Thursday, 30 April 2009


Sometimes learning about new inspiring people and amazing design is like a game of Chinese whispers. I discovered Madeleine Sargent and her gorgeous business Made By Mosey through a friend of a friend of a work colleague. And so began my love affair with the cloud mobile.

Which five words best describe you? Patient, jolly, loyal, neat, busy.

What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first proper job was at a fruit and veg store called Supa Fresh! Apart from learning how to test a rock melon for ripeness, I think the best lesson my then 15-year-old self learnt was the value of hard work. I have never been afraid of working hard since. Years of study, retail, more study, husband and babies has finally led me to starting my own little business doing something that was always a hobby. I worried initially that all the sewing would turn into a chore but I still love every needle I thread.

What’s your proudest achievement? Personally, my children (they are the best!) and artistically, I feel sure that it is just around the corner!

What’s been your best decision? Getting behind my sewing machine after having our first child, Otto. I suffered from very bad post-natal depression and sewing (among other things) really helped me work through it. Poor Otto, though, he ended up with many peculiar handmade toys whereas now, five years later, our daughter, Coco sleeps beneath lovebirds and cuddles toy clouds.

Who inspires you? My husband, Andy, times a million. He is not only my love, he is the kindest, coolest, most encouraging man I know. He is also a super talented artist himself and his input with Mosey has been invaluable. I am also hugely inspired by nature. I spend a lot of time outdoors and there are always marvellous new things to observe.

What are you passionate about? I am incredibly passionate about family, and friends who have become like family. Also recycling everything! A huge part of my work is being able to turn old things into new things.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Kindness begets kindness. Being kind, just kind, is highly underrated.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Roald Dahl.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I want to see all of my ideas leap from my sketchbook into real life and definitely a queen size Hankey Blankey.

What are you reading? Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is my book club’s "book of the month" and Frankie magazine always. I love reading about crafty people who are doing their thing.

images courtesy of made by mosey

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

(design.inspiration) morgan wills

There's a definite chill in the air in Sydney now and so it seems fitting to feature someone who makes the most beautiful blankets and scarves. I actually first came across Morgan Wills and her wares when I was researching an article for Real Living on everything folk. I was won over by her gorgeous babushka dolls. And while I still love her designs and colours, right now I'm completely in love with the blue patchwork blanket above. Oh, and Morgan's story is quite interesting: she's actually a qualified furniture designer maker and interior designer, and spent the past 10 years in event management and desktop publishing, but during her non-work hours she's pretty much dedicated her time to making things. And she's just launched her website where you can shop online.

Which five words best describe you? My husband says I am…..munificent, passionate, creative, colourful and loving.
What’s your proudest achievement? Being a finalist in Expressions 2008: The Wool Quilt Prize (National Wool Museum – Geelong) in 2006 and again in 2008.
Who inspires you? People who are in touch with their creativity and are passionate about what they do; especially those that seek to master their craft and are devoted to expressing themselves through their chosen medium.
What are you passionate about? I have 100 things that make my heart sing: Advent Calendars, Agga wood stoves, A-line skirts, Anodised Aluminium, Apples, Author Paulo Coelho, Babushkas, Bandaids with pictures, Basil, Birkenstocks, Blankets, Bob Dylan, Buttons, Cake stands, Calico, Cardigans, Cats, Champagne, Coffee first thing in the morning, Colour, Craft markets, Creeks, Crochet, Cubby houses, Cyclamens, Dark Chocolate, Dinosaur Designs, Dolls houses, Dr Seuss, Dress ups, Empire line dresses, Felt beads, Fornesetti faces, Frangelico, Gaudi, Gina Garen dolls, Gingerbread houses, Golden books, Grant Featherston furniture, Grass Roots magazine, Haighs Chocolate frogs, Inari, Japan, Karmann Ghia, Kewpie dolls, Kilt pins, Kitsch religious iconography, Laminex tables, Lanterns, Laughing, Lavender, Le Creuset, Lip gloss, MAC makeup, Magdalena, Marimekko, Metallicus, Mirka Mora, My daughter Kitty, My husband Sam, 1950s domestic illustrations, 1950s kitchenalia, Op shops, Outré Gallery, Paper dolls, Pegs, Pocky, Rae Hamon (NZ Artist), Ramen noodles, Recycling, Red hair, Reggae, Rosewater spray, Scarves, Sewing machines, Shinto temples, Silver jewellery, Singing silly songs, Soap, Succulents, Tapas, Tea cups, Tea towels, The Beatles, The number 22, The sound of my daughter laughing, Tiny drawers, Toad in a hole, Trees, Tupperware, Valiants, Veggie gardens, Vince Jones, Vintage sugar bowls, Wedding Kimono Fabric, Wicker washing baskets, Winter solstice, Wonton noodle soup, Yum Cha, Zucchini.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? How to harness the power of the ‘Law of Attraction’.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Nelson Mandela – it would be humbling.
What’s next? My new product range for winter 2009.
What are you reading? Predominately emails and I also try to read the local paper, as well as the various magazines I subscribe to… which mind you, are in a huge untouched stack beside the bed… Hmmm…

Images courtesy of Morgan Wills

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

(design.inspiration) mia feasey

Through my recent decorating project I've learnt something not only about myself but also about decision-making. It's that sometimes you should just go with your first, gut reaction. Many times in the past weeks I've liked something, gone around in circles exploring other options, to return to where I began. That's why I love when Mia Feasey from Siren Design says that trusting your instincts is critical to being successful in not only design, but life. Given her great talent and can-do attitude, I'd say Mia's instincts were worth trusting, too.

Which five words best describe you? Decisive, compassionate, vivacious, ambitious, creative.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first job was aged 13 working in my Dad’s restaurant; I worked through my textiles course in England and my first year here in Australia as a bartender, barrister, waitress, telemarketer and a shop girl. The last job I had before I got my foot in the door with a large design firm as their Librarian was as a bar tender in the pub across the road!
What’s your proudest achievement? Owning and operating a successful interior design business that has a fantastic culture made up of talented, passionate individuals that all care about what we do and how we do it.
What’s been your best decision? To go out on my own, I used to have a business partner in a previous business. It was “scary canary” going it alone, but it was the best decision to take that risk.
Who inspires you? I gain inspiration from different people at different times but usually always people or nature; For example there was a time I was inspired by Marcel Wanders for a particular project, who was then replaced by an aboriginal artist Minnie Pwerle. However I am constantly inspired by the people I surround myself with including my husband, mentors and staff.
What are you passionate about? Having the opportunity to constantly being able to create new and different environments for other people and myself. I love the fact that they have to be practical and user friendly but that they can also be inspirational, exhilarating, surprising and progressive all at the same time.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Sometimes non-deliberative judgement is a healthy way to make decisions. Being instinctual is a trait that most people forget about or dismiss. I often have to remind myself to “trust my instincts,” I rarely get it wrong and I can get it done faster!
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? My biological mother, I would still love to find my natural mother and thank her for giving me up to the best parents and childhood a person would ever wish for.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Designing a 5 star hotel with a cutting edge restaurant and bar. A client that will trust me to do the absolute best for them and their business. I have so many concepts in my sketch pad that just need to be funded!!!!
What are you reading? A fraction of the whole by Steve Toltz

Images courtesy of Siren Design

Monday, 27 April 2009


About a year ago I produced some guest blog posts for Design*Sponge and have decided to publish the posts here as well. Please, enjoy them as I publish one a week over the coming weeks.

The original post on Deborah Bibby is here.

During the day I’m lucky enough to be deputy editor of an Australian interiors magazine Real Living. I recently read that if you love your job, you don’t work a day in your life – that’s true of what I do: visiting people’s homes, interviewing creative types, showcasing amazing interior design and sourcing great buys as well as brainstorming feature ideas, writing, commissioning and reading proofs all to make the best magazine possible… plus so much more. I never look at the clock – except maybe to say, “It can’t be that time already.” Through Real Living I have met some incredibly talented people. Most importantly, for me, they’re inspiring too. There’s no greater motivator than to meet someone who is passionate about what they do – it makes me want to stretch that little higher. This week I want to showcase some people who I truly admire – not only for their output but for their outlook on life.

Note: All photos, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of Real Living Magazine

Today… I want to start at the beginning. Before blogs there were magazines. This is where the ball got rolling of showcasing people, places and ideas. And, importantly, it’s where bloggers turn to every day for pics. Creating a magazine is no easy task and some do it with more flair than others. Here are two of my favourites…

image courtesy of elsa dillon

Burst of inspiration: Deborah Bibby

Deb is not only a great boss who inspires me with her enthusiasm for the mag, but she’s got a great eye for all things beautiful. She started out editing fashion magazines, moved into interior styling and after many other projects, including a stint as a book publisher, is now editor of Real Living.

When you were working as interior stylist where did you find your inspiration? Inspiration always came from everything around me – a pattern on a fabric could trigger a whole look or feel; flicking through overseas books and magazines; quite often a movie, the styling on film sets is sometimes incredibly beautiful and I can find myself missing the storyline because I have been caught up in the interior detail; artists/photographers’ studios are a great source for spying new uses for old things which can trigger a feature idea and always friends’ homes – it’s there you see the everyday in action and that is what really inspires ideas (especially now for Real Living).

What was the best lesson you learnt? Be brave - the most unlikely combinations of items can sometimes be perfect, but there needs to be a basic thread whether it be a colour or a material. And creating an emergency vignette will always help bring a bland space to life or make it instantly fashionable.

How has your own personal interior style come about? I’ve never been asked this question before and it feels quite indulgent to ponder your own interior style because you never quite see yourself as having a particular style. Working in the business you are always looking at others style so I’ve tried to step back and decipher my own home – it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes to be honest. What look is it exactly and how has it come about? My thoughts: I think interior styles are an extension of your personal style and I also think it is intrinsic to where you grow up. I grew up in Africa; it was a part of my life for so long and I do see that influence reflected in my interior style as a constant. From the love of lanterns for night lighting (I even love the smell of the citronella in them), to the raw earthy colours and textures of the rugs, sofas, cushions and throws that I have collected over time. I think it is very important to create very welcoming spaces; you want a home to comfort you and feel tranquil. You want to be allowed to curl up on the sofa or sit on the edge of a coffee table and flick through well-thumbed books. So my furnishings are soft, tactile and the lighting is low and moody – not unlike being in a tent in the bush at night, if that makes sense? I also have a genuine love of old Australian houses, especially beach cottages, and they inspire a sense of casual interior again – sand through the house, old fly screen doors and marble-top kitchen benches worn down over years. Important to not just see an interior but feel it and through these emotions I think my interior style has developed. I also love Australian native plants, the colours of the desert and the richness of Aboriginal artworks – not dissimilar to the things that inspire me from Africa really. So I think my interior style is a romanticism of Africa and Australia. It’s casual and classic and that is really how I like to live, and it’s my own personal style too.

How would you describe Real Living? We are not precious, we are down to earth - but we have great style.

How is it different to other interior mags? Real Living’s demographic is much younger and hipper than other interior magazines. We source everything in the magazine for our readers (no other interior magazine captions all their products, and I mean all of their products). We always aim to showcase affordable homewares and furniture and love the challenge of hunting out a bargain. Most interior magazines act as an inspirational source, Real Living is inspirational but also actionable – fall in love with an item in the magazine and you can go out and buy it (and afford it too)! We really are an affordable interior, lifestyle bible and that sets us way apart from all the others.

Where do you look to for inspiration for the mag?
Believe it or not but Italian Vogue gives me great hits of inspiration. I love flicking through overseas fashion magazines in general and translating fashion ideas into interior ideas. You’d be amazed at how closely linked they are. Interior blogs (such as Absolutely Beautiful Things) are increasingly becoming a new source of ideas and interior books also give me inspiration - check out: Home is where the heart is? by Ilse Crawford and Midwest Modern by Amy Butler.

What have been some of your favourite features? [note: the interview was conducted March 2008]

Colour Tricks for small spaces (May 07) - Image courtesy of Elsa Dillon.

Alyson Fox’s house (March 08) - Image courtesy of Amanda Elmore
Italian Food for Friends (April 08) - Image courtesy of Mark Roper

Inviting Rooms (Sept 07) - Image courtesy of Elsa Dillon

Stylish storage tips (Jan 08) - Image courtesy of Nick Scott

The list goes on…

Who inspires you?
Image courtesy of Vogue and Peter Lindbergh.

Elizabeth Tilberis – Past editor-in-chief of Vogue UK and Harper’s Bazaar USA
Liz started out as an intern on British Vogue and flew up the ladder to become editor-in-chief. Her first cover was shot by Peter Lindbergh and featured supermodel Helena Christensen. One of the images inside had Helena in silver suit on a white horse - it took my breath away and I have collected all Liz’s issues. She became an inspiration to me and I did get to meet her while living in London: she was so welcoming, warm and genuine. Not long after editing Vogue she was headhunted to edit the old, stale Harper’s Bazaar in the States - she turned it on its head. It became the cutting-edge fashion magazine. Unfortunately, Liz died of ovarian cancer while still at the helm of the beautiful magazine. She was only 51-years-old (during her battle she became a champion of women with cancer and wrote a book No Time to Die: Living with Ovarian Cancer).

Image courtesy of Peter Beard.

Peter Beard – Visionary artist and photographerHe was a champion of wildlife conservation and recorded this passion in Kenya through photographs embellished with drawings, diary notes and clippings. He also used animal blood like paint sometimes splattered over his pictures. As the blood aged the patina changed to a deep, dark red which looks extraordinarily beautiful. I have his book Fifty Years of Portraits and simply open the pages and a million ideas flood my mind.

Images courtesy of Signature Prints.

Florence Broadhurst - Flamboyant designerI admire her bravery in such a conservative time – she became famous for her bold and rather unique pattern design. She also printed on unusual surfaces such as transparent mylars, foils and metallics. The book Florence Broadhurst by Helen O’Neill is something anybody interested in interiors should have on their shelves. The patterns can’t help but inspire you – I especially love The Cranes – they translate into every colour, every treatment whether printed onto fabric or wallpaper.

Image courtesy of Isle Crawford.

Isle Crawford – former editor of the UK’s Elle Decoration and director of Studioilse, LondonElle Decoration is still my source of inspiration, and I look forward to the “thud” of it landing on my desk each month. I have also followed the career of Isle, and her book Home Is Where the Heart Is? is my new tucked-under-the-arm inspiration. She is a brilliant stylist: in my eyes the best! And, again, an emotional stylist – so I must be constantly attracted to the elements of REAL.

Image courtesy of Architecture Week.

Peter Stutchbury - ArchitectPete is one of Australia’s wonderful, inspiring architects. I have visited his house on numerous occasions and it’s like being in a tree house. His houses bring you close to nature; they are very emotive and you feel the elements surround you. The simplicity and hidden complexity is what inspires me about his work.

Image courtesy of View Images.

Fleur Cowles – Editorial Director and Creator Flair USAThis has to be the most beautiful magazine ever created. It was born in the 50s and cost so much money to produce that it only lasted a year – a magazine like this will never happen again unless, of course, another crazy passionate creator comes along with a pocketful of dollars. I am inspired by her creation and her passion for publishing something seriously beautiful.

Image courtesy of Vogue Italia

Carine Roitfeld – Editor, Vogue ParisAnother Elizabeth Tilberis but grungy – check out French Vogue and see if it does anything for you.

Image courtesy of Creative Review

Fabien Baron – Art director He has the EYE. He moved from Paris to New York to become art director of Self and GQ magazines and at the same time was made the creative director of Italian Vogue, which was where I noticed him – his use of typography was fresh and exciting. He started his own company Baron & Baron and later went on to become creative director of Harper’s Bazaar, for which he has won numerous awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors and the Society of Publication Designers. At Baron & Baron he has designed advertising campaigns for Issey Miyake, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Pucci, Michael Kors and Norma Kamali. Baron is also creative director at Calvin Klein… phew, can one person do anymore?

Image above (left) courtesy of Arthur Elgort
Image above, right, courtesy of Peter Lindbergh

Arthur Elgort and Peter Lindberg – PhotographersThey both shot for Liz Tilberis, they both love to work in black and white, and their fashion shoots are more like stills from movie sets – they incorporate interior and exterior spaces into their work and that is what attracts and inspires.

What are you passionate about?
My job, magazines are my passion and my gorgeous son of course!

Friday, 24 April 2009

(art.inspiration) martine emdur

Sometimes I get blown away by artists. Not just by the sheer scope of their talent. But by just how "normal" they are. I think many of us think of artists as other-worldly people. After all, they have special talents and can make their hands work in mysterious ways. But I think it's also because galleries can be such austere, cold, inhuman places. And so it's hard to imagine the lifeforce than informs being an artist. Not just the heroin-maddened stereotype of it that comes along more rarely than not with the likes of Brett Whitely. No, I'm talking about the reality of life for most artists. The day-to-day application of their art. Their family routines. And so on. This all came to light to me when Martine Emdur responded to the Daily Imprint questionnaire. It was such a relief to hear about the normalcy of her day-to-day living because we're talking about a woman whose works sell for a lot of money. Martine's such an amazing talent and success story. It still amazes me that she is self-taught. I've been a fan for a long time. Martine recently exhibited at the prestigious Tim Olsen Gallery.

Which five words best describe you? Short, odd, late, unorganised, loyal.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I was a checkout girl at Grace Bros during school, followed by a series of receptionist/secretarial/bar jobs, most of which I was sacked from. I escaped the treadmill of unsuitable jobs by heading to Dunk Island where the opportunity to teach myself to paint presented itself. After a decade of commercial artwork I had my first solo show in 1997 and have been on steady path of painting ever since.
What’s your proudest achievement? It will be getting my son to school every morning by 9.00 a.m. next year.
What’s been your best decision? To never work for anybody again.
What was the starting point for this latest exhibition? 23 blank canvases, paint, thoughts about the subtleties of dark spaces.
Who inspires you? Selfless people who instinctually act for the greater good. I get way too caught up in my own little world.
What are you passionate about? The amazing cafe at the corner of my street. I hate cooking. Family, friends, coffee and painting also top the list.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? The one constant is change. Particularly handy thought to have up your sleeve when things are overwhelming.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Frida Kahlo.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? A solid night sleep! Apart from that, my home renovation is about to start very soon. A long time fantasy finally turning into reality.
What are you reading? I'm about to start The Soul of the White Ant, written by Eugene Marais. The little critters happen to be digesting my (soon to be demolished) house as we speak. They're extraordinary to say the least.

Images courtesy of Martine Emdur and Tim Olsen Gallery. Portrait of Martine courtesy
of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

(blog.inspiration) girl with a satchel

Erica drools over mags...
in the nicest possible way.

And reviews them.

Plus, talks books.

And fashion.

Erica is Girl With A Satchel.

When Madison recently asked me for my fave blogs I wrote something akin to a proviso. You know, I'm just giving you this week's current obsessions because I know you don't have room to run all of the ones I visit... Which is another long way of saying that there are a whole stack of blogs that I'm completely addicted to. I have to confess that when I was on maternity leave I checked out about 40 different blogs on a daily basis. They were my non-baby lifeline. They kept my pulse racing with all sorts of interesting things going on beyond the four walls of my Bondi apartment. One that I checked daily then, and now, is Girl With A Satchel. If you're obsessed with magazines, as I am, then it's a great way to get a precis of what's on the newsstands - a try-before-you-buy type situation. But, also, the blog author, Erica Bartle, keeps readers up to date with all sorts of juicy media info. The other night she had me in a complete tizz because of her report that ACP Magazines, where I work, may be moving to North Ryde! Anyway, I was curious to learn more about Erica and what inspires her.

Which five words best describe you? Empathetic, driven, organised, passionate, perfectionist!
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first proper job was working in a wee Newport boutique called Jennifer John, aged 16/17. It catered for northern beaches female Baby Boomers. I was already a magazine obsessive, so I parlayed some of my fashion trend knowledge into making buying suggestions (talk about precocious!). At the time, knee-length pleated skirts were all the rage. Since then, I've worked in advertising (where I learnt a lot about The Boys' Club), PR (producing a riveting corporate newsletter called 'Remuneration Review' and pimping out statistics to the Financial Review) and, of course, magazines. My first mag job was working on kids' title K-Zone. I wrote for Total Girl before moving into the beauty editing and then deputy editor gigs on Girlfriend. Now I write freelance and edit Girl With a Satchel.
What's your proudest achievement? Probably moving to Queensland with my husband. That took a lot of soul searching - moving from the Sydney mag scene and jumping off the publishing career treadmill into the sheltered world of Mount Tamborine. Thank heavens for the internet!
What's been your best decision? See above! Also, to stick with Girl With a Satchel even when the going got tough (blogging can be a solitary profession) and despite the bitchy anonymous comments. I think my faith has helped keep things in perspective.
Who inspires you? So many people! My husband, my sister, my mother-in-law, my best friends, and a list of authors, writers, bloggers and media types as long as your arm. Mia Freedman, Maggie Alderson, Kaz Cooke, Pip Lincolne, India Knight, Jana Wendt, Zoe Foster and Mark Sayers (it's a boy!) come to mind. Anyone who does what they're passionate about, and who lives a life beyond mediocrity, is inspiring to me.
What are you passionate about? God, first and foremost. I spend every morning in quiet contemplation with Him (though I tend to do more talking than listening). I think faith's extremely important in terms of keeping grounded, particularly in the often vacuous and malnourished media/celebrity/pop culture world. I'm also passionate about the glossies and the business of gloss (it's endlessly fascinating). Despite their shortcomings, magazines are like beautiful history books recording the who, what and wear of contemporary female life.
What's the best lesson you've learnt? To be successful at anything, a girl has to have balance in her life. It's no good throwing all your Easter eggs in one basket. And that good, strong relationships are essential to a meaningful life. Oh, and that trying to plan your life too much is a largely fruitless pursuit, which rails against my perfectionist/OCD tendencies.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Jesus, of course! The man was literally a God-send and espoused the values we should all aspire to live by. Barack and Michelle are fabulous role models, but Jesus was the business.
What dream do you still want to fulfill? I would like to open a wee shop and perhaps pen a book one day. Is that greedy?
What are you reading? 101 Things To Do Before You Diet by Mimi Spencer, Julia Morris' autobiography and a big, fat stack of glossy magazines!

Images via Girl With A Satchel

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

(styling.inspiration) kathy mckinnon

She has been named one of the Top 10 Costume Designers in Australia. And has also done track work with legendary horse trainer Bart Cummins. Talk about variety! But I know Kathy McKinnon for her styling work. Her elegant Sydney home will soon be featured in real living magazine. For now, though, enjoy these examples of her work, and her interview.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, driven, adventurous, energetic, athletic.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? I started off at Paddington markets selling clothes that I designed. Then established a streetwear label called Status Symbol and opened retail outlets. During that time I started styling on commercials and music videos. I was thrown in the deep end, my first job as a stylist was with director Alex Proyas. I loved the creative challenge, it was fantastic. I now work full time as a stylist.
What’s your proudest achievement? Lots of things, not just one single thing; riding track work for Bart Cummins, competing in ocean swims, representing Australia in the Commonwealth and Edinburgh Festival in costume design, having my designs in the permanent collections of the National gallery and the Powerhouse Museum, designing and developing my house and other properties.
What’s been your best decision? My career as a stylist.
Who inspires you? My partner, Richard.
What are you passionate about? Friends, family, food, great art and design.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Live life to the fullest.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Gandhi.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Living a long and happy life.
What are you reading? The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag.

Images courtesy of Kathy McKinnon

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

(shop.inspiration) armchair

Oh, I have a feeling that anyone who loves Anna Spiro's decorating style is going to be a fan of Pip Robb's shop Armchair. It's the way she beautifully matches eye-catching colourful fabrics with older pieces of furniture. You can visit the store in Sydney's Crows Nest or go online for a drool-fest. Pip also provides an interior design service, and don't be fooled by the name of the shop - she also sells sofas, lamps and other decorative pieces.

How and why did you start Armchair? I started Armchair as I had always wanted my own interiors store as cliché as that may sound. I wanted a store that could reflect who I am and the things I love. I found it hard to source one off pieces, especially armchairs so I thought, I’ll open my own store.
What’s been your best decision? Not to follow trends or colours just follow what I love. It’s easy to be swayed into buying things but I say to myself do I really love it?
What has been a highlight? A highlight is seeing a customer walking in the street with an Armchair bag in hand, quite a strange feeling actually.
Where do you look to for inspiration? Inspiration should come from everywhere. From your day to day life. My family, friends, fashion, magazines, food, colour trends, seasons, emotions, just life. I get inspiration all the time from so many different things.
What are you passionate about? Chairs, to state the obvious. I love chairs, I love fabrics. I love the reaction people have to different types of chairs. I love that a chair can make me excited and make a difference to any room.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Be open to advice. It’s the best way to learn and grow.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My very first job was in a chocolate shop! Apart from becoming a chocolate addict, it led me to furniture retailing, commercial design, freelance designing and now my beloved Armchair.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be? It would be my grandfather who died in his fifties. Everyone who knew him respected him so highly and I would find it interesting to have known the husband of my late Granny whom I adored.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Armchair everywhere... ha, maybe I’ll start with Melbourne. It would be a dream to open a second Armchair in Melbourne in the near future.
What are you reading? Women in Business. A boring answer for most, I know, but I find the stories really interesting.

Images courtesy of Armchair


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