Category Archives: General


My stylist alphabet: A is for…


As a bowerbird and avid collector of all things beautiful, eye-catching and, most importantly, intriguing, I can’t help but gather together curios, mementos & elements that enrich my life and my work. These pieces are all part of my mind’s extensive catalogue and each has its own place in my cabinet of curiosities. What better way to explore my stylist’s palette than to tease it out in alphabetical order? So let’s start at the very beginning, as it’s a very good place to start…


A is for…




Rethink your notion of what constitutes wall art – it’s not just frames and canvases. An oversized Japanese abacus is a unique substitute for a bedhead that weaves a sense of history into your space. Layers of linen in serene indigo tones add to the textural feel of this bedroom’s focal point.



To be shouted with a cupped hand announcing your arrival to shore (or anywhere really).



Amulets & talismans
Most cultures incorporate a dose of superstition into their daily lives, including a need for protection against the ever-present evil eye, I most certainly believe this and am not often found without amulets around my neck. For a while I flirted with antique Chinese children’s clothes and although I didn’t pursue this collection, I love the idea that if you dressed a child up in clothes that looked and smelt of animals (such as ears on hats and and tiger shoes with animal fur hidden within), the evil spirits would confuse it for an animal, and leave it to live a long, happy and prosperous life. As any good traveller knows, you need a little extra protection when embarking on a new adventure. I wear two amulets, both made from leather, with various items stitched inside them so they keep me out of harm’s way. Sew you amuletic bits & bobs on the inside of your clothes (and of those you love) to protect you from all evil deeds.



Antlers & trophies
Although I am very anti-hunting and concerned about extinction, I continue to have a somewhat romantic view of colonialism and hunting safaris. There’s nothing like the find of a shed antler while traversing the countryside. It feels such a score to cart home. I would love to be in the country of roaming elk and to one day stumble upon an elk’s antler, or even a pair! P.s. A papier-mâché menagerie makes a traditional room a little fun. Attach them high & low so each has room for its own personality, plus, no animals were harmed in the making.



Pastel paints, inks and dyes: the joy of finding an old artists’ set of partly used colours. I love what the palette suggests of its previous owner; often the box or housing alone is enough to entice. I based one of my colour palettes entitled ‘Atelier’ on late nineteenth-century Paris, where a shop on rue de Seine in St Germain used to sell artists’ supplies. Known affectionately as Père Tanguy, the owner supplied the likes of Cézanne, Gaugin, Seurat and Van Gogh (who painted his portrait at least three times). I can just see his shop filled with apothecary jars full of ochres, aquamarine, pomegranate rinds, crushed-up shells, cochineal, matta, indigo, snail ink, gold leaf, shellac brushes, gesso, plinths, stools that twist and bottles of linseed oil. I have since been obsessed with all the unusual and necessary things you find in an artist’s studio.



Atlases, maps & dictionaries
I like to think of myself as a globetrotter, treasure seeker & explorer, and to be those things I need atlases, maps and dictionaries form other countries. I actively seek these out in flea and antique markets while travelling and love to find ones in other languages or so very out of date that you can see how the countries’ boundaries and borders have changed over time. I have a stack of linen-covered dictionaries: Icelandic, two English, Russian to English etc. I appreciate the different texts and sounds, and even the straight columns appeal to me.


Stay tuned, as I catalogue all the pieces of my cabinet of curiosities in weekly posts.


5 steps to creating your own 10-colour palette


In my job as a stylist, a 10-colour palette has evolved as the best starting point for decorating a space. This palette gives me positive boundaries to work with and, whether I use two, four, six or all of the colours, it allows me to play with the mood of a room of a house while ensuring a unified end result.

Feel free to use the colours I love as your own, but creating your own 10-colour palette relies on drawing inspiration from your surroundings.

1. Walk around your house and pinpoint the things you already own and love. It might be a beautiful porcelain bowl, a postcard, a cocktail ring, an embroidered tablecloth inherited from your grandmother, or the print on your favourite dress. Consider everything: jewellery, clothes, food, garden flora and fauna, photographs, anything made with fabric or paper, solid colours and patterns, silverware and ceramics, art, buttons, ribbons and trims.

2. Look to nature. The beauty of nature reveals colour combinations and textures that rarely disappoint. I once did a photoshoot based entirely around the colours of a monarch butterfly: Damascus red, mustard and ochre oranges, and dirty cream. I pick up feathers, leaves, flowers, rocks and tree branches. Now it’s your turn to observe nature in the same way.

3. Start looking beyond your immediate surroundings, especially at things that don’t have an interior design purpose, and make a note of what appeals to you. It could be the falling-off label on an old bottle, a swizzle stick, a crusty street lamp, coins, a weathered shop sign, a discarded playing card, wooden toys, a faded wall of graffiti, silvery puddles on rainy days, crumbly slate from an old roof, crunchy white linen, just-poured cement, or a scene from a favourite movie or novel.

4. Take photos. Make notes. Start acquiring.

5. Start to play. Soon it will become obvious that you are attracted to similar things over and over again. Put together a selection of pieces you’ve collected and see what kind of colour palette reveals itself. Add and subtract until it takes on a visual order. There are no right and wrong combinations because it is about finding what makes you happy.


Remember, you will be able to use the colours in varying combinations. Some rooms will be quiet and subtle, utilising the softer, more neutral tones. Others will be louder, denser in colour, pattern and texture.


Paul Ryan

paulryan1 paulryan2 paulryan3

Paint slapped onto canvases, thick and textural. Waves crashing into the sky, fierce and raging. It is this very feeling that drew us to New Zealand born artist, Paul Ryan. And it is his healthy dose of tongue in cheek that made us stay. His paintings are so tactile, you want to reach out and touch them. He brings art back to the craft and the refinement of a skill. We want to live inside one of his paintings, next to the lieutenants, the cowboys and the traders and amongst the sea light and Norfolk pines.


The Coveteur



We’re in the midst of Marie Kondo-ing. And, yeah, we know we’re as mentally and physically exhausted by the whole declutter pressure as you are. We mean, we do believe in loungewear and saving buttons. And we like presents. But cleanse we must, because clutter = a scattered mind and sadness. And your family hates you. (That’s how it goes, right?)

But then we walked into Sibella Court’s Sydney studio and all of our clutter-free fantasies went right out the metaphorical window. Forget sparse, empty spaces—Court’s veritable menagerie of collectibles is totally our new interior dream. Then again, she’s a pro (somehow our random assemblage of old invitations and random tchotchkes doesn’t quite have the same aesthetic appeal). And by pro, we mean she travels the world sourcing endless interior inspiration before bringing it all back to Sydney to arrange in perfect clutter-wonderful (think about that, Kondo!) vignettes. We guess it’s not the worst gig in the world.

And Court, who lived in New York for years before moving back home to Australia to launch The Society, her studio-cum-shop where you can peruse her curated eccentricities (if you’re in Sydney, go now), has a wardrobe as artfully bohemian as her interior style would suggest. Let’s just say that by the time we got over the space itself, we took our sweet time with her closet, going through fur and fringe collars, needle-like Saint Laurent heels and APC, Barbara Bui and Dries Van Noten separates like you wouldn’t believe—each and every piece in her signature off-white creamy beige, that’s so not beigey beige (if you know what we mean). This is a woman who knows her aesthetic. And frankly, we want in.


Jacket, APC; Hat, Akubra; Shoes, Rag & Bone


“[My career] was really written in the stars and it happened over 20 years ago. I had an incredible knowledge of Sydney’s backstreets, a love of all the plants and flowers in the world and a deep understanding of serious shopping. After many years of styling I was looking for a place to house all of my wonderful finds and the crafters, makers and creators that I discovered on my travels. The Society Inc. was due to open in New York City but a slight change of route saw it opening in the backstreets of Paddington in Sydney.”

Collar, Sass & Bide


“I can’t live without my baby and partner, amulets, a hat, iPhone, passport and ticket to ride.”

Jacket, APC; Shoes, Rag & Bone


“Other than being a master swordswoman in my imagination, the romance of seafaring adventures or that of a swinging wagon through the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania I cannot resist. I travel the world seeking inspiration that seeps deeply into my interior spaces, product ranges and books.”

Collar, Vintage


“I always have a top five list for my next [travel] destinations. Seeing trees laden with monarch butterflies as they fly into Big Sur, California, in October; following in the footsteps of Gertrude Bell and riding into Petra on horseback; catching a felucca down the Nile; or travelling to Middle Atlas searching out hand loomed rugs are all high on my list.”

Shoes, Yves Saint Laurent


Jacket, APC; Hat, Akubra; Shoes, Rag & Bone


“[The three things every woman should have in her home are] lamps, lots of blankets (I have blankets from all over the world and each has its own story) and lots of fresh cut flowers.”

Shoes, Christian Louboutin


“I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing and living where I want to be living. I travel all the time!”

Jacket, APC; Hat, Akubra; Shoes, Rag & Bone


“[Pieces with] white, caramel and cream, always with detailing [are part of my daily uniform]. I never leave home without my amulets.”

L to R. Shirts, Vintage, Dries van Noten; Bag, Henry Beguelin


“[My favourite meal] depends on the day. I do like roast chicken and dim sum for dumplings.”

Jacket, APC


“[My guilty pleasure is] peppermint chocolate-chip gelato from Messina and Caramello Koalas.”

Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


“I love the beach. Maybe I was related to the merpeople at some point because I definitely feel the pull of the sea. So living in Sydney, for me, that’s what its all about. But I have three homes: Byron Bay, Sydney and New York City.”


“Working with amazing talent for my collaboration with Mctavish [was one of my favorite projects]. Drawing on my friendships and admiration of textile designers including Shibori, Quercus & Co, Bethany Linz, Bonnie and Neil, as well as our own designs. To work with master craftsmen from shaping to glassing with the McTavish brand was so special. That’s also where I met Ben, my partner in life. I love where collaboration can take you, when two creative forces are joined together, whether working with Anthropologie or a local small design company.”

Sunglasses, Ray Ban


“My skincare routine is pretty basic. I use rosehip oil and Clarisonic cleansing brush and monthly facials by Jocelyn Petroni. I try my best to listen to my guided meditation mindfulness app everyday, but I am still learning!”

Shoes, Country Road


Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


“[My first fashion splurge] was definitely a pair of shoes. I bought these Patrick Cox knee-high silk shoes with Chinese dragons embroidered up the sides and I danced the night away, so it was worth it.”

Jacket, Barbara Bui


Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


“It appears that from every destination I pick up a local spoon and sea-tossed stones. I like to conjure up the romance of travel and my desire to take little mementos from each place is too strong to deny.”


“The show [I’ll be presenting on] is called Restoration Australia on ABC. It follows the story of seven heritage houses around Australia laden with history. We meet the owners, research the history, hear the many stories, find and discover traditional old trades and their application into the restoration of these houses. It’s about saving beautiful old homes and restoring them with love and consideration. It’s estimated to air August 2015.”

All, Carla Zampatti


Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


“Luggage plays a huge part for me because it makes me feel like I’m going on an adventure. I always carry my Filson leather strapped canvas bag. I am a product of my surroundings and the culture I am in, and my clothing and travel essentials reflect this (always in my palette of caramel, cream and white). While in Syria it was about respecting the culture, so I donned drawstring pants with a caramel and white embroidered tunic and a linen scarf. I travel with things of my own like my cashmere throw, which doubles as a blanket or a shawl on a cool desert night.”

Jacket, APC; Shoes, TODS; Hat, Akubra


“[My best life advice is] if it’s too hard, move on. Eat your greens. Keep the spring in your step.”

Bag, Swarm


Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Dress, Carla Zampatti 


“I bought this bikini at a fabulous shop at the Sunset Hotel on Shelter Island when I realised I’d forgotten my bikini!”


“Rose hip oil is a cure for all. I use YSL foundation and bronzer, and that’s it for me.”


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Dress, Carla Zampatti


“I don’t wear high heels as much as I used to [since becoming a mother], but other than that [my style] is the same. My handbag got a little bit bigger, too, to fit the essentials: bottle, toys, spare nappies. This is Christopher Fischer cashmere scarf also becomes a wrap, blanket or throw, great for being a mom!”

Scarf, Christopher Fischer


Dress, Carla Zampatti


“Everyday is a career highlight for me. I have crafted my own job description where I get to do everything I love and want to do.”

Dress, Carla Zampatti


“[The three things every woman should have in her closet are] dress-up clothes and masks, safari outfits and hats, hats, hats, for days!”

Jumpsuit, Billy Reid


“I don’t design my own home. I pick up things I love during my travels. All the things that tell my story become a 3-D lifeline in my space.”

Top, Vintage; Shoes, Country Road


“[My perfect day in Sydney] is at the beach, swimming and walking the foreshore.”


Bracelet, Céline


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Dress, Carla Zampatti


Children’s Sailboat Workshop

EliseCameronSmith2 EliseCameronSmith1


Little dreams can grow into grand seafaring adventures and thanks to the success of our Miniature Sailboat Workshop on the weekend we would like to invite your tiny pirates to start small and handcraft their very own mini sailboat.

Join Captain Elise Cameron-Smith for an afternoon workshop exclusive to the young deckhands in your life. Your little captains in the making will be provided with all the loot they need to build their boat, but remember to bring a few treasures to decorate it once its complete. The finishing touch for their boat will be a perfect name, so come with something special in mind. Then hoist your sails and float on, little sailors.


Saturday May, 2015

The Society inc. Warehouse
3.02 – 75 Mary Street
St Peters NSW 2044


The Beach People

TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8948TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8946 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8931 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8927 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8920 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8918 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8917 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8907 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8898 TBPxKoskelaxSocietyInc-8866

We are over the moon to introduce you to: The Society Inc.

This stockist is more than a store. it is a warehouse of whimsy, a sort of homewares museum, a showcase of old and new.

Historical, nautical, industrial conversational, these are a few words that spring to mind when looking at the wide range of objects found here.

To find out more about this inspiring space we chatted to the lady behind it all, the one and only Sibella Court…


I’m the owner of The SocietyInc., interior stylist, creator of products & spaces, author and globetrotter. But in my spare time I’m a master swordswoman & tier of knots.

The Society Inc. is now housed in a 280 square meter warehouse in the old Taubman’s factory that was built in 1901, in St. Peter’s, Sydney.


I was craving a new structure, an old warehouse to reimagine. To be honest I am still discovering the area, but after perusing it I love the different layers of service and history that exist together. Paths converge – industry meets creativity here  – I love that I can get my car serviced in the next warehouse, pick up a Prickly Pear in a Moroccan terracotta pot at Garden Life & grab a boutique coffee at Sample.


Bonobo, The Rolling Stones, Arrested Development, Fine Young Cannibals, & the Cure.


The move to a warehouse was to curate the space as though walking through the pages of one of my books. Part hardware&haberdashery, part oddity&curiosity. We celebrate the makers, crafters, creators from around the globe: Atelier Sukha from the Netherlands, ceramics by Earthbender Anna Karina, handcrafted longboards by collaboration with McTavish, oil painted markings by Byron Bay artist Jordana Henry and ANAESTHETIC Design oak Mariner stools amongst many others.


I’m fascinated by the time of slow travel – days not hours spent in metamorphic spaces, heavy luggage & dining carts on trains or ships. The romance of the journey rather than the destination. I’m using this idea for a new hospitality project…

Working with the Caroline Simpson library – they’re pulling for me old Bentwood catalogues from their incredible archive of all things interiors for a new furniture range that I’m designing, calling on old shapes for new pieces.

A constant inspiration is Ilse Crawford and all her magic – reading the pages and her philosophies in her fabulous new book, A Frame for Life.

Photography by Madeline Johnson from The Loved Ones.