YOUR FIRST BOOK, INDIVIDUAL IS ABOUT TO BE RELEASED - OMG WOO! WHAT KICKED OFF THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK?
OMG woo indeed! From a purely selfish point of view, I just wanted to spend time in interesting homes, connecting with rad people and creating a body of work filled with rich, layered images and thoughtful words! Publishing a book has always been on my list of things I've wanted to achieve (still high on the list: set dressing for film and getting published in Apartamento), and I’ve always been obsessed with how we express our personality through the things we wear and items we gather around ourselves.
When it comes to interiors, it's always the unique, creative spaces that catch my eye and hit my heart. I went part time with Temple & Webster in 2017 and I teamed up with photographer Sue Stubbs to shoot interesting spaces just for fun. We quickly realised there was something in it all and since Sue had been published in books in the past, she was able to put me in contact with a publisher and it rolled on from there. There was a bit of a set back in the process when my original publisher shut down their Australian offices (oh boy that was not a nice phone call to receive!) but my new publisher Murdoch Books has been incredibly supportive and the final outcome has blown me away.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON THE 15 HOUSES TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BOOK?
This might sound like a lie but I promise it’s not – nothing about actually creating the book’s content was hard. There were challenges – the logistics of coordinating photo shoots will never go smoothly and budget airlines will always suck – but I had a clear vision from the beginning that the homes all needed to be totally different in style because the aim of the book is to showcase the beautifully unique ways we live.
I would look for layered spaces that were filled with interesting pieces put together in a way that suggested to me that the homeowner cared about their home. If they had spent time on making their home their own, I knew that the stories about their home would also be stories about themselves and their life experiences. That was what I wanted to celebrate.
I started reaching out to people who I knew had awesome homes– old friends from school, neighbours, past workmates - and then they would suggest someone else and I would reach out to them. I did a handful of cold calls via Instagram ('cold DM's' I guess?) and had a good success rate there too. There were (polite) rejections but it was mostly because the timing wasn’t right for the homeowners.
YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT PUTTING PERSONALITY INTO HOMES WITHOUT A HUGE BUDGET OR EXPERT DESIGNER, CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND INDIVIDUAL?
I know many Aussies get a bit stuck when it comes to creating warm, inviting spaces that they love. They see a million and one images on Instagram or Pinterest, they watch people whip up entire homes overnight on renovation shows or they flick through magazines and glossy design books and wonder why their rooms don’t look like the ones on the page. Individual makes the statement that a beautiful home can mean different things to different people, and that it’s the differences that make life interesting. We need to embrace the things that make us unique and not succumb to a cookie cutter aesthetic that adds nothing to the conversation, or worse, causes feelings of anxiety and inferiority - yuck.