What are some of the biggest interior design mistakes people make when starting out?
From the very beginning you must have a clear style direction for your home. It makes the decision process much easier. I think a lot of people don’t really know or research enough what the elements are that make up the style they are trying to achieve, and they end up with a hodge podge of miss-matched styles and don’t feel confident in their design decisions too.
We’re constantly bombarded with new interior design trends (especially in the age of Instagram). How do you recommend people don’t fall into the expensive trap of buying into passing furniture trends?
For me personally, I wait a few months or even a year before I buy something I love. This is to make sure I truly love it, think about where it will go in the home, and am ready for the investment. I want to make sure I am not just falling for another trend. If you still love it six months from now, then go for it.
What are your top timeless design hacks?
Work with a neutral colour palette. Neutrals are always timeless. Also, add some vintage pieces, they forever look good and are usually more treasured than something new.
How can we tell if a piece of expensive furniture will pass the test of time?
Research where and how it was made, and the materials used to construct it. Consider if they are sturdy and durable.
How did you develop your own personal design style?
It took a few years of trial and error! But I just became naturally drawn to neutral colours, mixing old with new, using pieces with interesting shapes and proportions… Just playing around and practising my styling at home and then I noticed a pattern of things I was drawn to and it helped me to identify what my style is and really hone in on it and define it. I am constantly refining it too. It evolves constantly.
What are some favourite pieces of furniture that you own?
My Moda Pierra table lamp. I waited 18 months before I bought it to make sure I really love it. I’m still just as obsessed with it now a few years later after seeing it for the first time. Its beautiful.
What advice do you have for people who are still in the process of trying to solidify their sense of interior design style?
Take your time and start saving images of interiors that you love and then try to identify any common threads between them. Then focus in on these common threads and remove any images that don’t align with the look. This will help you stay focused on developing and defining your style.
You are obviously passionate about styling and sharing your knowledge as seen through your fantastic e-course styling school ‘The Stylist Lab’. What can students expect to get out of your courses and what feedback have you received to date?
Yes, very passionate! Maybe a little obsessed! The course will take you through step by step on many areas of styling including, Foundations of Styling, Defining your Personal style, coming up with a Style Concept for your home, then I show students how to style specific areas and rooms of their home. Plus loads of styling secrets I use.
I’ve had such lovely feedback from the course, I’ve been overwhelmed with all the testimonials and photos of how the course has transformed peoples homes. I feel like a proud parent guiding them on their styling journey and cheering them on with their progress. It’s been so incredible teaching so many people.
How can your students translate the online course practically into their home?
The course is designed around using what you have already at home and I walk you through how you can apply it in your home. You don’t need to have expensive furniture or homewares, I encourage people to go through their cupboards and ‘dig for treasure’ and display them. So they are creating a home that truly reflects them and their story.
I recently enjoyed your session on ‘My Top 5 Styling Secrets, Revealed’. How do you find the creative pursuit of styling translates to the online learning environment?
So many of my students love that the course is self-paced so they can do it in their own time at their own pace and practice in their own home. Our lives are busy and online learning needs to be adaptable to accommodate this. That’s why I designed the course to be done whenever it works for you. The lessons are short so its easy to get through, doesn’t feel overwhelming but is still jam packed with info. So its easy to commit to and stress free learning because you are not having to work to deadlines.
Lastly what is your favourite piece on Two Design Lovers at the moment and how would you use it?
That’s such a tough choice, there are so many amazing pieces! But I do love these two pieces: The Art Deco Table and chairs and the Aerin Clarkson sconce lights!