28 July 2015
Style by Claire
Destination : Launceston, Tasmania
I’m thrilled to be featuring a good friend of mine on the blog who has
impeccable interior style and an obvious way with words. Meet Claire
Todd, from Content by Claire. Claire is also my hostess with
the mostess when I often find myself working away from home. In fact,
getting a glimpse in to her perfect private space, combined with her
capacity to write clever content, inspired me to introduce guest
blogging on Whistle and a Whim. And, it seemed fitting for Claire to be
my first contributor.
Below, she shares her tips on interior prowess, and PS. was kind enough to let me go on a photo shooting frenzy through her house.
Style by Claire
When I was about 10, mum threw all my belongings out my window in a fit of rage. After demands to clean my room fell on defiantly deaf ears, this act of scooping up clothes, shoes and tamagotchis and casting them to the desolate land of the Courtyard was the final straw.
It may have been that moment, or Peter Everett’s enthusiasm for transforming spaces on Changing Rooms, but soon after I was taking pride in appearances: colour coordinating my bed linen, casually stacking my CD collection and spending my pocket money on House & Garden.
Since then, I’ve lived in a scungy student share house, heritage-listed terrace, beachside bungalow and bachelor pad. My dwellings have differed dramatically, but everywhere I go the same rules apply.
I’m not Country Chic or Nouveau Hamptons or Neo Modern. Sticking to trends sucks and can lead to a sterile home void of character. So I’ve developed my own style and look forward to it evolving further. That’s my biggest tip: by all means, read Home Beautiful, watch The Block and check out Pinterest, but be you.
What’s old can be new again but don’t let the old take over the new
Rummaging through tip shops and antique stores is one of my favourite things to do on a day off when I’m not watching Orange Is The New Black. But I only allow myself to leave with one thing – a Fowler preserving jar, cracked terracotta pot, moth-nibbled paperback, bone handled bread knife – or your home will quickly resemble the very place you bought it from. Balance is key: I have Freedom couches facing a 70s tiled coffee table, a you-beaut coffee machine beside Persinware scales and Aesop face products sitting on a 1950s sandwich platter.
Living greenery looks lush and fills space. I have jars of succulents and peace lilies everywhere as well as an obligatory vase of flowers in my kitchen. Fruit and veg can be awesome, cheap props: use green apples on a white plate as a dining table centerpiece, lemons in a glass vase or whole pumpkins stacked on each other by your splash-back.
Mix it Up
Ooh I do love putting a spotty cat among the stripy pigeons! When it comes to textures and patterns, let your hair down. Particularly in ‘new’ homes, where tiles rule, this is so important to ensure the place has soul.
Despite popular belief this can be very affordable, particularly when bought locally or direct from the artist. I have a penchant for delicate pencil drawings but also bold, brash canvas paintings. The juxtaposition means they look great near each other on a wall or leaning on a mantel. Throw in a black and white photo of my Nan when she was 21 and one of my sister and I in pigtails, and you’ve got my eclectic visual décor.
Show off your book, record or magazine collections: stack or line them up neatly on a stool, on a sideboard, against a wall. This not only looks good and can fill a space that’s otherwise out of bounds by Landlord Decree, but makes you look smart.
Show off you
Don’t hide away your little achievements or favourite bits. My grandmother gifted me a dazzling collection of costume jewellery that I proudly display in a dish mum bought in Fitzroy. The piece of paper that says I survived university is propped on my recycled timber side table and my YMCA Div 1 Netball Grand Final medal hangs over a framed print by my bed.
I’m in my rather late 20s so have gathered lots of stuff. To ensure this doesn’t get out of hand, I keep things neat, tidy, evenly spaced and when in doubt, keep it out.