How This Leading Australian Stylist Decorates Her Home
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the impeccably curated home of interior stylist, creative director and Real Living alumni, Kerrie-Ann Jones. After cutting her teeth at glossy interior titles, Jones now boasts a CV peppered with Australia's leading furniture, art and homewares brands, who enlist her polished eye to make their wares shine. (Us included.) Still, her home is inarguably her greatest work: a light-filled space that blends mid-century modern furniture with contemporary, hand-made and vintage wares against a palette of whites, greys and rust. Here, we sit down with Jones to discuss her journey from the music industry to the world of interiors, her favourite room in the house and the one piece of advice she'd give her younger self.
While a scroll through Kerrie-Ann Jones' Instagram feed (warning: you might be there a while) showcases her eye for design, it is her impossibly chic terrace in Sydney's Darlinghurst brings it to life. It starts with a minimal, neutral base—think polished concrete floors and fresh white walls—which provides a backdrop for layers of thoughtful styling. A heavy crystal tureen here, a gilt-edged frame there, a few scattered embroidered cushions there. An olive-hued couch features, as do lighting solutions that double as sculptures. The effect is one of refreshing individualism and unfettered creativity. Read on for the full tour, and be warned—this might just inspire a full home overhaul.
Bed Threads: Hi Kerrie-Ann! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
Kerrie-Ann Jones: Firstly, thanks for having me apart of this series alongside some incredibly talented women! I create interior spaces that I hope inspire people with ideas on how to decorate their own home.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I have always been creative and visual person, it's part of my nature and who I am. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. As a child, I would always be making something, whether it was sewing, jewellery, art, photography or creative expression through dance and ballet. I went to a performing arts high school so creative expression and making were always encouraged, and allowed me to explore my creativity in various forms.
How did you start styling? What inspired you to go down this route in your career?
After high school, I studied music marketing and worked in the music industry for several years, which entailed supervising the music for TV shows and selecting background music for production. However, throughout this career path, I had a curiosity for interiors. I had renovated my first apartment when I was 22 on a shoestring budget and loved the creative process of putting my home together. I became obsessed after that and loved finding visual interior inspiration through interior magazines and blogs.
After some encouragement from friends to pursue the interest further, I asked some stylists if I could assist on some shoots and studied interior styling. This is where my styling career began! In short, it led me to become the lead stylist for a Home DIY magazine called Homes+, start a business with a photographer where we style and shoot homes for magazines, style for leading furniture and homewares brands and then land my dream job as style editor for Real Living magazine. I’m now a freelance stylist and working across several interior projects that I’m passionate about. It’s been an inspiring journey that I am forever grateful for.
Talk us through your styling process. How do you keep things fresh in the ever-evolving world of interiors?
Finding inspiration is key to how I get the ball rolling when creating an interior. It can come in many forms; it could be a colour palette in season, a new furniture piece, an artwork that I wish to include in a shoot. I always have a starting point, then things fall into place after that. I also get very excited by new products in the interior industry and can visualise how I would work it into a room, so I try to make sure I am across everything new to inspire the interiors I create.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your business and client portfolio?
I’m not great on the business side of things, I'm still learning how to improve on that. However, the one thing I rely on to promote myself is the work I’m producing. In what I do, I’m only as good as the last shoot I work on. So creating the best work I possibly can is critical for me to land my next shoot. This motivates me to continually improve and push myself creatively.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt since you started?
Managing my work/life balance. Trying to juggle my work and family life, with my energy levels, is difficult at times. I have learnt that getting all my creative and brainpower work done in the morning works best for me and the afternoons are often chores or pickups for shoots. By the evening, I have no energy left and tend to go to bed early. Any downtime and days off, I try to focus on spending quality time with my family. Working as a freelancer means every day and week is different so it can be challenging to fit it all in.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to start their own business?
Believe in yourself and don't worry about the opinion and judgements of others. That will only hold you back. Surround yourself with people who appreciate, support and encourage your growth.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since this career move? Do you have a favourite shoot, client or a pinch-me moment?
There have been a few! Having my first house story published was very exciting, as it was my first step in my journey as a freelance stylist and writer. That story has since been published in several international magazines too. It was also the start of a business I founded with a photographer where we have since had many other various stories published globally.
Another moment was landing my dream job as style editor for Real Living and styling my first cover. After being an avid admirer of interior magazines for years, it was surreal to be styling covers and decorating stories for a living.
Since recently going freelance again, styling for Bed Threads has been incredible! What an honour! I'm so lucky to work with a brand that not only has a beautiful product I adore, but strong brand values too. The Bed Threads style and aesthetic match my own, so it’s such a joy that we work so harmoniously together. Thank you for choosing me to style your shoots, what a privilege to have such a dream client.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
1. A distinctive colour palette
Personally, I love styling with neutral tones of caramel, sand and rust tones and paired with black and white as a base. Hone in on a colour palette you love and that will help guide any other choices around your home. Bed linen is an excellent place to experiment with colours, you can mix and match your pillowcases, sheets and duvet cover. It adds colour to the room but not in a permanent way, so if you want to change it up, it's easy to do so.
2. Good lighting
You can really elevate a space with a beautiful bedside lamp or pendant lights. It helps set the mood and style for the room.
3. A statement piece
Have a hero piece of furniture or art in the room. For example, a beautiful artwork above a bed that draws your eye into the room to create a focal point.
Shop Kerrie-Ann's look with the Fog Bedding Set, White Fitted Sheet and Rust Pillowcases.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We have lived in our home for seven wonderful years.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
The light! Terrace homes are known to not have much light however our house has a large glass ceiling above the staircase in the middle of the home that allows light to flood through the all day long. I just felt a connection to the house and could instantly imagine how we would live here.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Yes, we lived in the home for a few years before undertaking a significant renovation of adding a third floor, new bathrooms, floors, joinery and kitchen, plus adding steel frame windows to the back of each level.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
Although I use a lot of colour in my styling work, I wanted to come home to a space that was neutral and simple. So the colour palette I have at home are all neutral tones. I'm inspired by many styles of interiors, including classic, industrial and Scandi. I've tried to blend these styles together in a cohesive way by using oak timber flooring throughout, black steel frame doors and balustrade, and marble herringbone tiles in the bathrooms.
What are your favourite pieces in your home?
My Ines Longervial artwork. I've been a fan of her work for a few years, so it was exciting to own a piece from a recent exhibition she had a San Francisco. I'm also proud of my bargain Gumtree find—our vintage travertine coffee table! It was such a score.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
Our living room is one of my favourite rooms in the house because of all the special family memories we have created here.
Tell us about your bedroom.
Our bedroom has beautiful afternoon light streaming in so if I have a moment where I can have some downtime, it's usually spent chilling in there. Same for my husband. The first place I look for him is the bedroom because he loves relaxing in there.
What does getting a good night’s sleep mean to you?
I value sleep, enormously! As my children are young (2.5 and 4.5 years old) I've had a few years of very disruptive sleep, as I've often been up various times throughout the night settling them. I then usually have to go off to a big shoot the next day. So as a result of that, I go to bed quite early so I can feel rested and get the most out of the following day.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
Yes, I will be co-hosting a podcast series soon called House of Style. We interview prominent Australian interior brands, designers, artists and makers about their journey, and discuss what it takes to become an iconic Australian figure in today's interiors landscape. We are launching the series in September. Follow the @houseofstylepodcast for more details about it soon.
I will be hosting more styling workshops later this year. I have one coming up in Melbourne in September.
For more from Kerrie-Ann, follow @kerrieann_jones_stylist and @houseofstylepodcast.
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