This workshop is so much fun! For the first time we hired a studio & built an entire set! I constantly get asked how to create a space that reflects the owner’s personality & lifestyle. In this workshop I create a set or a replica of an interior right in front of your eyes. I show you the tricks of the trade, how to choose layer & get a sense of self.
Although it is a a set-build on the night, it can be easily translated into your home and you pick up tips & discover the stylist within. I cover wall treatment, flooring suggestions, lighting, furniture placement and various other secrets!!
I believe that every person has their own colour palette.
It can be found by looking carefully at the things you surround yourself with: your clothes, the invitations & ephemera you keep, patterns you buy, jewellery you wear, even your teacups & plates! If you put your favourite things together you notice the same colours are repeated again & again. From this you can discover the colours that make you happy, how they can sit together & be applied into your interiors.
In this workshop I demonstrate & chat about how I come up with my paint palettes & show examples of them in interiors I have created. Guests welcomed & encouraged to bring some of their favourite things for discussion.
This was our first ever studio held at The Society inc. This is a ‘show-and-tell’ where I demonstrate styling tricks & tips with sticks, stones & bones. It shows you that the most simple of things can come together as a beautiful focal piece or arrangement.
I find my treasures in all sorts of haunts & on jaunts and I encourage guests to bring their own! (I was even given a birds nest & fossilised sea urchin as a gift- lucky me!).
The workshop explains how to display & utilise your finds, and how I make decisions whilst styling a mantel, place setting & table centrepiece.
Questions, discussions & problem pieces/areas encouraged!
We battled hightide & navigated our way over bridges & waterways in Venice (who knew the canal seeps over the walls & intrudes straight into the streets!) to arrive at Helene’s house. A high ceilinged apartment with terracotta tiled floor displaying her own hand-painted silks, cottons & linens acting as curtains, cushions, lampshades & artwork, complemented in colour with her husbands oil paintings of Venice.
Her husband was her mentor. He worked largely with geometrics and his paintings line & brighten the walls of her home, as Bach is playing in the background.
She explains that creating is like the movement of dance for her, like music & its rhythm. I can see this in her long hand-painted panels. Her fabric appears as stained glass panels (but more beautiful & not religious) as the light shines through her circles & visible brush-stroked lines; inkiness with a free hand; loose with movement as colours merge & blur. Her shapes mimic jellyfish and anemone, then dragons, glowing paper lanterns, feathers, the wind & movement of the watery canals which surrund her. You could look for hours and see different colours & shapes.
Helene works downstairs & outside in the Spring & Summer months only. Like me, she hibernates for the Winter (perhaps she is also part bear). She is seasonal in her colour & creativity. When I met her she was dressed head to toe in indigo, her own work manipulated into a scarf tied around her neck, a Japanese Shibori bracelet & loose gypsy pants in blue- she is a French Venetian version of my bestie, Sally Campbell, red hair & all!
Along with the Anthropologie home team of Keith Johnson, Mitzie & Tamara, we were escorted around Eindhoven by the knowledgable & talented Leslie Oschmann.
I met Leslie about 4 years ago, when Anthroplogie held an exhibition of her works at The Rockefeller Centre store (yes, the same place I had ‘Into the Lighthouse’) where she showcased her wares. The display was memorable with an old giant rolidex with the names of pieces & her working title, Swarm configured from nails hammered into the wall at different lengths.
Leslie reworks & upcycles vintage paintings of fauna & flora, portraits, still-lifes & landscapes found & sourced from Belgium & Holland onto chairs. Each one individual & amazing. You can buy one as a statement piece, or buy 6 to surround a table.
She now also remakes them into bags & clutches: she embraces the idea that the artworks will live on in their new formats, and as they show signs of wear & tear with use, their stories will live on too.
Yesterday I visited her house & studio which is a converted Oma flat, out back through a courtyard garden, in Amsterdam by bicycle. I had the fortuitous opportunity to experience first hand, her work space & inspiration.
Although it is the beginning of winter, and the Virginia Creeper has dropped its leaves- Nasturiums were a-tangle and the former summer glories reminiscent in memories of Japanese Windmill, Wisteria & Magnolia.
A spread of breakfast: berries, yoghurt, muesli, croissants & strong coffee was grazed over as I listened & watched Leslies show & tell of paintings, and local finds & treasures. As her wired haired fox terrier, McDuff looks on (but he has a fear of lighting & storm- & it was threatening- so was keeping to himself).
I am the lucky one, for I am now the very proud owner of a landscape & part floral still-life bag and an amazing clutch that will be rocked this summer in Sydney.
If you would like to see them when visiting the shop, we can pull them out for you to view and pre-order.
I am going to be selling these at The Society inc., but in the meantime you can buy online at swarmhome and get it shipped to you.