At Home With Five of Australia’s Most Stylish Women
When I was in my 20s, I was utterly fashion obsessed. As an editor at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, I was completely entrenched in the fashion world. Once I was flown to Seoul just to attend the opening of Miuccia Prada’s exhibition on skirts. Another time, I flew to the South of France to attend a Chanel Cruise fashion show. Talk about a dream job. Then something happened: I turned 30 and had a baby. Suddenly, I started caring more about my sofa than my skirts.
Now, as the mother of two girls and editor of a site targeted at stylish mothers, I’d invest in a piece of art over a piece of clothing any day. I could blame my mother: she’s been an interior decorator for over 20 years and I’ve inherited her obsession with decorating and changing spaces. You’ll often find me rearranging a room or mixing up the cushions. Which is why one of the best parts of editing The Grace Tales is visiting chic women at home and admiring their interiors. Let’s just say I pick up new tips and tricks weekly and I’m always thrilled to share them with my readers. So from Megan Morton to Kerrie Hess, here’s how five of Australia’s most stylish women approach interiors.
“I have lived here in my home in Brisbane for almost a year and a half since returning from living in Paris. When I found the place the walls were yellow and the flooring was orange, but there was beautiful old Queenslander details in every corner. I couldn’t wait to just paint the whole place bright white, sand back the floors to the original wood and stain them a glossy dark walnut. Most of my furniture was shipped back from Paris, so these classic Parisian tones feel like a lovely mix of European styling in a Queensland setting. I like colour in my office and son's bedroom, but keep the rest of my house very neutral and monochrome because I find that most calming.”
“When this picture was taken, we had recently returned from London and had only been in our house with our furniture for two weeks. The interior of our current home is a blank canvas, which I love—soaring ceilings and period details with lots of white and tonnes of light. We have mixed our eclectic interior style from London with a few more beachy-vibed pieces so I hope the result is a fresh modern take on traditional space that’s also an inviting family home. For me interiors are all about facilitating a sense of ease and celebrating everyday life. I love layering a period space that’s painted white—with colour, pattern, texture, art and a little injection of whimsy—often through lighting choices. Playing with proportion and adding surprise elements is what makes it fun. I love mixing styles and have been really influenced by my travels and my time in England where the decorating is often more layered and maximalist than it is here in Australia.”
“As a young girl I would re-decorate my room on a seasonal basis. I have always had a love of antique furniture, so would regularly shop for unique pieces with my Mum which we could rub back and paint (we did a lot of this for our Palm Beach house, actually!). We bought the beach house in November and course wanted it ready for Christmas, so we did a very quick renovation which involved painting everything in sight white with a contrasting light blue trim which was a bit risky but I think worked, as it really highlights the amazing views that the house has. I stuck to a colour palette of white, tan, yellow and blue and basically scoured second hand furniture shops and Ebay as was on a very tight budget and because it was a beach house which we knew we would probably holiday let down the track so we didn’t want anything too precious. My husband commissioned a painting from a very talented abstract artist George Raftopoulos—he painted it at the house taking in my obsession for blue and painted his interpretation of the Palm Beach headland. It wasn’t until this was installed that the main living area eventually all came together.”
Aimee Leah Thompson
“We have lived in our home for two years and it’s heaven. Simple, a true nest in every sense of the word. It’s not like my other homes, which have been deliberately ‘overdone’ and ‘heavily styled’. I have gone slow here and invested in all those invisible touch points—like amazing mattress toppers from Bella Casa Linen on all the beds (so amazing we call them ‘the clouds!’), invisible sound systems, beautiful-to-the-touch-door-hardware, to perfecting my floor stain palette. I am going slowly to get all my ingredients list right! Things that don’t show up in a picture but are felt strongly IRL. While it is tiny, it sits next to the most charming piece of water in Sydney, Redleaf beach. I believe in living outward. The idea of having the best bits of your home life intertwined with nature, and the broader community.”
“Our home is contemporary with minimal fixtures and fittings and then lots of timber, natural stone and bright pops of colour make it feel warm and lived-in. I hate clutter and ‘things’ lying round, so it’s definitely more on the clean side. Each room has a distinct personality but it all works.”
Which home suits your interior style the most? Tell us in the comments below!