a valued addition to the vibrant creative community of Goondiwindi, while making the finer aspects of interior design more accessible to regional folk.

For Vanessa Corish, living remotely has never been the measure of a life without opportunity. And while the roads may be a little dustier and the routes a little longer, the Plain Jane Interiors’ owner attests that there’s endless potential for achieving goals when inspired by a supportive, well-connected community.

“We’re lucky to have some pretty progressive girls in Goondiwindi who have pushed the place forward by thinking outside the ‘country town’ square,” Vanessa says. “Several businesses are run very successfully from here, both creatively and otherwise. This has also created a huge asset base when it comes to running your own business. I find we all lift each other up, rather than seeing each other as competition, and that support and encouragement has been huge.”

It’s this very base which has proved invaluable to Vanessa since moving to ‘Gundy’ in her 20s, where she has joined her fellow movers-and-shakers in town to bring some of the best of the city to the country. Initially establishing a homewares store called Nutmeg Home in 2006, Vanessa eventually sold it after 12 years to another local, as she began to introduce fabrics to the business and the early stages of Plain Jane Interiors was developing. When taking some time off after baby number three, Vanessa completed a diploma of Interior Design through the renown Mercer School of Interior Design in Melbourne.

Since the inception of Plain Jane Interiors in 2018, Vanessa has worked to overcome geographical barriers by providing decor and interior solutions for her remote clients and community in a home-visit, yet predominately online capacity. Vanessa explains that “with email, photo sharing, posting fabric samples direct and shopping lists – everything still comes together nicely.”

Creating a home

This year, Plain Jane Interiors has a new bricks and mortar presence in the main street of town – an in-house interior, fabric and custom details showroom (four hours from the nearest one), which essentially makes the finer aspects of interior design more accessible. Vanessa has also created a co-working space upstairs on the mezzanine level – further enhancing a sense of regional connectivity.

In June 2021, Lillie Holcombe of Harry and Kit, hosted an ‘In the Country’ Interior Design Q & A night in Goondiwindi, with a panel of interior stylists to discuss all things interiors and ultimately provide an exciting opportunity to bring the region’s creative community together. Among many pearls of wisdom given on the night by the panel, the Plain Jane Interiors’ owner also shared some designing and decorating tips to create a feeling of ‘home’.

Some of Vanessa’s sage advice included tips on a budget, where she explained that using a unique paint colour within a particular space, or even a standout fabric on a custom piece of furniture or feature blind, can sometimes be key to making a space really ‘sing’.

“Also, some of the gorgeous old pieces out there are half the price of the new stuff, but come with beautiful patinas and a bit of a story. They may not be perfect, but there’s charm in that.”

Vanessa has a love for British interiors and describes her style as dwelling in the realm between classic and eclectic, where she aims to create timeless spaces which take care to avoid ‘cookie-cutter’ and ‘on-trend’ styles. Also key to her process is working alongside clients to harness their own personality, which she says is often simmering away just beneath the surface. “I want to ensure that my clients’ homes are a personal reflection of them, not just a pretty space.”

As Vanessa reflects further upon her process with her clients, she acknowledges that in some respects, it’s not unlike her own past and present connection to ‘Gundy’s’ wider creative community. “You can also have a good idea of what you want, but just need the tweaking and the help to bring things together, and to be brave enough to take the leap into something bold and fun. Sometimes, a little hand holding goes a long way,” she says, smiling.

Plain Jane Interiors provides a range of design packages from small design consults to kick-start clients’ plans to full home renovations. See the Plain Jane Interiors website for full details.

{words & photography: Simone Gonzalez}