Inside Interior Design with Nicole Chapman

Nicole Chapman is the brains and style behind Empire Interiors, a Melbourne-based interior design team that style homes for sale. We found her on Instagram (@empire_interiors has over 11k followers) and were delighted to see she uses Godfrey Hirst hardflooring and carpet throughout her projects. She even chose our laminate flooring for her own recent home renovation.

Love her look? Here's her interior design tips and tricks:  

Where do you start when designing a new space?

Colour. Once you have your colour scheme locked and loaded, you’re on your way. For me colour is what ties the whole look together.

At what phase of the design process should people consider their flooring?

For me, flooring is one of the main components in setting the tone for a space. I generally choose the floor before anything else.

How did you choose your flooring for your home renovation? What’s your design process?

I always go with my gut. I originally had a lighter colour which was no longer available when it was time to order so I went in to the showroom and saw the charcoal and fell in love. Trust your gut.

What made you choose laminate flooring for your own home?

I love the versatile range of colours and with a 5 year old I was really after durability.

What are your tips for choosing flooring materials – vinyl, timber, bamboo, carpet, laminate etc.

Firstly, I think you have to consider your lifestyle and how you live. Do you need durability or longevity or is price point the main driving force? Vinyl is the most durable option in a timber look product followed by laminates. Engineered timber floors are also a great solution if you want a hardwood finish without the costs.

What are the points to consider when matching carpet with hard flooring?

I always choose the timber first. With so many carpets to choose form, matching something to the selected timber is pretty straightforward. I always advise to go as dark with the carpet colour as you are comfortable with to ensure a longer lasting finish that is easy to keep clean.

Your home incorporates styles such as classic, cottage and even nautical elements. What are your tips for mixing interior styles?

I'm all about mixing styles in any design. It create a more organic finish rather than everything being so matchy, matchy. The key it to stay true to a colour theme. That way no matter how many styles you use, they are linked in some way.

We see beautifully styled rooms in housing mags and can’t quite get the same look at home. What are 3 tips to take a room from fine to fab?

Stick with a colour theme and don’t over clutter spaces. Choose pieces that you love. My rule is that if I don’t love the piece individually, even if it works within the look I won’t use it. Don’t stress! We get clients calling or emailing freaking out about a cushion or choosing the right lamp. My rule is to have fun with it at all times. You put that positive energy into the design.

What do home owners find most overwhelming about styling their home?

The scope of the project as a whole. The thought of buy for an entire home can seem daunting. Hence why interior designers exist. I find breaking a project down room by room can help a client to feel more in control

What has been your most rewarding project to date?

I would have to say my own home however from a client point of view we styled a display home for SJD Homes back in 2014 that won a HIA Award. That was really exciting.

What 3 words define your personal style? 

Modern Farmhouse Luxe.

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?

House and Garden magazine is one of my faves and I love following Atlanta Homes on Instagram for some serious interior inspo.

Get the look

Nicole's laminate flooring (images 2, 3 and 4): Mondo Laminate in Asturia Oak Charcoal

Nicole's master bedroom carpet and SJD Homes carpet (images 5 and 6): Campaspe carpet in Aged Driftwood

Nicole Chapman Inside Interior Design
Nicole Chapman from Empire Interiors
Interior design | Nicole Chapman | Empire Interiors | laminate floors
Nicole's home with Mondo laminate flooring
Empire Interiors | Nicole Chapman | Laminate flooring
"I choose the floor before anything else."
Nicole Chapman | Empire Interiors | laminate flooring
"I saw the charcoal laminate and fell in love."
Empire Interiors | Nicole Chapman | grey carpet
"Go as dark with the carpet colour as you are comfortable."
Empire Interiors | Interior Design | carpet for bedroom
Godfrey Hirst carpet in a master bedroom for SJD Homes