Chyka Keebaugh | Who's Your
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WHO'S YOUR? is the curated black book of the best in their business.

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Chyka Keebaugh

Director of The Big Group & The Design Depot
Chyka Keebaugh is the director of The Big Group (TBG), one of Australia’s largest privately owned catering and event management companies. Chyka is also the Director of The Design Depot, the sister to TBG and home of the styling and creative arm of the business. The Big Group and The Design Depot collaborate to orchestrate up to 10,000 events annually - from luxury boutique openings and at home parties for family and friends, to national road shows and major sporting events. WY? talks to the woman behind these two successful companies…

Name:
Chyka Keebaugh

Home is?
Malvern, Victoria

What do you do?
I am the director of The Big Group and The Design Depot, along with my husband Bruce.

What are your three essential features to creating a memorable event?
1. The initial impact when you walk in the room must fully embrace all of the senses.
2. Fragrance, colour and sound are essential.
3. The theme or story for the occasion should have an element of surprise.

Biggest challenge to date?
The Big Group recently collaborated with an international event company on a royal wedding in the Middle East. The logistics, food, styling, staff, transport, culture, religion, weather and the remote location all created a colossal task for everyone to work together and cooperate, however we were able to pull it off successfully.

You and Bruce are both visually creative. How do you agree to the same look and style of an important event or project?
We both have a similar style yet bring different strengths to each occasion; Bruce is more about the big picture and I tend to focus on the detail.

Favourite online sources of inspiration are?
My favourite blogs include Fric n’ Frac, Broadsheet Melbourne, Design Files, Shelter, Eat.Drink.Chic, Snippet and Ink, Trendland and Nowness

A cost-effective way to brighten a home and make an impression would be…
Place fresh flowers in each room. Fresh flowers are a simple, beautiful and elegant way to change the look of a space. Alternating cushions and moving them around to different rooms is also another trick of mine, while scented candles will always make a space feel intimate and special.

You have an incredible eye for detail and unique pieces. Where/how do you source your venues?
Bruce and I are always on the lookout for exclusive spaces. When we find one we love we follow up with the owners to see if we can access the space to host an extraordinary party. A number of privately owned premises including contemporary galleries, distinctive retail stores and disused building sites also contact us offering exclusivity of their space.

My favourite place to escape for some downtime and why?
I love to travel to Thailand however other highlights include Mexico and India – for colour, movement and that unique sense of vavoom!

My go-to designers or stores for standout eveningwear and events are…
Scanlan and Theodore, Arthur Galan, Camilla and Willow.

  • We hear you have a great pipe ‘Mr Fix it’ on speed dial. Tell us, Who’s Your Plumber?
  • Andrew from 100% Plumbing. He runs a 24-hour plumbing service and always comes up with a solution to our plumbing problems.