Designer in the Spotlight – Marilena Baynes


Marilena (Maz) Baynes is passionate about working with her clients to create spaces which reflect the clients’ ideas and wishes along with her own unique design style. She is the owner and Head Designer at Interiors by Maz, a successful and thriving design business offering services all over Brisbane. Her services include Kitchen Renovations, Bathroom Renovations, Full Renovation Services and New Builds.

As the daughter of a brick layer, Maz has been on building and construction sites since she was six years old sparking her interest in design and renovations. When she graduated from high school, she pursued a career in Sales and Marketing, getting a Bachelor of Business Marketing along the way. For the next 15 years she worked in hotels and shopping centres exposing her to hotel upgrade programs, retail fit outs and shopping centre renovations. This was all invaluable experience and allowed her to gain further insights into construction and interior design.

Whilst she didn’t pursue a career in design in these early years, Maz’s early induction from her father to the residential housing industry, inspired her to build her first home when she was just 21 years old, and she has owned and renovated properties ever since.

After having a family, she found her work did not have the flexibility she needed to look after her young children, and she realised that she needed to shift away from Sales and Marketing. With her background and interest in renovating properties, she didn’t need to look far to find her new career path. In 2013, she retrained completing her Diploma of Interior Design and was on her way. She started out doing her own renovation projects, then projects for family and friends.

The kitchen really is the heartbeat of the home and Maz found that many of her interior design clients would also want a kitchen design. She found herself outsourcing the design and documentation of kitchens as this was out of her skillset. In 2021, she decided to get a specialty qualification in kitchen and bathroom design to enable her business to offer a more comprehensive renovation solution, and charge accordingly. This new direction and focus on kitchens, bathrooms and areas with built in cabinetry, has seen her enter the Kitchen and Bathroom Designers Institute’s awards program for the first time in 2023. Her stunning designs and meticulous documentation have landed her right in the mix for success, and she is now a finalist in 3 categories including Large Bathroom, Design Space and as a First Time Entrant.

Maz loves the challenge of coming up with design solutions to put her own unique spin on clients’ projects. She is determined not to make cookie cutter designs of work from other designers. The endless number of new products coming into the market can be overwhelming, but she uses this as inspiration to come up with unique designs for her clients. She says, “I just think there is so much innovation in product from suppliers that is literally no time to stand still, it just calls for creativity”.

With an understanding that the industry is constantly evolving, Maz stays up to date with current trends following all the main suppliers and top Interior Designers on social media. She attends industry events to connect with other designers and industry suppliers as a professional member of the Kitchen and Bathroom Institute and the Interior Design Association. She also reads and follows architectural and design journals.

Maz has found her niche specialising in helping clients renovate classic Queenslander properties. Her favourite project so far was a new build for HQ Constructions in Wavell Heights, a popular northside suburb of Brisbane. Her brief from the builder was that the home needed to sell in the $2m’s. Maz ensured the entire interior was in keeping with the exterior, a charming Queenslander. She was able to deliver a stunning Hampton’s inspired home and a remarkable result for the builder. The home sold for $2.55m, after only a week on the market!

To see more of Maz’s work:

The following images are from the Wavell Heights project.

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