Having lived in our place for awhile I wanted to do a refresh, something to update our living room and outdoor area to make it feel more modern and sophisticated. I wanted to work with someone to help me with the look and feel of the space, so I enlisted the help of interior stylist, Sarah Ellison. I love Sarah’s aesthetic and she totally understood me and my style so it was a smooth, seamless process working together. The main considerations were that living near a beach, I wanted a relaxed coastal sensibility with a polished edge. Also, I wanted to create better use of the space for me and my family.
I’ve always been drawn to Sarah’s beautiful furniture pieces which she creates under her eponymous brand so I was happy to incorporate them into my home (the Huggy Chair is my fave and the girls’ — both Sophia and Grace always fight over who gets to sit in it!). I love her down-to-earth simplicity and her eye for design. Her aesthetic is modern and innovative and I love her mix of simple and modern pieces and how she incorporates natural colourways with beautiful textures and always focuses on great use of natural light.
I’m so incredibly thrilled with how it all turned out, so I thought I’d let Sarah take you through the entire process—and also do the big reveal of the end result.
What were the key considerations for you when it came to this renovation?
“To create a chic and fashionable space that reflected Kate’s personal style, whilst maintaining a practical and comfortable environment for her and her family.”
What was your inspiration/vision for Kate’s reno?
“Kate approached me because she already loved the SE style and had spied a few pieces in the collection. I wanted to present her with a resolution that was true to my aesthetic but was tailored to her harbourside apartment in the city. I wanted to make it feel fashionable, chic and fun—like Kate.”
How long did it take from start to finish?
“[It took] 4-5 months. Kate was an amazing client and really trusted us and made decisions quickly which really sped up the process.”
How did you decide on the overall layout of the space?
“We didn’t change the layout much from what it previously was. The most important thing with the layout was pulling the sofa away from the wall and using two matching sofas facing each other to make the situation more conversational and less focused on the television. Pulling furniture away from the wall gives a nice flow from indoor to out.
Talk us through some of the key things you introduced such as artwork, furniture, flooring etc… why did you decide on them?
“We updated the carpet to a nice chunky weave sisal throughout. This begins the story of a space that is refined but still relaxed and comfortable. It adds a lovely texture and works well in this lovely harbourside home. We also changed the lighting and took it from practical to feature lighting. Essentially, we only changed two main parts of the existing interior design but it made a huge difference.
I think one of the key pieces is the Akila Berjaoui black and white print. It really creates a focal point and is the hero for the whole space. We framed it with two Italian, brass wall lights which bring in a feeling of glamour.
From here we added two of my Zephyr sofas in a lovely tactile neutral linen, they are facing each other and create a great conversation zone. As it’s an open plan living space we helped to zone the living area with a beautiful large golden toned rug from Grounded Rugs that all of the furniture sits upon.
We used Lucy Montgomery lamps to bring in a slight Mediterranean holiday vibe that is reflected back through the black and white print, tying it all together.”