Interior design duo Bibby + Brady on the story behind their success

Interior design duo Bibby + Brady have already made a name for themselves with their inspirational approach to decor. Vic Bibby shares the story behind their success

Interior design duo Bibby + Brady on the story behind their success

Hawke’s Bay-based interior designers Vic Bibby and Dael Brady of Bibby + Brady have gone from careers in graphic design and event management to running a successful interior design firm that transforms homes and businesses into beautiful spaces for a range of clients. We asked Vic about the story behind their brand.

How did you two meet and why did you decide to go into business together?
We met in 2010 when our daughters started primary school together. A couple of years later, when Dael had just finished studying interior decorating, she invited me out for coffee and suggested we start a business together.

When did you start the business?
It was late 2012 when we caught up for that eventful coffee and started planning the business. In January 2013 we got our first client, a family home in Tamahere. This is still a favourite project of ours. We worked with the client room by room throughout most of their house, and have recently started working with them again as they complete a major extension to the house.

What were you doing before you started the business?
I had a diploma in visual communication design and had worked for over 10 years as a graphic designer in advertising. After the purchase of our second home I became quite passionate about interior design and began an interiors blog, Cush & Nooks, purely as a creative outlet. I spent my evenings and weekends writing the blog and, although it wasn’t my initial intention, steady requests for me to promote and advertise other businesses meant I was able to turn the blog into a business.

And what about Dael?
Dael had spent many years travelling and had worked in the UK in event management. She thrived in a role that allowed her to liaise with many different people and follow strict timelines and budgets. With the birth of their first child imminent, Dael and her husband decided to return to New Zealand. Dael found herself in a position to retrain and, after owning and renovating several houses in Hawke’s Bay, decided to study interior decorating.

Was it hard to make the move from your previous role?
Interior design and graphic design have a lot of similarities so the move between the two was quite a natural step for me. Although I am much happier in the world of interiors (it truly is my passion), I wouldn’t change the career start I had, as having a background in graphics has been invaluable for our business. Dael’s skills in event management and interior design complement each other really well. Armed with great communication, time management and budgeting skills, together with the knowledge gleaned from her interior decorating studies, Dael has become an awesome interior designer.

How do the two of you work together?
Dael and I make a great team. She has a talent for making people feel at ease and she’s brilliant at managing all of our projects. We have the same design aesthetic but think quite differently, which is great for bouncing ideas around and making sure we come up with the best design solutions.

What projects do you most enjoy working on?
Our favourite projects are full house renovations or new-builds, as it’s important that the design flows cohesively throughout the house rather than just a single room. We also completed our first restaurant design at the end of last year, taking it from an empty, crumbling shell to the finished, fully designed fit-out. We really enjoyed the challenge of project managing such a big job and would love to take on similar commercial projects in the future. Boutique Airbnb rentals have become another of our specialities.

Do you have any plans for your business in the coming year?
This is a big year for us. As we’re growing, it’s important that we can offer a full design service, so we’re excited to have a fantastic interior architect now working with us. This means we can offer 3D rendering, CAD drawings, drafting and we can submit plans to council. We really can take your job from start to finish. With the risk of sounding cliche, we’re your interior design one-stop-shop!

We hear you are moving into the retail space?
We’ll be adding a small retail division to our business and offering some of our favourite pieces. There will be a beautiful New Zealand-made sofa available in a range of colours, custom-made cushions, some beautiful lights that we’ve created in collaboration with a local artisan, wallpaper, and a range of art.

What is inspiring you in interiors at the moment?
After years of ‘less is more’, we’re loving the drama and luxe details coming through in furniture and accessories. Fringing on the bottom of velvet ottomans, contrasting trims on cushions, beautiful rich colours and patterned wallpapers.

What do you love about your job?
We get to do something we love every day! We eat, live and breathe interior design. It doesn’t stop when we walk out of the office at the end of the day, and that’s the way we like it. I am constantly inspired by what I see, read and experience and am always looking for ways to translate this inspiration into our projects.

What does an ordinary day look like for you?
Each day is different, which keeps our job interesting. We usually start with a meeting to discuss the day ahead and what each of us have on. Sometimes we might be visiting a client’s home or a supplier, or out on a photo shoot; we often have reps visiting us to show us the latest fabrics, wallpapers, flooring etc; and, of course, long hours are spent at our desks designing spaces, sourcing the perfect furniture piece or product, and managing all of our projects.

Describe your approach to interior design.
Our approach is to treat each job as differently as the people they belong to. We strive to create individual spaces that truly reflect each client’s lifestyle and aspirations. We want our designs to be beautiful and inspirational, but also relaxed and thoroughly enjoyable. Although each project is different, we aim for the same end result – a space that makes you want to stay a while.

Interview by: Fiona Ralph. Photography by: Florence Charvin.

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