Balancing the Grind with Kate Aubrey-Dunn, Interior & Experential Designer at Kate Aubrey

Kate Aubrey-Dunn is an interior & experiential designer, partnering up with firms, agencies, artists, and designers who are looking for styling and design services.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I am a multi-disciplinary creator with a background in photographic stills, interiors, installations, and events who partners with firms, agencies, artists, and designers looking for styling and design services.

I completed my studies in Events and Entertainment Design and Textile Design through Melbourne(Australia) RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles and Montreal (Canada)Centre Design et Impression Textile and the Enmore Design Centre Sydney .

I attribute my eclectic skill set to my background in film, theatre and television in which I began working in 2003.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I’m not a fabulous morning person and usually start work around 9:30 am. I take many breaks during the day, for a quick walk , stretching or a short yoga session.

In summer I’ll do 1/2 hr gardening while I’m trying to solve a design problem. I stop to cook and eat dinner anywhere between 6- 8 pm. I finally step away from my work after dinner around 9.30pm.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, I’ve always been a freelance creative so before COVID I was at my computer usually at home or in a co-working space, or I was on site installing or styling. My schedule is up to me and my deadlines, my routines often change every few weeks depending on what’s needed.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work life balance has always been very important to me. Before COVID I was probably a workaholic due to how many projects I would juggle at any given time. During COVID and with my main industry experiential design for events completely collapsing, I have had to reimagine how I work.

I’m now focusing more on interior design and I’m also in the early stages of setting up a textile-based e-commerce store. Work life balance has been much easier to achieve in the past few months and I’ll be taking the lessons learnt from the past few months of slowing down and working smarter not harder into my work for life.

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5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Yes always, I’m not a person who gets fixed or stuck into routines. I crave and need change often so maybe that is a habit of mine?

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

The Artist’s Way is a fabulous book or philosophy for those of you who have never read it, an oldie but a goodie. I like to listen to Daily Wellness on Spotify and since moving to upstate NY a lot of great, loud hip hop from the cars that drive by.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My iPad Pro with a magic keyboard is a game changer and I also find Airtable really useful in keeping track of all project data, timelines and schedules.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Absolutely 100% hands down Dolly Parton she’s an inspiration.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Do what’s right for you, There’s no right or wrong way, If somethings not working, switch it up and try something different until You find something that gels.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.