Looking at photos of interior designer Anna Spiro’s work makes me go a bit giddy. I know this sounds ridiculously sycophantic and over the top, but I mean it. I could (and have over time) spend hours getting lost in her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things, where she shares a lot of photographs of her work and beautiful objects she sells in her store Black & Spiro. Anna’s known for breathing new life into well loved vintage items, layering colourful, clashing textiles and making old and new pieces somehow work together perfectly. And her home’s been featured in Vogue Living. ‘Nuff said.
This year Anna also launched an online store which sells a small collection of gorgeous items, wonderfully styled in a vignette, a season at a time. Needless to say I was delighted when Brisbane’s finest agreed to an interview for Interiors Addict.
Anna’s style is hard to sum up, but she describes it pretty well herself: “Collected, colourful, layered, comfortable, interchangeable, interesting, unexpected.” Nothing matches but at the same time it all ties together perfectly. It’s that kind of look that only those with a real eye for interiors seem to pull off. Although the Spiro look is very distinctive, she can still be flexible. “I could never be a minimalist but I can and do create neutral schemes for clients,” she says. “I suppose these days my clients tend to come to me for what it is that I can create for them which is a lovely thing.”
Anna started her blog five years ago. “I had no idea at the time that it would eventually be read by thousands of people every day and that people all over the world would actually be interested in what it is that I had to say. I am humbled by its following. I am also very grateful for my blog, even though it requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication, as I have had the most wonderful experiences through it.”
With the online store however, Anna wanted to create something totally different to anything else available out there in the interiors space. “I really wanted to create an event-like experience for my clients and customers which only occurred seasonally throughout the year. I am extremely happy with the response we’ve had so far. I’m very excited about our Christmas/Summer Vignette which we will be launching early next month. It’s going to be slightly different to our previous vignettes. I think in the online world, as well as the bricks-and-mortar world, it’s all about evolving and moving, changing and continuing to inspire your customers and that’s what I put all my effort into every day of my life.”
What shines through from Anna is the passion she has for comfortable and real homes. “For me, my family and our home is everything so it’s probably one of the most important things in my life to create a house which is comfortable, liveable, happy, cosy, inviting and beautiful. You should fill your home with things you love and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Be confident and follow your heart.” Her best advice? “If you feel uneasy about a piece then don’t purchase it. You have to love it 100 percent.”
Anna, who feels extremely lucky to do what she loves every day, says a good interior designer listens to their clients and tries to help them inject their own sense of style into their home.
Being based in Brisbane, she stands out from the majority of high profile stylists who are based in Sydney and Melbourne. And it’s quite possible the influence of her location is what makes Anna’s work so different. “I think we do have a different style here in Queensland which I try to encourage my clients to embrace. We have beautiful, warm, balmy weather, which should inspire us to decorate our homes with a vibrant sense of style. Most of our houses are open, airy timber houses and they look so beautiful when decorated with fresh and invigorating colours. I hope to be an ambassador for colourful, sunny Queensland style.”