Mandy Hartnig is drawing on her wealth of design experience to steer her business into one that delivers a streamlined process for the client while focusing on connecting with the community and the environment.
Tell us about The Living Space.
The Living Space is about inspiring and helping people to create meaningful and functional spaces. We are product-based interior designers, meaning we can supply our customers directly with products such as fireplaces, paint, rugs and window treatments, so it’s a streamlined and enjoyable process for our clients. We are a small expert team with a shared vision and our focus is always on the needs of the client, whether that’s a little nudge in the right direction or a full home redesign. We also love to encourage people to come together, learn new skills and enjoy one another’s company, and we’re excited about our various workshops and events this year.
You opened the Blackheath space first and have not long ago opened the store in Orange. Can you tell us what made you choose Orange for your second Living Space location? We have a long history in Orange, having lived there permanently with our three children. Orange is just a beautiful mix of history, creativity, and possibilities. We love being here, and the Greater West region in general - we often travel in our tiny home, ‘The Bullet’, to explore the many country towns dotted around the place.
What makes The Living Space stand out from all the other businesses in your niche? Our strength is creating relaxing individual spaces designed for longevity. We’re not focused on fleeting design trends. We want to get to know our clients and create a space that reflects their lives and values. Many of our clients have become friends - they invite us into their lives and trust us to design for them, and we don’t take that for granted.
How has The Living Space shifted over time? It has changed organically, as we have gained experience and changed within ourselves. Our focus now is on community, sustainability, nurturing and fostering meaningful relationships with people through design. These days we are focused on where and how a product is made, supporting local manufacturing and design first and foremost.
How and when did you get into the home Interiors industry? My partner Michael and I have been in the interior design business in various forms in Sydney and Melbourne for over 30 years, starting our journey as commercial fit-out designers for the hospitality industry. We partnered with the luxury 5-star hotel operator Peppers Hotels and Resorts and various hotel operators such as Meriton and the Oaks group, fitting out up to 3000 apartments and residential properties around Australia. We have designed and created, owned, and operated many successful retail stores here and overseas, always employing local trades whilst encouraging our local communities to be part of our journey, share our stories and enjoy our events and workshops. A good grounding you might say for our current retail stores.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of starting/owning your own business? Starting a business from a creative thought or an idea is the ultimate buzz! The privilege of getting to know the local community is a wonderful part of the creation of The Living Space stores, plus the satisfaction of involving the local trades in the build and then the “wow factor” when everything comes to fruition. We love bringing people together, perhaps learning new skills in our workshops and more importantly, we make new friends.
What's one thing every woman should know about being successful in her career and life? That it’s OK to dream and push boundaries and stand up for what you want and believe in but to also recognise when to reset your thoughts and take the time out to be thankful and care and nurture others, including nature, and the environment we live in.
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
The balance of work and home life by achieving a rich journey in life (this does include a modicum of wealth) but more of doing what you love and making other people’s lives happier in the process.
What’s on the horizon for The Living Space in 2023? Lots! We now have wonderful, creative women in both stores, allowing us to move between the two locations, focus on expanding the brand and think broadly about the business opportunities ahead. We have just designed and recently opened our coffee shop within the Orange store, a wonderfully relaxing space that is growing in popularity every day and is an exciting addition. We have many exciting client refurbishment projects that are on the cusp of the works stage as well as painting, cooking and upholstery events. Lots of new and exciting brands and products are being value added each month. We have such a diverse range of skills within our small team and we want to showcase them all this year.
Location: ORANGE | NSW
Facebook: The Living Space