Location: 155 Victoria St, Potts Point
A New-York inspired, industrial, uber-cool restaurant/bar converted from an existing space & sprawled over 4 floors. I worked with architect, Kelvin Ho of AkinCreative to achieve & transform this space in 6 months from concept to finish.
With Dan Hong at the helm, we knew the food would be inspired by an Asian twist. I wanted it to have a feel of my grandfathers old shed complete with pegboard & old jars screwed to shelves to house all his nuts & bolts. We used inspiration of early NY graffiti artists & had a Biggie Smalls song sprayed onto the main dining wall. We retained existing elements including the upstairs & downstairs bar but altered their heights & materials.
We choose 4 dining experiences: banquette seating, communal table, tables for 4-6 and high tables in the bar.
For the details, I sourced old Chinese enamel signage and stencils that I used throughout the space. I bought so many hooks, not just for coats & bags, but additional seating, lighting and fire buckets. The pegboards are covered with rusty tools & hardware and buckets & lighting hang from the beamed ceiling, pulleys & cleats. I had beveled mirrors made for the bathrooms & upstairs bar in the shape of my favourite shields. The lighting is a mix of old & new, all harping on the industrial age & mostly shipped in from the States & Netherlands.
Tables were all custom made from chipboard & harassed wood to fit as many in as possible. Seating ranged from fiberglass & wicket bucket chairs, vintage school & industrial chairs and stools, and folding stools from Pinch UK. I added a vintage sofa for the bar & upholstered it in old coffee sacks.
The upholstery of the banquette seating upstairs was a denim sailcloth fabric, patchworked to resemble an old sail I have stashed away. We softened the sound by adding burlap-covered panels that cover the ceiling. Walls were papered in old magazine & book pages, and stripes were painted on the existing black walls leading down to the bathroom. We kept the existing floors & only manipulated the street level floor by painting oversized checkerboard on it.
To break up the existing floor to ceiling curved glass wall we hung thick sisal rope, knotting & tying it randomly, and interspersed vintage hanging workman lighting throughout. The small neon sign on the exterior in handwriting matches inside with ‘621’ emblazoned in neon on the wall, exposing MsG’s tongue-in-cheek name.
In the exterior garden, which council denies us use, I sourced old metal boxes that we filled with herbs & plants that could be utilised in the kitchen. These boxes are also placed on the bars. The giant impressive plane tree was given more light to show off plus a bamboo screen to create intimacy from a neighbouring carpark.
The final effect is one of layering, fun & history. We encourage you to carve your name into the wall on the top floor bar and enjoy as many slushies as you like!
A combination of two of my favourite things: hardware & haberdashery. My definition of these might differ from most- often utilitarian but always beautiful. It evokes the memory of an old mixed business store, its shelves & labeled drawers (under the counter as well) filled with handmade, global treasures, honest&humble, local, green, fairtrade, unusual & just-arrived! A magical, make-believe space that transports you to a time-forgotten of merchants & traders (though they still exist in other parts of the world): Apothecary, Tinctures & Alchemy, Drapers & Mills, Smiths, Tinkers, Peddlers & Keepers, Cutlers, Sailmakers, Chandlery & Wrights. The Society inc. reflects my globetrotting adventures, beachcombing, bowerbird nature & gypsy curiosity in inspiration, collecting & treasure hunting.
We are hidden in the back streets of Paddington, a new look & revival of a traditional corner store that once-upon-a-time serviced 40 houses in the local area (however we are very global & online).
The store, with its Belgium hardware shop fittings from the late 1800s and custom-made floor to ceiling shelves with Putnam rolling ladders, is the ultimate backdrop for goods & chattels, with the likes of leather braided whips, canvas satchels, whittled handled tools, hand forged nails, toolbags & tackleboxes, moulded wire, espadrilles & Wellingtons, simple glassware shapes, letterpress, seeds & gardening paraphernalia, knots & pulleys, bristle brushes, flotsam+jetsam, stencils, enamel jugs, brass drawer pulls (my own designs), MoP buttons, sailcloth buckets, original recipe cleaning products, linen by-the-yard, vintage ribbons, dressmakers pins & scissors, rope & shackles, ideas & inspiration a-plenty tossed in with oddities & curiosities.
Sibella Court is an interior stylist & creative director: from vision & concept through to direction & creation. Her most recent spaces for private clients & the Merivale Group include El Loco, 30 Knots, Upstairs at The Beresford, MsG’s, York 75, Bistrode CBD and Private Dining at Ivy.
She returned home to Sydney to launch her brand and shop, The Society inc., after 15 years living & working in New York. Her store is home to hardware & haberdashery & treasures collected globetrotting & adventuring into terrains less trodden.
In New York she was styling in demand for retail giants Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Saks on Fifth Ave, Pottery Barn, Target and West Elm as well as publications Gourmet, Marie Claire and Vogue Living. Sibella travels between her two homes regularly for jobs & inspiration. Her projects have been vast including concept, design and styling for commercial and residential interiors, magazine & advertising shoots, catalogues and product design with a nail polish, hardware and 110-colour paint range under The Society inc.
Her wanderlust has seen her accumulate over twenty years of global inspiration from trips frequenting South East Asia, India, Europe, the Middle East, the States, Central America and Australia (and that’s just in the last year). She travels alone, with the Anthropologie inspiration team & because she is a nomad.
Sibella is a best-selling author: award-winning, ‘Etcetera etc: creating beautiful interiors with the things you love’, ‘The Stylist’s Guide to NYC’ and ‘Nomad: bringing your travels home’ due for release globally in November. She has written extensively for publications such as CountryStyle, Grazia, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Living as a feature writer & contributing editor.
A history degree allows Sibella a unique foundation on which to combine research, travel & inspiration into projects that are unique, magical & unexampled.
Sibella is always involved with a range of charities, most recently:
-Interface Uganda Providing essential surgery & training local specialists in the Uganda area
-AboutFACE The Head & Neck Cancer Support Charity
-MND Australia Motor Neurone Disease care & research in Australia
[www.thesocietyinc.com.au] is Sibella Court’s website, interior stylist, author and owner of The Society inc. Sibella Court is the most highly sought after stylist in Australia. She has a strong international relationship with hits from over 82 countries, particularly the States where she continues to collaborate with US companies on a variety of projects. Sibella has a voice of authority and huge influence in the design industry internationally. Her website displays an edited pick of contemporary and respected artists, designers, companies and destinations for the design niche.
The website includes an online store, booking information for workshops and three separate blogs that are updated regularly inspiring constant traffic flow through the site. Sibella writes books and takes part in various media events creating frequent ‘special occasions’ that promote peaks in visits to the website and causes the customer database to grow.
The website is featured constantly in numerous media outlets and publications including: Lonny, DesignSponge, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Magazine, InsideOut, VogueLiving, Harper’s Bazaar, Belle, Daily Telegraph, Donna Hay, MarieClaire, Elle Decoration, Livingetc and Qantas Magazine, amongst many others nationally and internationally.
Traffic through the website is consistently increasing with 3000 more visits this month than earlier in the year and with traffic coming from an extra 10 new countries.
[www.thesocietyinc.com.au] received more than 12 000 visits last month alone. Nearly 28 000 page views with an average of two and a half pages viewed per visit and traffic from 82 different countries including Australia, the US, UK, NZ, Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Spain, Phillipines, Brasil and Germany, amongst others. Advertising Rate: $140/month.
[www.thesocietyinc.com.au] is offering an advertising space that is viewed by customers, as well as Sibella’s professional clientele.
Please contact email@example.com if interested.
We were picked up from the airport in a Mercedes that once belonged to the King & was as big as a loungeroom.
Our first sights of Cambodia were of smiley monkeys on motorcycles as we cruised by. We arrive to cold towels scented with lemongrass & a debrief on the lay of the land. The enclosed stone & garden compound was built by King Norodom Sihanouk, as a guest house. The King wanted Cambodia to be cool, and that he was. The modern circular building that houses the dining room & front pool of the hotel (or the ‘other home’ as it is referred to) was his screening room as hot looking people lazed around the swimming pool.
The interiors & fit out of his fleet of automobiles are subtle, simple & very Christian Liaigre in colour palette & approach: canes, black, ebony woods, soft khakis & clean, crisp whites with a background of natural stone, pebblecrete & terrazzo.
Over our 4-day visit we rode bikes through town, were driven in a convoy of 2 tuk tuks, jeeps & motorcycles, all fabulously fit out with beige umbrellas, refreshing towels & cold water served from a wicker basket attached to the back of each vehicle! I am officially now an Aman junkie.
One of the best things about my job is that I write my own job description. So when travelling, I kill many birds with one stone. I choose destinations to be included in my books- but whilst I’m there I get inspired for my own commercial interior details just through eating in restaurants & staying in hotels. I pick up fabulous local treasures from artisans & markets to stock in the shop or use to design my own decorative hardware range. So, if you, like me, love shopping, sightseeing, eating & staying in super cool places & generally immersing yourself in another culture or place- this is for you.
These are the pictures from the amazing hotel, Le Sirenuse, in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. I had wanted to stay here FOREVER for obvious reasons: beachside location as well as it being an old-fashioned family-owned hotel. When travelling & writing I get to meet interesting people, and this was no different. I met with the owner Antonio, who is quite the character. The hotel was once a family home and now has rooms & terraces and pools that lazily tumble down the steeps of Positano. It is full of family heirlooms, indoor plants and hidden nooks & crannies to while away the afternoon or the evening! I am using this indoor plant idea at Uccello on Sydney’s George St. I have found beautiful Hoyas that are patiently awaiting the perfect pot.