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

PANTONE COLOUR OF THE YEAR 2019 : LIVING CORAL

The PANTONE® Colour of the Year announcement has become something of a colour carnival within our studio. Come December, whispers of ‘which tone will triumph?’ lead to lengthy discussions on the merit (or not) of the selected shade.

Last year’s Ultra Violet divided the design team’s opinions, but 2019’s winner ‘Living Coral’ (aka Pantone 16-1546) is a certified crowd-pleaser.  

Described as ‘buoyant, vibrant and effervescent’, the marine shade is as much of a timely cultural observation as it is a unifying vibrant pigment. PANTONE’s selection is rooted in both the disastrous fate of our coral reefs and said to be representative of our ‘innate need for optimism.’

But bold and playful as it is, Living Coral is surprisingly easy to incorporate into your interior. Clashing tints and tonal-blocking, or subtle accents and subdued casts provide endless options on how to embrace 2019’s shade with the grand accolade. 

Here’s how . . .

Pretty in Pattern 

Floral patterns are an accessible way to incorporate PANTONE’s vivid heroine, offering opportunity to include as much or as little of the shade as you choose.

If you’re after a subtle take on the trend, be inspired by this moody and dramatic de Gournay wallpaper highlighted with pops of the shade, or go all out with an intensely coral background such as this custom wall covering by Zoe Design.

de Gournay wallpaper via    Pinterest

de Gournay wallpaper via Pinterest

Zoe Design wallpaper via    Pinterest

Zoe Design wallpaper via Pinterest

Tonal Blocking

Professional coral converts can try layering different shades of Living Coral to create a single bold look. A daring mix of coral paint, upholstery and flooring will inject a room with playful personality.

Pastel and paler versions of the shade sit nicely alongside the more vivid Living Coral, and prevent the colour from becoming too overbearing.

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg, via    domino

Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg, via domino

Kemble Interiors via    Pinterest

Kemble Interiors via Pinterest

Painted Playfulness

Painting your walls is an easy and affordable way to make a coral-themed impact in your home. Our designers suggest pairing the shade with wood tones, or creating a subdued effect with furniture and accessories in darker shades.

You can also use paint on a smaller scale, by opting for a peach-toned featured wall, or sparse hits of coral on doors and skirting boards for punchy playfulness.

Image via    Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Home office rendered in    Sherwin Williams Coral Reef SW 6606   .

Home office rendered in Sherwin Williams Coral Reef SW 6606.

AKD ACCENTS

Our favourite way to use PANTONE’s coral shade is as an accent. It sparks a burst of interest in any monochromatic or neutral-themed interior, as well as acting as a complimentary colour to blue or green hues.

In the girl’s bedroom of our Wentworth Street project, we achieved a pink palette that wasn’t too saccharine sweet. A vivid coral colour for the soft furnishings added a whimsy yet daring feel perfect for this feminine space.

Our    Wentworth Street    project photographed by Pablo Veiga and styled by Megan Morton

Our Wentworth Street project photographed by Pablo Veiga and styled by Megan Morton

Artwork by    Kerry Armstrong Art

We also picked up the shade downstairs in the open-plan living area with commissioned artwork by Australian artist Kerry Armstrong. Sitting alongside complementary blues and greens, the coral colour really punctuates the otherwise white oasis, defining the dining room area within the open-plan space.

AKD LOVES BRICKS AND MORTAR: OPEN DOOR POLICY

With Christmas less than 10 weeks away, we are making our lists and checking them twice, trying to figure out whether we’ve been naughty or nice! While online shopping may be simple, efficient and altogether more convenient, the multi-tab browsing is yet to steal our hearts completely. There’s something irreplaceable about the ceremony of a trip to the shops, made ever truer by the slew of high-concept, design-oriented retail spaces popping up around Sydney recently that are well worth a look . . . even if you’re ‘just browsing’.

In celebration of the old-school way of an intimate, luxurious and personal shopping experience where you can feel the textures of fabrics first-hand when hung next to your skin, or inhale the scents of new leather or a forgotten fragrance, we have compiled a list of our go-to bricks and mortar stores that we’ll be present in this Christmas shopping season. Every time we step foot inside their walls we are momentarily transported to another world, and it’s a door we never want to close!

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LUCY FOLK’S PLAYA, BONDI BEACH

Named after the Spanish word for ‘beach’ and suitably located in Sydney’s iconic Bondi, Lucy Folk’s store is a tropical oasis of candy hues and curvaceous edges.

Tamsin Johnson, the designer behind Folk’s fairy floss HQ, made use of concrete to clad the store’s walls, imprinting the material with shapes that echo Folk’s jewellery designs. Matching custom joinery showcases Playa’s treasures and a concrete-poured, gloss epoxy blue floor in sea blue (complete with sand granules!) evokes the nearby Bondi Beach.


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JARDAN, PADDINGTON

Borrowing colours from Sydney’s illustrious palette (think the deep blues of the harbour and the autumn shades of Paddington’s tree-lined streets), Iva Foschia of IF Architecture created a space for Jardan’s new flagship bold enough to tickle the interest of every passerby.

One of the stores many high points is an oversized, angular staircase encrusted in marble and coated in powder pink. It sits under a gigantic skylight that drenches the entire three floors in light.

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AESOP, BALMAIN

Created in collaboration with local designer Henry Wilson, Aesop’s Balmain store achieves what every other Aesop space does so well - reflecting the area of the site and respecting the existing materials.

Uncovered sandstone walls are balanced by crisp, industrial-style shelving in free-standing units, and the muted colour palette – consistent with other Aesop stores – emphasizes the raw surfaces while staying true to the natural light.


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ALICE MCCALL, WESTFIELD MIRANDA

Alice McCall’s Westfield Miranda store is everything you would expect from a brand that creates such whimsical and feminine designs. It features an array of gelato hues, which set the backdrop for the curved brass racks that undulate throughout the store.

Ottomans in pistachio and mustard-gold are dotted throughout, and brushed brass wall lights by Anna Charlesworth light up each of the dressing rooms. Colours, shapes and textures cleverly mimic the aesthetic of the brand, but each detail serves to frame the beautiful clothes.  

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GEWURZHAUS HERB & SPICE MERCHANTS, THE STRAND ARCADE, CBD

Doherty Design Studio are the brains behind the merging of 19th-century service and contemporary, experiential shopping apparent in Sydney’s Gewurzhaus Herb & Spice Merchant store.  

With its magical, Victorian feel, The Strand offers the perfect location, instantly transporting visitors to the old-world sensibility of a European retail experience. Food and design lovers alike will swoon for the traditional, hands-on spice store.

Image 1 via Habitus Living / Image 2 via In Out / Image 3 via Aesop / Image 4 via Yellowtrace / Image 5 via Yellowtrace