“From a young age, I was always around [interiors and styling]…
My parents were always renovating different houses, and they’ve got a big place, which is sort of similar style to Rosedale actually, which they had bought when I think I was around six or seven. And that was a massive undertaking, and I didn’t fully appreciate all the decisions involved at that time. From choosing tiles and colors to designing the garden and selecting light fixtures, there were so many aspects to consider. Renovating is a challenging process, as anyone who has done it knows. It’s easy for me to walk into someone else’s space and make changes, but when it’s my own project, everything becomes weighty and significant. It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s also about managing the budget and ensuring everything aligns.
I did all the creative subjects at school and went into industrial design but it was just too rigid.
The styling world is where I wanted to go. So I switched to interior design, and then got the runner up in the Belle competition. Then I started assisting on the magazine. I remember I turned up to the first photoshoot in studio and I was like, “I’m going to wear this cashmere sweater, really nice jeans and boots, and I was on the ground for 12 hours! As you know, the shoots are a lot! You’re building in studio. [You have to do] your wallpaper and paint walls and put down tiles, bring in flats and door arches. Needless to say, now I just wear gym clothes!
On shoots there’s always something that will go wrong or doesn’t turn up…
But on the flip side of that, it actually makes me more creative, because then you have to go right, “how do I think laterally here?” Often it makes the outcome even stronger. But the event styling and bigger projects did get exhausting, like whenI would style houses for interior architects or interior designers, you just had to bring all this stuff in to make it magazine-worthy. You’ve got a truck full of furniture, artwork, flowers, books, accessories… I was just so burnt out. After freelancing for a while, the role really shifted into the digital realm and creating content. Now It’s basically everything I used to do within the magazine and advertising space, but more within the digital world. I get to shoot a lot of my stuff at home with different brands and partners. I get to host events.
I love being able to bring people into my world.
With each project I undertake, including Rosedale, I strive to infuse a strong sense of who I am, who we are as a family, and what our journey represents. A space should truly reflect the individuals who inhabit it and tell their unique story. Even when I was involved in editorial projects, there was always an element of theater infused in my pages. I realized that I could merge my love for the performing arts with the creative arts. Growing up, I immersed myself in dance, music, and other creative pursuits on the weekends, I actually had a performing arts scholarship at McDonald College. I think this background in the arts has continued to shape my work, allowing me to explore both genres that I adore.
One of the most significant times was when I came out as gay.
It was a difficult and internalized process, as many people in our community experience. Feeling like I couldn’t be my authentic self and lacking a sense of purpose and belonging made it tough. However, when I finally embraced my true identity, everything changed. It wasn’t because I thought everyone would be against me; my family was incredibly supportive. But the internal struggles we often face can hold us back. As soon as I allowed myself to live authentically, my career and personal life skyrocketed. I met my partner, Mike, and it was like life opened up in remarkable ways. It’s incredible how life changes when we can be true to ourselves, even though many people still find that difficult. Even though my internal thoughts were like, “Oh my God, you’re never going to have the white picket fence and the dog and you know, you’re always gonna have to prove yourself…” and so I just worked and worked. It’s both a blessing and a curse, as I pour myself into my job, always seeking to prove myself. At times, I’ve pushed myself to the point of exhaustion, being a people pleaser who struggles to say no. But I’ve learned and grown from those experiences.
In my late thirties, everything changed…
especially in 2020 and 2021 when the world shifted dramatically. The pandemic forced us to pivot and adapt to the digital space. This became a catalyst for me, as it pushed me to my limits. I often took on too much, then had to pause, and repeat the cycle. It affected my well-being, leaving me stressed, anxious, and out of balance. I knew I needed to make a change. For about six months, I focused on finding a solution, working on myself. I integrated various practices into my life, such as meditation, acupuncture, kinesiology, and chiropractic care. These experiences taught me the importance of self-care and being present. Meditation, in particular, became a powerful tool for finding balance.
I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes each.
It’s a non-negotiable for me. It gives my mind a break. I practiced Vedic meditation with Tim Brown, a remarkable teacher who sadly passed away recently. His teachings left a lasting impact on me. Through these practices and reflections, I discovered the need to prioritize my well-being and find a healthier approach to work. While I still have moments of pushing myself, I’ve learned the value of being present and enjoying the journey rather than constantly striving for more.
I’m turning 40 soon and I’m embracing this new chapter that prioritizes self-care.
I did nine days Ayurvedic cleanse at Woollahra Ayervedic and then a Detox retreat with chiropractor Optimum Health Essential’s Matt Bourke in Byron Bay, and it was quite amazing. I did acupuncture, Vedic stuff, kinesiology, chiropractic stuff and things I can integrate into our daily life. We’re going to build a pool pavilion with a spa like elements like a sauna. I love saunas, both infrared and classic. I also find magnesium salt baths ritualistic and soothing.
I try to stay away from processed foods.
I eat organic whenever possible. We have a one-acre veggie garden at the farm. I think that’s been a saving grace as well, just having that time in the garden. Staying healthy is a priority. When we eat out in Orange I love Union Bank, Groundstone Cafe, and the Japanese restaurant Raky Izakaya.
Everyone asks me how to style a big floral arrangement…
Always start with a heavy bottomed vase and fill it with as much water as you can. Then you want to get three branches, between one to two metres long, depending on how dramatic you want to go. Strip the leaves off the bottom and bash the ends until they’re frayed to absorb more water. Sit the three in the vase as a triangle and they become your structure. If it starts to tip, I take an inch off the branch on that side and if it tilts again, I’ll take another inch off. That way you’re balancing the weight. If you’ve got a wall behind it you can use it to help hold it in place. Then I usually go in and get one or two more branches and just put them in the center to fill it out.
I like to create visual interest when styling by varying heights and textures.
Putting things in groups of three is an easy way: a coffee table book, a candle, a floral, but not all on the same line. You’ll always want to allow the eye to move around whatever surface you’re styling as it has more interest and intrigue. Then think about compliment and contrast, so balance raw and polished elements for a well-lived and well-traveled feel. I call them dug up pieces, you know, like beautiful Indian bowl or something.
I grew up in a family where beauty and fashion were important.
My mum had a collection of beauty products, and I was always intrigued by them. I believe that how you present yourself is a reflection of your soul and encompasses all aspects of life. Skincare wise I love Rationale. I also love nourishing my skin from within with Vida Glow and the Ikari supplements. I put them in smoothies, I’m obsessed. When I was growing up I used to have really oily skin and Proactive fixed it! Now my face loves oils and richer creams. I started with Rational four years ago or five years ago and I saw the biggest shift in my skin. I also like Advanced night repair by Estee Lauder. I’ve been using some of the Ikari skincare. I like to mix it up, and give my skin a break, give it a bit of a shock. I love a bit of self care on the weekends, sit and steam in the bath. I tried botox once and I hated it but now I like facials at Rationale or with La Mer and a bit of microdermabrasion.
I love any kind of ritual like lighting incense and burning sage…
Whenever I have a project or event, everyone comments how there are different scents throughout the house.Scent is important to me, whether it’s scented candles or essential oils. I love pure vetiver oil from Doterra with lavender or bergamot – I either put them in diffusers or wearing them on pulse points. I also love the Jo Malone Vetiver perfume and the more heady ones from Tom Ford. I also have a lot of Aerin fragrances around the house. One of my favourites is the Melagrano from Santa Maria Novella, we have the bath and shower gel in the farm stays. I also buy pure frankincense incense from organic food stores. Oh and Astier De Villate Opera Incense.