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 Fiona Ericsson & Julia Levitt, Sticks & Stones Landscape Design

There’s a saying that goes something like: what you see in others is a reflection of ourselves. That’s what we felt the moment we met Fiona and Julia of Sticks & Stones, an award-winning landscape design studio.

Creatives after our own heart, Fiona and Julia run a dynamic team, create beautiful work and establish meaningful relationships with clients and collaborators. Perhaps what struck us most about this dynamic duo was their clear and pragmatic approach to design and communication; Fiona and Julia listen to a brief and deliver exactly what a client is looking for. Each and every one of their projects is diverse and original, and importantly for us, always the perfect complement to our interiors.

We love hearing stories of Fiona’s son playing bagpipes in the back yard - she makes creating beautiful gardens and juggling a busy family look as calm as can be.

This month, we reveal our Ada Avenue project, a home we worked on closely with Sticks & Stones. Opening the home’s tired 1970’s interior to the gorgeous greenery beyond it, with the help of Fiona and Julia, was the most rewarding partnership, and we’re excited for you to see the fruits of our joint labour here. In the meantime, get to know the green-fingered pair behind our Ada Avenue garden, as they talk family life, building a business and life lessons.

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WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

F:  Creative, Curious & Inclusive

J: Vibrant, passionate, honest

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?

F: An Artist

J: Flight attendant – so I could travel around the world

HOW DID YOU EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET? 

F:  Kitchen hand – making fancy pants gourmet sandwiches!

J:   Working at a juice stand, Jamba Juice

WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?  

F:   Surround yourself with people who are positive and laugh at your jokes

J:  Be kind. It doesn’t cost you anything but can improve someone’s day and it will always come back to you.

AKD’s  Ada Avenue  project

AKD’s Ada Avenue project

WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

F:  Winning the Allan Corey Award for our contribution to our industry and community.

J: Sticks & Stones! Building our business from the ground up and watching it blossom into the successful studio it is today has been amazing. We have learned so much along the way, in particular skills that have nothing to do with our industry; marketing, web design, accounting.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?

F: Women who juggle family, work and life with a smile

J: My sisters. They are both extremely resilient, hardworking people who selflessly strive everyday to help improve the lives of people through their work.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

F: Chocolate & books

J: Spritz!

The enviable view from our Ada Avenue master bedroom

The enviable view from our Ada Avenue master bedroom

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

We are constantly searching for new and exciting plants and materials to use in our designs, but generally, try to avoid trends, aiming for a more timeless approach.

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL?

F: Live in New York.

J: Starting a family! I would also love the opportunity to be involved in an international landscape project.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

The AKD vision is fresh. A collaborative approach and passion for creative solutions to all projects means working with them is an absolute joy!


The perfect relaxing spot at our Ada Avenue project

The perfect relaxing spot at our Ada Avenue project

Image 1 via Sticks and Stones / Images 2 - 4 via © Alexandra Kidd Design

Q&A WITH SOPHIE VANDER OF CURATORIAL+CO

When it comes to championing unique and original artists, trust that Sophie Vander’s exceptional eye for beauty uncovers only the best pieces from each hidden corner of the globe.

We first started working with Sophie, the director of Curatorial+Co, on our beloved Jersey Road project. Sophie sourced many beautiful pieces for the project, so it’s probably no coincidence that Jersey Road ended up in the glossy pages of the March issue of Inside Out magazine.

Sophie’s aesthetic is very aligned to our own and we immediately felt a like-minded kinship during our first collaboration. We’ve fallen for her keen eye, the artists she represents, and now for her ambition and passion. 

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WHICH THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?

Thoughtful. Perfectionist. Resourceful. (Though my family told me to write Crazy Cat Lady.)

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP? 

I wanted to be an F-111 fighter pilot. That turned out well!

HOW DID YOU EARN YOUR FIRST PAY PACKET? 

I did the turn-down service at a Sydney hotel. Everyone should work in hospitality at least once – you learn a lot about human nature and how to treat people with respect.

 

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WHAT IS THE BEST LIFE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNT ALONG THE WAY?  

My mother’s mantra to me growing up was ‘Say yes and work it out later.’ I still live by that and try to instil that in my four daughters. Give everything a go, you never know where it will take you.

WHAT'S YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Starting Curatorial+Co. from scratch, with nothing but a domain name and a vague idea of what it would do, then working to build it organically, learning as I went along. But I think my proudest achievement is yet to come – there is still so much to do.

WHO INSPIRES YOU?  

My mother – she’s the hardest worker on the planet, with the biggest heart. My husband and four girls who inspire me to be a better person every day. Professionally, Betty Churcher was my idol growing up. And of course all the artists I work with – their passion makes me want to work super hard for them.

 

Our Jersey Road project, featuring ‘Wings’ by Susie Dureau, sourced by Curatorial+Co

Our Jersey Road project, featuring ‘Wings’ by Susie Dureau, sourced by Curatorial+Co

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST VICE?

I do like to shop – art, fashion, vintage homewares and big earrings!

DO YOU FOLLOW TRENDS OR ARE YOU A TRENDSETTER?

If it’s trend I do the exact opposite. That’s why I seek out artists who are doing what no one else is doing. I could easily get on the bandwagon of certain artistic styles (and probably make more money!) but it’s not about that for me. I love nothing more than finding an uncut gem.

Our Jersey Road project, featuring Gidon Bing’s brass sculpture, large print by Danuta Tojka and print by Leonie Barton, all sourced by Curatorial+Co

Our Jersey Road project, featuring Gidon Bing’s brass sculpture, large print by Danuta Tojka and print by Leonie Barton, all sourced by Curatorial+Co

WHAT DREAM DO YOU STILL WANT TO FULFILL? 

That’s a secret – watch this space!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH AKD?

I love that AKD designs feel like home. The spaces are considered and warm, full of thought and character. The artworks we’ve placed in the team’s beautiful spaces are just the icing on top. I can’t wait to work on more projects with Alexandra and her incredible team!

Our Jersey Road project featuring mixed media work by Amanda Schunker, sourced by Curatorial+Co

Our Jersey Road project featuring mixed media work by Amanda Schunker, sourced by Curatorial+Co

Images 1 & 2 via Anne Graham / Images 3 - 5 via © Alexandra Kidd Design