Stylist helps perfect interiors in long awaited first family home

After saving for more than a decade to buy their first family home in Sydney, nutritionist Faye James and her husband turned to a professional to help give it a cosy, homely feel that wasn’t straight out of a furniture catalogue.

The couple and their children Mia, 13, and Pablo, 10 recently moved into a freshly renovated four-bed home on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. “I didn’t want to just go out to the usual shops and get cookie cutter furniture. I wanted something really amazing but didn’t know where to start,” said Faye. “I searched high and low but ended up feeling frustrated and confused about colour schemes, style and what brands of furniture to be looking for.”

She’s always loved the fresh and organised look of a hotel, Airbnb or property styled for sale, so she started to look for a service that offered styling and furnishings combined. That’s when she stumbled across Furnish and Finish. Their head of design Emily Geister, was tasked with styling the home and she maximised on the space and light, drawing inspiration from Faye’s eclectic collection of artwork. 

“We drew from the type of artworks that were being used throughout the space which inspired us with colour palette and overall feel of the home. We wanted to introduce contemporary elements throughout the space whilst keeping it light,” said Emily. 

Emily was strategic with the placement of the sofas to ensure the space was not closed off and still had clear access up into the dining area. “The home has lots of natural light which we wanted to take advantage of and it allowed us to use darker elements without creating a dark space,” she added. She chose an overarching theme of contemporary coastal and used the whitewash floors to introduce coastal elements throughout.

“We absolutely adore the living space as it was a large portion of our inspiration to follow through to the rest of the home. We loved the incorporation of the clients’ large canvas in this space which allowed us select furniture which spoke to the colouring and themes of the artwork.”

Emily focused on how the living space will be used. “Being just by the kitchen the whole space would be used for entertaining and communication with their family and guests so we ensured that the space was open however still provided maximum seating. “We kept the colour palette consistent through the living and dining as the spaces were joined and were in need of speaking to one another.”

The colour scheme was heavily influenced by the colouring of the large canvas in the living area with its splashes of black and charcoal. “This inspired the colouring of the sofas being a dark charcoal and a black dining table. However, this was lightened with the introduction of timber side tables and console.”

As for the bedrooms, the colour schemes were inspired by the chosen artwork too. Emily also considered exactly who was using the space, whether it was the 10 year-old son, teenage daughter, parents or guest room.

Emily’s 5 top style tips for your home 

  • Use your current furniture or art to influence the colour palette of the space.
  • Understand your aesthetic and functional needs to ensure the space will be used to its full potential.
  • Don’t over style and create a cluttered space
  • Use greenery and florals to keep the space fresh and light – quality fake plants are amazing
  • Give opportunity to be able to chop and change with cushions and accessories by not introducing strong colour palettes in furniture and bedding.

For more on Furnish & Finish | For more on Faye James


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