Q&A WITH STYLIST CLAIRE DELMAR

We stumbled across Claire Delmar’s name while admiring her work in the glossy pages of an interior magazine. Her compositions stood out as simultaneously beautiful in their simplicity and telling in their story-like quality.

We were immediately attracted to Claire’s moody, earthy and elegant style, and later to her impeccable attention to detail and tireless drive for perfection.

We revealed our Raglan Street project last month and this month it has been a pleasure to sit down with Claire, who brought her aptitude for colours and textures and eye for beautiful artwork and ceramics to Raglan’s shoot day. Here she talks inspiration, trends and life lessons.

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WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Fast, Focused and Food obsessed.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?

I knew I wanted to do something creative from a very early age. My passions were art and textiles and after completing a Bachelor of Media I coincidently ended up in publishing as a Fashion Stylist. My mother is very creative so I grew up surrounded by her creativity in the kitchen and her eye for detail which was expressed through our home renovations.

 WHAT DID YOU DO TO EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET?

I worked at a pasta shop but fainted a few weeks into my first shifts so it wasn’t a great start!

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WHAT'S THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?

That if you are having a hard time remember tomorrow is always a new day. Don’t let something get you down or stress you out too much because after a decent sleep it’s a fresh start and new perspective, and almost always, it isn’t as bad as you may have thought.

WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

When I hear my children making each other laugh. Happiness is my biggest goal in life and I feel both my kids have a love for life, and each other, which makes me so proud.

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WHO INSPIRES YOU?

My beautiful Mum. She’s my muse and has always supported my creative work even though she comes from a background of science and my father from medicine.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

Food! I’m always talking or thinking about my next meal before I’ve finished the one I’m eating. I need to live more in the now and enjoy what’s in front of me. I coordinate my days around meals and if I’m sourcing I make sure I end up near a great cafe. My mum is an amazing cook and it’s something she has instilled in all her girls.

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DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

I tend not to follow trends but rather create from the space the project or client inhabit. It’s part of why I’ve enjoyed moving away from fashion. Interiors cross over many styles depending on the history of the space and I love that a building tells its own story and it isn’t just focusing on keeping up or following the latest trend.

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFIL?

I wish I had more time to travel with my children but apart from that I love what I do so I’m fulfilled through my career aspirations. I’m curious as to where it will all lead but have no specific end goal. For now I just hope to continue enjoying that every day is different, exciting and challenging. Challenge fuels my creative drive.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

The AKD team. I’m at a stage in life where it’s all about the people and the collaborations that inspire me. I don’t want to be spending time away from my children unless it’s valued so I try and work with people that make me laugh and are as passionate about design as I am.

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Images 1 - 2 via Claire Delmar / Image 3 - 6 via ©Alexandra Kidd Design

Q&A WITH ROBYN COSGROVE: REIGN OF RUGS

The name Robyn Cosgrove is synonymous with style and of course the most beautiful rugs. It is always a pleasure to sit down with Robyn and have a play with colours and textures . . . possessing the most beautiful eye for colour, we have been able to create some truly wonderful rugs for our clients. 

We are so grateful to Robyn for sharing her inspiring story with us, especially as we are reminded of the way the design industry has changed over the years in relation to opportunities for women, as it has in many industries, even if we still have a way to go! 

A fabulous designer, entrepreneur, businesswoman and proud grandmother, we hope you enjoy our chat with Robyn as much as we did.

What did you want to be growing up? 

Growing up in the 1940s and 50s the world was a very, very, very different place (goodness me, am I that old?). Work choices for women were totally non-existent and never really given any thought, although I guess I had dreams of becoming an art teacher, as teaching seemed to be acceptable for girls and I had always been imaginatively creative.

For a short while I studied textile and design at a time when there was nothing in Australia that recognised or connected us with the wonderful creative and distinctive interior design work coming out of America or Britain, which I so loved and admired. I relied entirely on my subscriptions to overseas interior design magazines (costing me a small fortune at the time!) and I believe the valuable inspiration and knowledge I gleaned and absorbed from these magazines set me off on a path of wanting to create my own individual style here in Australia in some form or another. That is when Robyn Cosgrove Rugs was born.

What's the best life lesson you have learnt along the way? 

I have learned a few lessons in my time! To always be consistent in individuality and creativity. To keep a handle on and recognise design movements, as well as ensuring designs and palettes are kept updated. Don’t ever look over your shoulder and compare yourself with competitors. But most importantly – create quality – in everything, always.

What is your proudest achievement?

I have seven beautiful grandchildren. How lucky and proud am I!

Who inspires you? 

I have to say when I visit Nepal I am totally in awe and in admiration of my weavers. They are the happiest and most content women who always greet me with such love and pride to be weaving Robyn Cosgrove designs. Actually, they make me quite ashamedly aware of the simple, unprivileged and hard life they endure with dignity and always with a smile.

What is your biggest vice?

This would have to be when I get a bee in my bonnet and create some mad design with a really mad palette! It really is a very silly of me as Australians are basically conservative so naturally these inventions never find a home!

Do you follow trends or are you a trendsetter? 

It’s hard to be a trendsetter in Australia as we are now connected to the world, so I like to think I am a trendsetter of QUALITY.

What dream do you still want to fulfill? 

Mmmmm . . . that the Robyn Cosgrove Rugs brand keeps on keeping on . . . forever . . . !

What do you love about working with AKD? 

Working with Alexandra Kidd Design is always a dream. They have a definite handle on good design and their projects are always imaginatively inspiring. We are always able to connect positively with their individual project specifications and work hard to achieve their goals in the rugs they specify. Our collaborations are always without pressure and their relaxed, friendly and creative artistic skill always make us aware of how talented their studio is.

All images via ©Robyn Cosgrove