No doubt many of you are familiar with the modern Australian, coastal aesthetic of the boutique interior styling company The Stables. Their use of soft, muted colours, clean lines and natural light has earned them a plethora of fans and given they recently added a cushion range to their offering (featured in the pics below), we thought it was time we found out more about the lady behind the feed, Catherine Heraghty.
After studying design at Sydney’s Enmore Design Centre, Catherine kicked off her career by launching a property styling business which she juggled with a number of other jobs. “When my property styling business was in its infancy I had to hold other jobs to support myself. For quite a few years, whilst running it, I was also a studio manager at another design agency in Surry Hills. In another role, I was the PA at a very well-known Sydney based textile designer and I also did quite a bit of assisting on editorial and advertising shoots,” says Catherine who went out on her own once the business could support her.
“I eventually took the leap of faith and worked solely on my own business which is a scary step to begin with but I never looked back!” says Catherine who sold the property styling business 18 months ago with a desire to downsize and get back to basics.
“Whilst I am a qualified interior designer, I classify myself as an interior stylist – this is what I love and I know this is where my strengths lie. So, I just started doing what I loved and The Stables was born! It gained traction very quickly, especially on social media platforms,” says Catherine who now boasts over 100k followers.
A tranquil, accessible and stylish Instagram feed, it’s easy to see why Catherine has carved out a significant following. “I love light and airy spaces and I am definitely drawn towards soft and muted colour palettes. I try and inject as much texture into my space as possible by the way of natural finishes to warm spaces up, for example, timbers, woven products, baskets and throws,” says Catherine.
There’s no doubt that Catherine’s social media following also keeps her very busy. “Instagram is almost a full-time job in itself and the amount of opportunities that this incredible platform can provide you with still amazes me every day. Essentially, this part of the business involves lots of styling which is the fun part! I constantly have to create fresh content for social media to keep it interesting for my followers,” says Catherine who collaborates with brands on a regular basis. “It basically involves styling clients’ products The Stables way!”
As for inspiration, Catherine mostly finds it online but has found herself returning to traditional print media of late. “Given the fast-paced lifestyle we all lead these days, I really love to get inspiration from a magazine as I find this a slower process rather than letting my thumb scroll through hundreds of images in just minutes. I like that print media makes me slow down!” She isn’t a fan of blindly following trends and is careful to always put her own mark on things. “I get so much of my inspiration online like everyone else but the key for me is to try and put my own spin on something rather than just copying a look and reproducing someone else’s style.”
But it’s hands-on design that gives Catherine the most satisfaction, and it’s a side of the business that is continuing to grow. “The first and most important thing to me are my clients. The work I do for each client is extremely varied, some clients come to me with an empty five-bedroom house and want me to furnish it from top to bottom. Others come to be with a two-bedroom unit which they are planning on gutting and engage me to select all the finishes and then furnish it. Others may come to me with problem areas of their home, for example their living room and they want me to transform it for them or make it feel finished,” says Catherine.
Photography: Gez Xavier Mansfield