We sit down with Catherine of The Stables to discover her interior design secrets, the journey to creating her business and an insider look at the home transformations she is currently working on.
When did you first dream about creating The Stables?
After studying design at Enmore Design Centre I founded a Property Styling company called Bowerbird Interiors which I ran for many years. I then started a family and sought to downsize, I wanted something with less staff, no overheads and a lot more freedom and flexibility so The Stables was born. I always knew I would remain in the interiors industry and I really wanted to get back to real design where I am working closely with clients and beautiful quality high-end product and finishes. Taking on individual clients was really the best way to achieve this. It has been perfect really, we are constantly busy and new clients come to us almost on a daily basis these days. We get to work with not only beautiful clients and homes but the product I get to specify is just lovely. I couldn’t ask for anything more really! I love the flexibility I have to spend time with my family and that the business is small enough to react and change directions when we want!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I tend to just stick my head down and do my own thing, I have always done that! Don’t get me wrong I do look around and keep my eye on what others are doing but I don’t let it affect what I do. I truly believe I am guided by what appeals to me, it has always been the way I designed. I feel that if a client asks me to replicate something, I get a little lost – my inspiration is what I am drawn to whether it be a tile or an artwork or an armchair. I tend to find and source these products from Instagram as most people do these days, it's so handy and at my fingertips and the best way to keep up to date with what’s available on the market.
What are your secrets to creating a space which is calm and serene?
I think option for a less is more approach! I always choose beautiful simple pieces and use them minimally, I don’t like to clutter my spaces – if each piece is beautiful in it’s own right then you can avoid the need to jam a space full of “stuff”. I always opt for lighter muted colours which definitely helps to keep things calm and quiet, I tend to rely on subtle textures in lighter colours rather than big bold pattern as well.
What is your favourite Totem Road sustainable furniture piece and why?
I would have to say your range of dining tables are my favourite! Not only is the quality great and I love that my clients don’t have to be too precious with them (super important when you are designing for families) but the colour of your timbers are beautiful. I have a real thing against oaks that are too yellow, your slight washes keep things soft and they work perfectly in my spaces. I also love that there are a range of different size options to work in with each of my projects – best of all though, if I want to talk something through with you guys and get your opinion on it you are only a phone call away and are always super helpful! This is something that means the world when you have so much going on in your own business!
If you could share one insider styling tip what would it be?
I would rather my clients wait then rush into things. If you can’t afford to do the whole space, do one space at a time and do it well. You will be so much happier in the long run. I come across some people who have purchased a new home and they want to furnish it the second they move in so they run around and make rash decisions and then end up with so much regret. I say, find the pieces you truly love and connect with and go for them. If you LOVE them now, you will likely love it for a long time to come. I would rather people spend a little more to get something that is timeless, great quality and simply beautiful rather than rushing out and buying what they can afford right that minute – the wait is always worth it!
Is there anything exciting you have coming up that you can share with us?
The most exciting thing on my radar right now is baby number 2! We are due in February so things are about to get a whole lot more busy for The Stables. From a work point of view we are about to tackle a very exciting project in Byron Bay, some beautiful holiday accommodation that we are very excited about. It will be one of our largest projects to date and an amazing transformation! Stay tuned!
To discover more about Catherine at The Stables visit - http://www.thestablesco.com.au/
Totem Road products featured: