Lauren Li from Sisällä

Lauren Li is the director of Sisällä, a Melbourne-based interior design practice known for their colourful, playful and liveable approach to residential interiors. Lauren is also a design educator, running workshops, courses and an online community geared towards emerging interior designers. Lauren writes a monthly column for The Design Files, and has just released her first book, The New French Look, with Thames & Hudson.

In this episode, Lauren and I discussed:
  • Why Lauren believes having diverse revenue streams can make studios more resilient during slowdowns in the residential construction market, and a behind the scenes look at how she developed her different educational offers.
  • Her journey as a design writer, from five posts a week in the early days of blogging to becoming a monthly columnist for The Design Files and writing a book—and how writing and putting ideas out there in public has helped Lauren to develop a unique point of view as a designer.
  • Lauren's approach to making architectural photography more accessible and personal to the client, and balancing the trade-offs between images that resonate with potential clients, and carefully styled images that are more easily published in magazines.
  • Why Lauren believes working with ultra design-savvy clients—although often the stated marketing goal for many architects and interior designers—can often make it harder for designers to take on the role of expert and educator in the design process.
  • Why branding, getting published, putting your ideas out there and showing excitement and passion for the possibilities of a project can be crucial for building trust with new clients.
  • Why developing a clear point of view as a designer and taking risks to challenge the status quo can help to attract like-minded clients and media exposure for small design studios.
If you'd like to learn more about Sisällä, you can visit their website at, or follow them on Instagram at @sisalla_interior_design.

Lauren's new book, The New French Look, is available on sale right now from online retailers, and your local independent book store.

This episode of Office Talk is sponsored by Office D.SHARP, a practice providing specialised marketing consultancy and strategy tailored to meet the particular needs of architects. Visit to learn more.

If you have any marketing, brand and business questions you would like me and my guests to discuss in future episodes, please send them to
Lauren Li from Sisällä
Broadcast by