Working with an Interior Designer

ICM Geelong introduces guest blogger, Libby Gumley, Geelong Interior Designer.

Quite often when it comes to your kitchen, bathroom, laundry, living area or other cabinetry project, our Independent Cabinet Makers work together with your Interior Designer or Decorator to bring your project to life. Libby explains how this process works.

Libby Gumley Geelong Interior Designer


Hello, I’m Libby Gumley. 

I own an Interior Design and Decoration business in Geelong. It’s called Design Inside and I’m sure many interested in this field have heard the name.

 I truly love what I do.


Graduating from RMIT in 1989, I left a 25 year teaching career and began branding my business and gaining skills in the many and varied aspects of a broad field. 10 years in Melbourne with two very different companies, has prepared me well for the inevitable.

I cannot speak more highly of the training provided at Myer Interiors, Melbourne. It was exceptional and included working with a team of about 20 likeminded designers. I was in great hands.

Poached by a soft furnishing manufacturer, I worked with other designers and architects implementing their schemes from manufacturing through to installation. Apart from my exhaustive thirst for knowledge and skill, the constant privilege of meeting and viewing other designers work was coupled with site meetings at outstanding properties.

To my successful business, I attribute teacher training with an extra year studying art and craft, qualifications in design, a builder husband, 10 years of experience in Melbourne and the determination to pursue what I love.

With my transition to Geelong, a studio at 11 Pakington St, Geelong West opened in 2005, 12 years ago and still going strong.


Working with an Interior Designer

 I am often asked about my business and what an Interior Designer does.

My stock standard and flippant response goes like this…….

“If I’m a really good girl, I get the plans for your new home or renovation and work through from exterior to interior choosing all of the hard surfaces.”

Then …

“If I’m a very good girl, I will work on window coverings.”

And …

“If I’ve been exceptional girl, I’ll be asked to source any furniture that may require purchasing or manufacturing.”

Many of my works are not new homes with starting points anywhere in between a room, a lamp, re-upholstery, bespoke cabinetry and more.

Working with an Interior Designer is a process, tailor made to meet your needs. It gives a structure that enables you to focus on exactly what you want, because with so many options and decisions that need to be made, things can get confusing.

I think it’s very important to concentrate on form and function first and then creativity. You need to live with your decisions for some time so your design needs to be practical.  The challenge is to take ideas, turn them into good design and modify the ideas to ensure that your personality shines through!

How I work with cabinet makers

It is quite clear to me that clients only think of cabinet makers for manufacture of kitchens, bathrooms and laundries but once we begin working, possibilities become clear.

Many of us use the internet to collate a scrap book of ideas and products. We hit a brick wall when products don’t fit the space, the quality is below par or it’s the wrong colour.

When I suggest a quality cabinet maker to take on part of a project, I am often asked:

“It would cost a lot more wouldn’t it?

It’s hard to explain, but I do, with a response:

“Yes, it could possibly cost a little more but it will be made to measure and will be exactly what you want.”

I then add, “When you love a piece it will be there for a long time.”

A recent piece took a little longer to supply, cost a little more but at the time of installation it was loved so much. The piece fitted and looked fabulous in front of a Brooklyn Bridge wallpaper panel. Colour was perfect, size was perfect, spaces were customised to suit equipment, and the piece had a slight industrial feel. One happy client with a custom-made piece, with attention to detail evident.

Entertainment Unit looking fabulous in front of a wall paper panel of the Brooklyn Bridge by Libby Gumley Geelong Interior Designer
Entertainment Unit looking fabulous in front of a Booklyn Bridge wall paper panel

 Imagination can take us a long way

ICM Geelong uses the tag line, “so much more than kitchens and bathrooms” and it’s true.

THINK FREESTANDINGtables. libraries. shelving. chest of drawers. sideboards. coffee tables. entertainment units. wall hung display cases. outdoor units. occasional furniture.

THINK BUILT-INS – bench seating. book cases. entertainment units. tables. outdoor cooking units.

An cabinetmaker is able to help with all your cabinetry needs to bring your project to life.

Cosy reading nook created by Libby Gumley Geelong Interior Designer
Cosy reading nook created by Libby Gumley


Clever use of space to create an amazing attic bedroom. Created by Libby Gumley Geelong Interior Designer
Clever use of space to create an amazing attic bedroom.

Ready to take on your project?

Using the services of an Interior Designer or Decorator can take you to a stage ready to complete your dream project and to manufacture your perfectly unique pieces.

Until next time,

Libby Gumley

Libby Gumley Interior Designer Design Inside Logo

Visit Libby’s website Design Inside for more colour, design and decoration ideas for your home.

The information contained in this article has been prepared by our guest blogger and does not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, position, advice or endorsement of ICM Geelong, it’s members and sponsors.




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