Dear friends,

Wowee. I had a huge week last week, and I wanted to share with you my big news… if you’d like to hear about it that is. Yes? Great, then read on.

About a year and a half ago, just before I started writing this blog, I had a big change in my life having gone from working full time to 3 days per week. This decision came about after I realised I had burned out from working too hard, and that I was at a stage where I needed to pursue other interests and create different opportunities. This new-found ‘free’ time created space in my week to start this blog. The rest, they say, is history. My recent trip to Europe in April/ May allowed me to step away from everything once again and take the time to reflect on life, making me realise the moment had come for yet another change… It was time to take the plunge.

I have never been so scared and so excited in my life. I’ve never worked as a freelancer and this is a whole new world to me. But you see – bringing you this blog filled with design inspiration and positive thoughts did something for me too – I became inspired myself. Really ridiculously inspired! So I feel the time has come to take a leap of faith and to jump off that cliff, to open up my heart and embrace the unknown. And to .

Thursday last week was my last day at ‘s Sydney studio. I arrived there back in 2005 as an innocent little chicken having hopped from one job to the next for almost six years, in search for my ‘permanent design home’. I was impressionable, intimidated and lacked so much confidence. At the same time, I was full of hope, hungry to learn and eager to develop. In the six years I spent at Bates, I experienced significant growth and development both personally and professionally, rapidly progressing into a very senior role, while growing some balls in the process. During my time there I worked on many amazing projects. I also met a lot of truly wonderful and talented people who became some of my dearest and closest friends, who will remain in my life for years to come. My last day was an opportunity to reflect on everything I had achieved and the relationships I had established – it was emotional and significantly more difficult than I ever would have imagined. Needless to say I will never forget my time at  and I am truly grateful for all the opportunities that came my way because of this. Below is a little collage of just a few of my projects in the last six years.



So now what, I hear you say? That’s the scary and exciting part. I am not 100% sure, but I just know it is going to be great. I will continue to bring you this blog, as I simply cannot imagine my life without it. I recently compared blogging to having a child (not that I know what it’s like to have a child), but I think it’s similar, because it keeps me up at night; it requires constant work and attention; the blog often ‘gets sick’ which means I have to drop whatever I am doing to attend to it; my butt’s never been bigger, because of all the time I spend in front of the computer; I often wish there was a manual to tell me if I am doing the right thing, but there is no such thing and I just have to rely on my ‘mother’s’ I mean my ‘blogger’s instincts’; it costs a lot of money to raise my ‘baby’ (travel, attending events etc. not to mention all my time)… And just as I think – oh man, this is such a thankless job, why do I bother -‘my baby smiles at me’, I mean I receive a lovely comment from a reader, or some exciting e-mail… and everything becomes worthwhile, just like that!

Anyway, I digress. Apart from the blog, I will also focus on freelance design work alongside teaching, speaking and writing. So please feel free to reach out and get in touch if you would like to chat about working with . Now is your chance!

What are some of the things I can help you with? Lots. Think Full Scope Interior Design (that means every single bit that goes into crafting any interior); Creative Direction & Styling; Interior Branding; Conceptual Thinking; Design Strategy ; Design Trends; Writing, Teaching and Speaking. Or, if you are super nice, a bit stuck and need a new pair of eyes and fresh perspective, you could hire me as a Design Collaborator.

What kind of service can you expect from me? Well, it will be a lot like this blog – The Best of The Best. Cutting Edge. Unpretentious, Relevant & Engaging. Well Researched. And above all – highly entertaining! Because life if too short not to have FUN! I will take the pain away and do the hard things while delivering an endless supply of lame jokes and silly banter. If you think you can handle it, you should definitely get in touch. And if you want super serious all the time and no laughs, then it’s best we leave it for now, k? You can also find out more about me on  and .

Thank you for your support guys and wish me luck!

x dana



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

22 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Lauren

    Wow Dana! I wish you all the best of luck, not that you’ll need it. You’ll be an amazing success as a freelancer, no doubt about it! And this post just came at the right time for me too as I resigned from my job to freelance as well and everytime I start to have my doubts I’ll read this post. Thank you.

    Exciting times!!!

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Nic Duncan

    I have only recently started following your blog (which is an absolute joy, let me say), having just entered this thoroughly addictive world of blogging by starting one of my own .. but i just wanted to say congratulations on taking your leap of faith. I have done the same myself recently, saying goodbye to a fairly lucrative corporate career to follow my passion for interiors – I haven’t regretted it, not for one second.
    I was reading this Johann Von Goethe quote on the weekend, and your post reminded me of it:
    “Whatever you dream or think you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.”

    You’ve begun it!

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    LP

    Best of luck Dana! Not that you’ll need luck – you’re clearly one amazing and very talented young lady :)

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Kirsty

    your blog is on my daily must-read list and i really enjoy it. good luck with the change to freelance and i’m looking forward to some great blog content!

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    Justine

    You’ll be amazing Dana. With all your energy, wisdom and passion you are sure to succeed in whatever you do. Best of luck and enjoy the journey! xo

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    Linda from OEKE

    Go Dana .. Go Dana .. Go Dana ..
    That’s my motivational chant for you (not that you really need it).
    I’m sure you will be brilliant – and from one fellow large-arse-stuck-at-my-OWN-desk sort of gal, whoopwhoop – congratulations!!!

    Reply
  7. Avatar
    Catherine

    Congratulations Dana on the big change! I know you will not regret it. Very inspiring I must say!

    Reply
  8. Avatar
    Michelle

    Hey Dana,

    all the best for your future! Your portfolio of work at Bates Smart is really wonderful! Looking forward to reading your future blog posts about your new life ahead of you!:)

    Reply
  9. Avatar
    Claudine

    I took the leap just under 2 years ago…its joyously frustrating and i am sure you will succeed i love your blog and hey if you need a photographer would love to work with you!! all the very best!!

    Reply
  10. Avatar
    Mary

    Dear Dana,
    Congratulations on your decision! I know everything will be fine for you, you are so talented! Your blog is one of my favorite of all! I find it so well researched, with so many new stuff of good quality! It has changed my life in some way, and has changed the life of others. How? It works like a genealogy tree! I’m a swiss quilter, teaching quilters, but sometimes I give challenge workshops where people are “stressed” to use other material or to work on special themes. So I’ve discovered in your blog and others, artists or images that have opened my eyes, and enable me to open the eyes of my students.
    So again, thanks so much for the good work, the time spent.There are people, as far as Switzerland, who get up in the morning, open their computer to see what’s new on yellowtrace, and are so happy about what they find!! I wish you the best!

    Reply
  11. Avatar
    sarah

    Congratulations Dana – Good on you! There’s nothing like taking a big scary leap into the future! Bravo! I love coming here and can only imagine what great projects you will end up working on!

    Reply
  12. Avatar
    Sara

    Good luck!!! You will be great and universe will provide. So inspired (and very jealous in a good way). All the best

    Reply
  13. Avatar
    Olivia @ Facet Studio

    Congratulations Dana!
    I hope this new found freedom will make you even more wonderful, of which I’m certain :)
    I, for one, have never regretted starting out my own firm- it is tough, but only as tough as you make it… Be as uncompromising, as pleasure-seeking, as strong-headed …and as proud as you let yourself be…
    All the best on your new journey!
    x Olivia

    Reply
  14. Avatar
    Oliver @ Sabi Style

    Brilliant! I have no doubt that this will be the best decision ever.

    I really hope that one day I will be giving you a call to do a design collaboration. OK universe, I’ve put it out there…

    Reply
  15. Avatar
    Maxine Pyke

    I have never followed any blogs but I do now…..you!! You give me joy each day. Congatulations on your exciting decision.

    Reply
  16. Avatar
    Lilly

    Congratulations, Dana!! That is a wonderful, courageous leap! I think most of us dream of working for ourselves and enriching our creative spirits by setting them free! I admire your courage and look forward to learning about your great new adventure here on your blog (which is lovely btw:)!!
    xo

    Reply
  17. Avatar
    ballet flats

    wow! What an inspiration! I’ve just discovered your blog and already i’m hooked. Following on bloglovin’

    what you’re doing is fantastic, following your dream and taking a risk, i really admire that courage and wish I had the guts to do it myself sometimes.

    I look forward to sharing your journey…

    bf x

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    [email protected] Blog

    Congratulations! I made the scary leap a few years ago & now live my dream as a self employed designer. It is bloody scary but very satisfying and ood for the soul!
    Good luck – but Im sure you will be flying in no time!

    Reply

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