Style profile: Louise Olsen

Vogue Living Interviews one half of the iconic Australian design brand Dinosaur Designs.

Louise Olsen is undoubtedly one the country’s most gifted artists. As the co-founder of one of Australia’s most recognisable design brands, Dinosaur Designs, known for its inimitable use of resin, organic forms and rich colours, Olsen is a creative force to be reckoned with. We spoke with the Brickworks ambassador to find out everything from what inspires her to her number one styling secret.

VOGUE LIVING: How would you describe your design style in three words?
LOUISE OLSEN: Bold, delicate and sensitive.
VL: What is your number one design or styling tip?
LO: Art. Art gives soul to a place.
VL: What is currently on your wish list?
LO: As it’s now winter, I love soft cashmere rugs and things made from wool that make a place feel warm.
VL: What is your favourite feature about your home and why?
LO: It’s airiness and the fact that you can open up the entire house. We never need air conditioning as it’s always cool thanks to the constant flow of air and wind. And it’s warm in winter so I love that it’s sensitive to its environments.
VL: What has been your biggest splurge for the home?
LO: When we first bought the place it was an old federation house so I think the biggest splurge would be renovating it. When we begun we thought it would be a simple job, but then next minute we had only two walls left!
VL: What is your favourite room in your home and why?
LO: I love the library. I love curling up on the lounge and being surrounded by books.
VL: What is your favourite item in your home and why?
LO: Probably one of my mum’s paintings. My mum passed away about six years ago and it’s like having her always with me.
VL: Where do your draw your inspiration?
LO: Nature. I’m constantly inspired by nature.
VL: What do you love most about your job?
LO: I love its unexpected nature. I love that when you start working on something creatively you just don’t know where it’s going to take you. The wonderful thing about making things is that there’s so much discovery in the making.
VL: What has been your most rewarding creative project to date?
LO: It’s hard to choose one! We’ve just done a big exhibition and the artist side of me finds doing exhibitions so rewarding. It was for Steven (co-founder of Dinosaur Designs) and my own artwork. We both came from art school and we were both trained as artists. Designing really came afterwards and we’ve always been artists so going back into art is very rewarding.
VL: What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?
LO: We’re working on a new collection of furniture, however I can’t say yet whom it’s for because it’s too soon. And we’re also working on a new collection to be released in November, which is inspired by pearls, and it combines pearls and resin together.
VL: What is your philosophy on design?
LO: It’s always about the beauty for me. Some designers place a focus on functionality when it comes to design, but for me primarily the most important thing is that it’s a beautiful object and something that can sit anywhere and give beauty to anywhere it sits.

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