In a new regular column, we’ve teamed up with Australian interior and photographic stylist Alex Carter from Harlow + Willow to answer your burning questions!
“As a qualified interior designer, the aesthetic and design philosophy of Harlow + Willow is about creating a fun and colourful interior that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Alex says. “It is about playing with combinations of colour and pattern to create a unique space that reflects whatever the goal of that individual project may be.”
This new Ask the Stylist column is a collaboration between Harlow + Willow and Interiors Addict to allow you to submit your questions for the chance get free help with any interior-related issues! These can be anything from how to choose paint colours for your reno, what type of artwork to select, prints versus paintings, advice on selecting your new sofa, suggestions on a furniture layout, or how to make a bed like a stylist.
Each fortnight, Alex will pick some of your submitted questions, and we’ll share the answers here in the hope that this may also help others. To kick things off, we asked Alex to tell us the answers to the three most common questions that she gets asked as a stylist:
Where to splurge and where to spend?
I don’t personally think there is a set rule to this. The basic rule is to invest in larger furniture pieces, rugs and artwork. Smaller items such as accessories and soft furnishings can change over time, so I wouldn’t usually suggest spending a lot, unless it’s something that’s meaningful or special to you! Having said that, don’t run straight to generic furniture stores for your big ticket items, there are many vintage/one-off suppliers who source items from all over the world and bring them back to Australia. Also consider custom furniture. These options aren’t necessarily more expensive than new pieces and create a sense of character in the space.
What is good style?
Now this is a hard one. The thing about style is that it is so subjective. There may be something that I think is superb, and others would cringe at it. There are a few simple tips, like: ensure there is variation in shape and the heights of objects in the room; create rhythm in the space by threading certain aspects (like a colour) through in different forms; and to ensure the furniture is of the right proportion. My advice is to not get too hung up on what good style is, if you love it then you should have it! Your home should be a reflection of you and what makes you happy, not what’s trending on Pinterest.
How can I make my home magazine worthy?
This is an interesting question that I get asked quite a lot, and there isn’t an easy answer. The homes that you see in magazines are all selected for various reasons, with the common thread being that they are unique or different. They reflect the people who inhabit them and include all their weird and wonderful possessions and hobbies. Not to mention, there is a very high chance that some of the things you see don’t really belong in that house, there are usually props that are brought in for the shoot (don’t tell anyone I told you that!).
Got a question for Alex? Complete the form below.