HOW TO STYLE A TIMELESS, COASTAL INTERIOR WITH AIMEE MCKECHNIE
We sat down with Interior Designer and founder of Curated + Made, Aimee McKechnie, to chat about her approach to creating a timeless, coastal interior. Aimee is an expert when it comes to bringing her client's vision to life through her luxurious yet laid-back approach. If you're ready to elevate your interiors this season, you've come to the right place!
Photo Credit: The Unfold
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a designer?
I’ve always held an interest in interior design and even did work experience in high school (many years ago) with an interior design studio. Somewhere along the way I decided to study Commerce instead, and work in Event Management. After 15 years working in corporate events and following the birth of my two children, it was finally the right time to recognise this unwavering interest and study Interior Design. Curated and Made was founded in 2014 and has evolved over the past 6-7 years into a legitimate business rather than just the hobby I thought it might be. We’ve been slowly gathering momentum and have just employed our first staff member this year!
What is your design philosophy?
Timeless design for laidback living is how it’s best described. I want to create truly unique spaces for clients to call their own. So my approach is to always keep the two key tenets (of timeless design and laidback living) top of mind when working with clients. Everyone wants to feel relaxed in their home so we always look to specify items that are super comfortable, but a little bit special.
Image Credit: The Palm Co
How has your approach to design evolved over time?
When I first started Curated and Made, I thought I had to be all things to all clients. Over time I’ve realised that people approach me specifically because they want to embrace my style of laidback living. So I’ve moved more towards my love of local craftspeople and makers and now include their work in a home as often as possible.
Where did you find inspiration for The Shore?
The local landscape was a large part of the inspiration with it’s muted tones found in the sand dunes, coastal grasses or the grey-blue of the ocean on a winter's day. I knew the house needed a nod to its coastal location but certainly didn’t want to go down the traditional path of blues and yellows. Travel has always had an impact on the direction I take with certain projects as well. I went to Morocco in 2019, and even though we were half way through the project by then, my travels there definitely informed some of the styling details of the property.
Image Credit: The Palm Co
What do you love most about working with natural materials?
They are the ultimate way to make a space feel tactile, textural and comfortable. Natural materials were definitely the key to achieving that warm, relaxed feeling I wanted guests to experience from the moment they stepped inside. Blending natural materials with really sharp, well-made joinery just elevates the look and stops it from feeling rustic. So we have oak floorboards which feel soft underfoot, and travertine in the bathrooms which feels so solid but also warm and inviting. These core materials combined with furnishings in linen, leather and wood ensures the whole house has a tactile but luxurious feel that you can relax into instantly.
How have you incorporated sustainability into your work?
Many clients I work with are so used to seeing their same furniture and need to be shown how to see it in a different light. I often ‘shop the home’ with clients meaning before we purchase new pieces, we look at what they already have. Can it be used in a different way or in a different room? Does it need a coat of chalk paint to update it? There’s often so much you can re-jig before looking for new items. When we do buy new, I always recommend local over imported pieces and only ever items that will stand the test of time - it goes back to my core belief of timeless design. Totem Road pieces tick all the boxes!
Image Credit: The Palm Co
What are simple five ways our readers can create a coastal interior?
- Remember less is definitely more. Spend time really editing your pieces so you have that easy, breezy coastal feel rather than just typical beachy clutter.
- Blue and white or blue and yellow reflects only one or two elements of the Australian coastline. Be mindful of the other tones and colours that you can see in the landscape such as the pale beige dunes, muted brown shells and seaweed, sage coastal grasses and grey-blues of the ocean and sky on an overcast day.
- Mix different textures while keeping the colour palette tonal - it makes the space feel cohesive and warm.
- Sheer linen curtains that catch the sea breeze instantly make you feel like you’re on holiday.
- Always use the appropriate flooring so there’s no issue if someone walks inside straight from the beach. Rugs are great, carpet not so much.
Which Totem Road pieces are your favourites?
Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
There’s always plenty to work and every project is exciting to me still! With so many people working from home it’s brought interiors to the forefront of their minds it seems. We’re currently working with a few repeat clients doing the next piece of their home which is so rewarding. From a personal perspective I’m scouting for the perfect 20 acres to start my next holiday property project!