What inspired you to begin your interior stylist journey?
Growing up I always had a passion for interiors but never really knew I could translate it into a career. My mother has great taste and was always updating things in our family home. I think a passion for interiors grew from there. I studied Law and Communications at university and decided it wasn’t really for me. It wasn’t until I finished my degrees that an internship at Australian House & Garden came up and I never looked back. It’s funny how sometimes you just fall into the right thing. It was all timing but I feel like it was meant to be.
When was your first big break in the interior design industry?
I suppose landing the internship was a big break in a way because it opened the door to the interiors industry but in other ways I don’t really believe in big breaks. I think if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you work really hard you can achieve your goals. Every project I complete there is some level of satisfaction but with each one I find myself wanting more. That’s a creative thing I think and something that keeps you challenged.
Have you come across any challenging moments along the way?
How much time have you got?…I’m faced with new challenges every day. Anything from trying to stay original and relevant to negotiating with suppliers and making sure my shoots run seamlessly. Since I’ve started my own business the challenges are even harder. For one thing I know longer have an IT department to help when every bit of technology decides to die at the same time. There’s always something that goes wrong. I’ve learnt to roll with the punches a bit. Most of the time it works out in the end anyway. You have to trust in your creativity and ability more than anything and appreciate every day that you’re lucky enough to be doing something fun.
Do you have any tricks of the trade you could share with us?
As an interior stylist you start to get known for your “look”. Of course you want each project or shoot to be different but there’s always a little piece of me that makes my work recognisable. For some designers it’s a colour palette for others it’s a particular style of furniture. For me that would be texture. I love a layered room and I feel a space will look more complete when you build different textures upon each other. Anything natural is a good place to start. Think wool, sisal, timber, seagrass, marble and textured paint.
Another tip I live by when designing residential spaces is to let them evolve a little over time. With a photoshoot you unfortunately don’t have this luxury. You have to pull together 9 rooms in a week or two and make them feel lived in. With a home you can afford to spend a little more time. Don’t buy everything from one or even two stores. Hunt around, piece things together, wait for a beautiful antique to catch your eye. You will be thankful in the long run and your home will be unique to you.
What interior design looks are you loving this Winter?
For winter I’m loving splashes of unexpected colour combinations. My neutral palette is normally centred on warm greys but this winter I’m adding splashes of burnt rose and dusty olive green. As a combo its completely unexpected but somehow works.
I’m also a big believer in the finishing touches of a home and for me this winter they will include big bunches of branchy foliage everywhere, stacks of books and earthy smelling candles. It’s these elements that give you a warm feeling when you walk into a space.
What’s next for The Living Details?
I’m working on a couple of really fun projects that I’m excited about. I’m consulting with a new furniture brand on their upcoming range. Styling a dream house in one of Sydney’s beach suburbs and planning some exciting and creatively challenging editorial shoots. Unexpectedly I’ve also found myself working in the event space which is really exciting and a new facet to my career. With some travel on the horizon as well its sure to be an exciting year.
To stay up-to-date with Ashley’s interior design adventures, follow her on Instagram.