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Claire Stevens – An Expert’s Guide to Trendy Home Interior

Photo Credit: Claire Stevens Interior Design

Exposed brick walls, polished marble and colour pops of pastel pink and blue, the studio of Claire Stevens is the dream working space. Having launched her firm in 2012, Claire Stevens Interior Design knows the ins-and-outs on how to turn an average space into an extraordinary home. As a long-time Brisbane resident, Claire knows what’s up when it comes to local style. We hung out with Claire in her cosy studio and got some key tips on how to style our homes.

For those moving into a new home, or wanting fresh interior, where do we start?

Start with a base of neutrals, they’ll give you longevity and versatility when it comes to adding pops of colour. It’s important to invest in good pieces. Don’t be afraid to spend money on higher quality items that you’ll use every day – this may be a good sofa or dining table. For those staple pieces, choose established designs that are timeless and not too ‘now’ as you don’t want to be sick of the style in a few months. From there, you can certainly add additional elements that reflect your personality. That may be a quirky lamp, a sophisticated armchair or some playful cushions. It’s the unique pieces that can really add a point of difference to your house and make it a home.

How should we select our pieces?

You can browse the web for hours and find images of beautiful interiors, but they really need to suit you and your lifestyle. We find that a lot of people don’t actually know what they want, so rather than ask questions on what they like, we ask what they don’t like – it helps to narrow things down. We start with a process of elimination: do you prefer fabric or leather? Do you like browns and creams or whites and greys? You need to establish your lifestyle: how do you live? Do you have kids? Pets? How do you use your home? Know that your interior styling isn’t forever and can act a bit like a revolving door – as something new comes in, something old may go out.

You live in the trendy area of New Farm, how would you describe the style of the area?

The inner-city hub is a seriously groovy area with a relaxed, urban style. New Farm is wonderful because it’s a pocket that has everything you need. In Brisbane we have a love for indoor/outdoor living. We may not necessarily have the luxury of large outdoor spaces in the inner-city, so instead we’re seeing lots of indoor gardens and greenery adorning our homes. We live in a busy world with very demanding lifestyles so we don’t necessarily spend as much time at home. This means we may not have a use for all the usual furniture and instead of having a large dining table, we can have a more spacious living area.

Inner-city living sometimes comes with less space, what are some ways we can style for smaller areas?

Just because you have the space doesn’t mean you have to fill it. I guess it comes down to purchasing only what you need and not just filling your apartment with furniture. For example, in our apartment we decided to put our dining table outside rather than inside – we realised we much preferred to spend time outdoors than eating in front of the TV. In that sense, we have a much larger space to live in because we haven’t over cluttered with furniture we don’t use. I think that’s essential.