The art of the unexpected

Acclaimed designer, Anna Spiro, joins Audi Australia as the brand'snewest ambassador.

With an extraordinary ability to understand the complexity of interior design in today’s current climate, Anna Spiro has built a reputation for excellence. She joins Audi Australia as the brand’s newest ambassador.

3 May, 2019

"We need to be different and have amazing things, that’s what people come to a designer for"

Carving out a career as an elite interior designer is no easy feat; particularly today, as we’re more socially connected, and able as individuals to hone our creativity thanks to the likes of Pinterest and Instagram. Gone are the days where an interior designer would bring a host of surprises to the table, but now, more often that not, a client has a preconceived idea around style and interiors prior to sitting down with a designer. But that’s where the business brain of Audi’s newest brand ambassador, Anna Spiro, comes into her own.

The Brisbane-based interior designer, founder of Anna Spiro Textiles and creative genius behind the much-loved boutique hotel Halcyon House, understands the complexity of interior design in today’s current climate. 

“I think the internet’s been great for me personally in that people have been able to find me, access more readily what I do, and see the work I do, but I feel like it also has its disadvantages… I feel like it’s harder for a designer these days because you’ve got to become more and more creative. I think that’s what’s led me into creating my own product lines because I don’t really want to use a lot of the stuff that’s so readily available. We need to be different and have amazing things, that’s what people come to a designer for.”

You see that’s the thing with Spiro; she’s carved out an impressive career by thinking outside the box, by blazing her own trail. While some stick to the old ‘if in doubt, go white’ interior design adage, Spiro has found opportunity through her passion for colour and her ability to fuse unexpected patterns and styles. 

“One of the most important things I try to live by in my career is to ‘go against the tide’,” she explains. “Look for opportunities, ideas, concepts that nobody else is currently embracing. One of my favourite things is contradiction. I don’t want to be the same as everyone else.”

While the face of the industry has changed, throughout her more than 20 years in the profession, she’s learnt that great success is not necessarily about being in the best retail position on the busiest street, but it’s about being in a boutique position and finding something you can become a leader in. 

“Those words have always stayed with me and made me think about what I am doing and what I need to do to become successful,” she says.  Along with that innovative thinking, Spiro counts quality, market leadership, beautiful yet functional artisanship and design work, credibility as well as authenticity in design as the brand values her business - and Audi Australia, both adhere to. “Given our common brand values, I can see our customer base sharing a future of excitement, innovation and design across many areas as they experience and grow with our partnership.  I believe that our alliance of quality and design will reinforce the credibility and authenticity of our partnership reflecting a lifestyle that resonates these values with our clientele,” she says.

Between commercial and residential projects, no job is ever too big or too small for Spiro. Regardless of the scope of work, she applies a similar strategy, which often involves educating her clients on how to buy well and invest their money wisely into good pieces of furniture instead of trend-driven pieces. Naturally, there have been a number of career highlights for Anna Spiro and her team along the way; working on the design and decoration of Halcyon House Boutique hotel at Cabarita Beach for one. 

"One of my favourite things is contradiction. I don’t want to be the same as everyone else"

"One of my tips to creating an interesting, unique and fabulous room is make sure to throw in a surprise element"

“The freedom I had to do what I love and be creative was very special and the clients were amazing to work with,” she explains. “The hotel has won many awards and been featured in publications all over the world. It has a piece of my heart and I will always cherish the experience and be proud of what I helped create there.” 

And while she loves the freedom and creative license she finds in commercial projects, creating fabulous homes is her absolute favourite thing to do.

“I have also recently completed a very beautiful house on the beach at Sorrento for a private client which has been the most wonderful residential experience of my career to date. I was given creative reign over the entire project, there were no boundaries. The result is an incredible home that looks like it’s been there forever. It is layered and so full of many beautiful things. It’s a project I am extremely proud of.”

So for all the budding interior design enthusiasts among us, what advice can Audi’s newest Ambassador impart? 

“One of my tips to creating an interesting, unique and fabulous room is make sure to throw in a surprise element – such as an interesting piece of furniture either antique or artisan-made or a fabulous piece of art or even a custom-made sofa upholstered in a multi-coloured patterned fabric. Or paint the room a wonderful colour.  It is all about the unexpected.”