I’ve been doing these yearly reflections for the last 4 years now and wish I did them from the very start of the business. It’s great to reflect over the year that’s been, to reward ourselves on a job well done, and to see the areas where we need improvement,  

Well firstly, what a year! A year full of the unknown and unpredictable as we navigate our lives through this new Covid era. Still working part-time, juggling the business, mum-life and FIFO wife with a few lockdowns thrown in!

Usually the start of the year is quiet for the design industry, but we hit the ground running with some big projects in the door in January, including an exciting site visit to Alice Springs, for a dream project. (which we are still working on, so stay tuned).. Landing in Alice and seeing the airplane ‘graveyard’ was devastating to see, but a reality check on how much this industry has suffered during the pandemic.

During the first half of the year we saw the construction completed of the following projects:

– Casuarina Senior College (CSC) Library Refurbishment

– Wigg Plumbing Refurbishment

– Taste of Viet Refurbishment  

CSC Library - Study Zone

June was a very emotional month!

Schapel Interiors in collaboration with Ashford Architects entered the CSC Library Refurb project into the NT Architecture Awards. VERY proud to say that we won not 1 but 2 awards for this project. A Commendation for Educational Architecture and the NT Peoples Choice Award. On cloud nine from these accolades,

The very next day we were heading away on a family camping trip. All buckled in and pulling out the driveway, only to receive an SMS notifying us that there had been a positive Covid-19 case at hubby’s mine site. We were immediately placed under a 14 day stay at home order. Safe to say my ‘cloud’ instantly dispersed as the reality of this news sunk in. Trying to make light of the situation for the kids, we set up camp In the backyard! To my surporise this was actually great fun (plus having the dishwasher and washing machine handy was wonderful!) and six months on, the kids are still asking ‘when can we camp in the backyard again!’ 

In the second half of the year we saw the construction completed of the following projects: 

– Chamber of Commerce (Darwin Office)

– Melissa’s Take-away

– WSP Darwin Office

– 2 x 1000sqm NTG Office fitouts, 

Safe to say it’s been a busy lead up to Christmas but couldn’t think of a better way to end the year, and set the tone for 2022.

Welcome Signage
Melissa's Take-away

2021 Fun Facts:

 – Schapel Interiors had it’s 5th Birthday!

 – This year we’ve had the most clients we’ve ever had in the year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we were busier than ever. What it does mean is that we had a lot of small scale project opportunities that we were able to work on, these generally taking 2-3 months, rather than large projects that can take anywhere from 6-12 months or more!

 – This year has seen our 2nd ever client that found us via google! That’s very exciting to know that the website is actually generating customers. It takes so much time to keep the website updated so it’s nice to know that the effort is worth it! And thank you to this client for taking a chance with us!

 – This year we’ve had a mammoth 70% return clients

– This year we collaborated with David Bridgman Architects and DKJ Project Architects. I really value these opportunities to work alongside people with complimentary skill sets to create something really special. 

– This year our little DIA design community has grown in leaps and bounds, having it’s first ever inaugural Barefoot Bowls event which was such a laugh (and I wont be giving up my day job!)

– This year we took advantage of the Chamber of Commerce new membership for entrepreneurs. What a wonderful way to connect with likeminded people and do some networking.   


In family life our 4yo son completed pre-school and we are all very excited for his new journey to big school in 2022. Our 2yo daughter has turned into a fish it seems (quite fitting for our family!) and has topped her swimming class. Super proud parents here! 

We were also very fortunate to escape the build-up heat in November and sneak off to Brisbane and Gold Coast. Wonderful to catch up with family and friends who we hadn’t seen for the last 2 years due to restrictions.  As I right this, our Covid cases in the NT are doubling daily, it seems we got away at just the right time. My thoughts go out to those who continue to be separated from loved ones. 

We are so thankful of what we have been able to achieve this year. We couldn’t have done it without the support of our amazing clients, suppliers, peers, mentors and loving family and friends. We understand this has been a very challenging year for some and appreciate everyone we have worked with. And as always, a big thank you to all you people reading, liking and sharing my socials and spreading the word.

We wish your year ahead be filled with good health, much success and happy times and look forward to working with you in 2022.

Stef x 

Stefney Schultz
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