Interior designer Melissa Killen believes in creating spaces that are made to live and built to last, trusting her creative ability and acting with integrity.
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU OWNED YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Killen Furniture + Kitchens is in its twenty-first year of operation this year - how time flies! Although I’ve played my hand in all aspects of the business, it has been over the past seven years that I have established myself as an Interior Designer, from kitchens and bathrooms, to full home fit outs, through to furniture design. Almost one, Ode To Eve is the Interior Design branch of my profile that allows connections with people near and far and the achievement of their design needs and wants in a pressure-free environment. I have been working with clients state-wide who will engage with their local trades for project completion, or continue their project journey with our talented KF+K team.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK AND LIFE RESPONSIBILITIES?
This is a tough gig, haha! Forming good habits is so important to maintaining that fine balance. A typical day for me is to hit the gym before the sun comes up, breakfast with the kids, a full day of work that generally includes consultations, site visits, sourcing, design, communication with clients and trades, walking my dogs, cooking dinner, catching up with my family and lastly a little bit of light relief provided by Netflix and Spotify. Although my husband and I often work on weekends, we always set aside time for family and friends. My Instagram and Pinterest accounts always get a good workout, so setting limits around use of these apps is something I have had to do (because it doesn’t feel like work!).
WHO INSPIRED YOU AND WHY?
I grew up in the world of renovation – my father, a skilled plasterer + meticulous tradesmen in many disciplines, flipped houses for as long as I can remember with my mother supporting him every step of the way. Even though the process was long, I loved every minute of it and knew that it would be something I wanted to continue doing into the future – now with my husband and children. In the design world, I am captivated by artists and creatives of all disciplines, particularly where cross-creative pursuits are integral to their work. Athena Calderone of ‘EyeSwoon’ is a truly talented Interior Designer, Stylist, Creative Director, Chef and Author, whose philosophy body of work is a prominent influence in my own creative pursuits.
WHAT’S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER?
As a creative, I have experienced countless highlights, many of which have been on the stage or watching something I have created being performed by others on stage. As an educator, I have had the privilege of teaching others and watching them learn to grow, which is immeasurably significant to me. As an Interior Designer, I have gained so much satisfaction in working on transformation projects where old spaces are given a new lease on life, along with new builds that require thoughtful inquiry for future sustainability in terms of product and design. As a multi-hyphenate, I love being able to use one experience and the skill set it requires to fuel and build another.
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU HAVE SACRIFICED TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
My role as an Interior Designer began seven years ago as a part-time position that constituted the remainder of full-time workload as an educator in Dance – the bulk of which was carried out in the secondary school setting, but also extending to facilitating Residential School and course workshops at the University of New England and recreationally in dance studios and musical theatre productions. Now that I am solely working on Interior Design, other creative pursuits have had to take a momentary back seat – but not for long!
WHAT’S THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN?
To be authentically myself! For me, this means trusting in my creative ability, using a lifetime of inherent and learned skills to problem-solve and always acting with integrity.
WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR ODE TO EVE AND KILLEN FURNITURE + KITCHENS?
All things creative – both in repurposing the old and crafting the new! We are thrilled by movements such as Cultivated. Where a focus on sustainable practice and engaging talented artisans in the restoration, reinvigoration, or recycling of materials in furniture and lighting is achieved. Creating pieces and spaces that are ‘Made to live. Built to last’ will continue to be our priority.
location: Armidale, NSW
instagram & facebook: @odetoeve website: killenfurniture.com.au
instagram & facebook: @killenfurnitureandkitchens