Sibella Court is a woman of many talents; retailer, designer, author, product designer, it’s a pretty exhaustive list. I’ve been an admirer of her work for a long time. Whenever I’m in Australia I always whiz to her as well as frequenting one of the many eating establishments she’s designed, like Mr Wong’s in the CBD. Think 1930’s faded Shanghai glamour – bamboo chairs, battered brickwork, big ceiling fans, beautiful lighting alongside the most amazing Cantonese food ever, and then deep fried ice cream for pud. Just thinking about it makes me want to hop on a plane to Australia right now!
Anyway, enough of my food fantasy. Back to the design… Sibella kindly answered some questions about her work, her home and her favourite places which I am delighted to share with you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your incredibly busy schedule, Sibella!
In a nutshell, how would you describe your design style?
Layered, handcrafted, story driven, comfortable, travelled. (Six words, but we’ll let you off!)
What has given you the most interiors inspiration?
I’ve had constant inspirations over a 20 year career! My early influences in the nineties were the UK teams of Elle Decoration, editor Ilse Crawford, stylist Sue Skeen & photographer James Merrell. And the styling duo for World of Interiors, Faye Toogood & Jessica Haynes continue to reign & inspire. I travel extensively, which is a great source of inspiration – all the people I meet, the cultures I experience and the sights I see find their way into all my interiors. But I am just as easily inspired in my own hometown of Sydney! Closely knowing artists, makers & creators gives you the opportunity to mix n’ match talents to get exceptional results.What are your top 5 favourite places in NYC?
I wrote a whole book on my favourite places in NYC! Too hard to choose one, so top 5: John Derian; Smith & Mills – a tiny bar in a converted carriage house in Tribeca; BDDW in Soho; The Noguchi Museum; and Freemans restaurant.
And favourite place in Sydney?
Another tricky one! So many to choose from… number 1 is my shop, The Society inc. (of course!), either Bondi or Balmoral Beach, Seasonal Concepts, The Boathouse and Koskela.
What makes a place feel like home to you?
Being surrounded by the things you love – for everything to have a story of where you were, who you were with and what you were doing. I think home should be a reflection of you, your family and your lifestyle.
What would be your dream project to work on?
I’d like to continue designing beautiful hospitality spaces – a boutique hotel would be a real dream.
What are your essential, fool-proof styling tricks?
Playing with scale, texture and proportion. Choosing a colour palette as a starting point with a space. Furniture layout and movement through a room – it’s so important not to put all the furniture against the walls!
What are you working on at the moment?
We’re moving The Society inc to a new warehouse space that will be a larger retail, workshop & design studio combined. The old shop is morphing into a one bedroom hotel, so people can experience staying in one of my books. We’re also opening a bar, creative space & a pied-a-terré in NYC!