South Yarra, Victoria
What do you do?
As an Interior Designer & Decorator, I juggle my time between client meetings; sourcing fabulous new textiles, materials and finishes, designing and drawing up beautiful classic kitchens, bathrooms and bespoke furniture pieces.
What are you googling?
Luxury Boutique Accommodation in Sydney.
Robbie Nicol, an interior designer friend from Sydney, has just completed her apartment, Zenno. Located on Queen Street Woollahra, it’s the most perfect pied-a-terre. I’m booking right away!
What is your most overused phrase?
“How do you feel about green? Green walls, green ceiling, green doors and architraves?”… I am obsessed by all things green!
What’s your latest must have?
The Ion Standing Floor Light from Caravane Paris, we are expecting our first delivery of lighting, soft furnishings, candles and textiles – any day – can’t wait! Also our Scented Flameless Flickering Candles, real wax with a large moving imitation flame, battery operated and can be set on a timer. This means I can have candles burning in every room and not worry about the house burning down!
What is your design aesthetic and is it reflected in your home?
We focus on a timeless and classic design aesthetic tailored to the Australian lifestyle, always including special mid-century modern French or Italian furniture, light fittings and other interesting objects with lots of colour! My furniture collection is constantly evolving. Among my collection I have a 1980’s Cappellini Sofa, some Jasper Morrison low pad chairs, vintage Knoll Saarinen able and Viennese thonet dining chairs.
What do you love about working in Interior Design and Decoration?
The most rewarding part of my job is the look on a client’s face when a project is finally complete. When you’re translating ideas into reality it really requires a certain level of trust from your client and to see them happy is so rewarding.
At Brownlow Interior Design you look for furniture, artwork and bespoke pieces with a point of difference. What are four of your favourite interior pieces?
1. We use mirrors in all rooms of a house- I love Osvaldo Borsani pieces from the 1930’s.
2. Baskets (for wood or magazines) – an oversized basket adds organic texture to any interior, we buy lots from Market Import.
3. Ptolomeo’s vertical bookstand is a favourite book storage option for tight spaces and it’s sculptural too.
4. Artist Graham Fransella creates beautiful pictures. Each piece has an initial resounding emptiness, however upon further inspection you notice the myriad of textures, layered to offer the viewer endless pleasure in its complexity.
What are your trusted resources for interior/design inspiration?
Australian magazines – Vogue Living, Belle, Habitus, Inside Out and Country Style
International Magazines – Ideat France, Veranda USA, World of Interiors, Surface, Wallpaper, Cote du Paris, AD, Maison Francaise, Elle Décor Italy, Elle Decoration France.
Blogs – sharedesign.com, inoutdesignblog.com, yellowtrace.com.au, lonnymag.com, nowness.com andcoolhunting.com
What are some of the best interior homewares stores to visit in Melbourne?
Please share your top three tips for anyone looking to re-decorate their home?
1. Floor rugs are a must have – they make rooms more cohesive and grounded.
2. Incorporate ambient lighting – forget your recessed halogens (actually turn them off) and go for interesting floor lights, table lights and decorative pendant lighting.
3. Shapes – consider the shape of your sofa, armchair, table or dining chair and try to create different lines that encourage your eye to travel around the room. Elegant, feminine shapes will always help soften square furniture and avoid heavy, clumsy pieces.
Please tell us your top 5 must-have’s
1. Stanley Fat Max Xtreme Tape Measure – it extends to 5m without collapsing!
2. The new Jonathon Adler Textile Collection, launched at Maison Objet Paris and available from Brownlow Interior Design.
3. By Terry Cellularose Brightening Serum from Mecca Cosmetica – a true miracle.
4. Meredith Goats Cheese – it goes with sweet or savoury, so versatile.
5. iPad – it sounds so cliché but it really is so useful, it’s the answer to everything.