At the age of 36, Keeley Green packed up her life in Bundaberg, Queensland and moved to Florence, Italy with her two small children to pursue her dream of becoming an interior designer.

“Who wouldn’t love to live in Florence? Every day of living in this historic city is like stepping back in time – wonderful stone buildings, cobblestoned narrow twisting streets with their very narrow sidewalks,” she said, “I planned every minute of every day to allocate time to the children and their school, both their studies and my own, friendships and occasional travel.”

After finishing her studies at the Florence Design Academy and completing a design series with internationally renowned designer Vincente Wolfe in New York, Keeley moved to London, where she set up her design studio and established Ailanto Design, her London-based design house dedicated to producing luxurious wallpaper and fabric, with each design hand drawn by her business partner Amanda Ferragamo. The Ailanto range is now stocked by Harrods department store. Keeley describes her individual style as ‘edgy elegant’ and said she takes elements of broad design trends she finds interesting and translates them to her own style.

Last year, she completed an amazing transformation of an old English Vicarage in the UK, turning it into a luxurious and elegant family home, before returning to Australia to be closer to family and to set up a design studio here in Clayfield, Brisbane. She now works between the UK, Italy and Australia. She sites The Vicarage as a career highlight because she designed and specified every aspect of the interior and had complete creative control.

Another of her favourite projects she has worked on was a Kensington Gardens retirement living project in New South Wales. “I enjoyed the proactive approach of the consulting team in designing a stylish and luxurious club house that was really made for the residents to relax and entertain their guests.” In addition to her training and experience as an interior designer, Keeley has 15 plus years experience in property development.

As a child, Keeley lived in Africa, Papua New Guinea and England with her family and she has travelled all over the world. She draws on these experiences to create beautiful and elegant designs. “Every travel destination inspires me!  For me, there is always something to learn or take away from every destination.  I do feel a kind of peace and intrigue in developing countries,” she said.

What’s next for this non stop interior design extraordinaire? She will be heading to Africa to climb Mt Kilimanjaro with her son. Then, she plans to launch the Ailanto brand in Australia later this year.

Our readers also enjoyed this story about Constance Hall’s new book, Still a Queen.