Tell us about yourself...I am a Melbourne based Interior Designer & Stylist, married to Patrick who is a Prosthetist lecturing at Latrobe University. We have a busy and charismatic 15 month old called Sullivan and an old sun-loving grey cat called Eleanor.
How did you start interior designing/styling?
Well cliché I know but it was always something I've done really in an un-official way. I was "that kid" who listed interior designer in the yearbook in answer to the age old question "what do you want to be when you grow up?" and I can thank my parents for letting me re-paint and organise my room more times than I can count!
I initially trained as an Orthotist/Prosthetist, working in Brisbane at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and later at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. Whilst I made many of my closest friends (and husband!) working in Prosthetics and Orthotics, I couldn't see myself working in the field forever, and so I decided to trust my inner child and return to study Interior Design at Mercer. During my studies I attended a talk by Simone Haag at Modern Times where she spoke about her business focus on "Furniture, Art, Object & Styling" and I was hooked! That was the career for me! So I reached out to Simone, helped out on a few shoots and then eventually landed a job as her Design Assistant and later Design Manager. After 5 or so years working for Simone I left to have my son and have recently started my own business alongside my friend and forever inspiration Mel Hasic, Without Studio.
What inspires you with design/art and styling?
So many things. Sometimes the simplest things like walking past an old shop front with some unique tiles or the colour of a window frame at the local library, but otherwise it's things like travel, imagery, other designers, fabrics, art, nature, honestly the list goes on.
Your top tips for styling a space and bring a vision to life
I find this question so difficult because everything I do is really just by gut feel but I think the big one for me is truly representing the building/space that you're styling and also the person that lives there. Anyone can create a cookie cutter space but creating a unique space is much more nuanced. Mixing found pieces with new to create an interior that feels timeless is really important to me - spaces that stand the test of time are the ones that can't be immediately pinned to an era.
My second tip would be that if you're engaging an interior designer or stylist for your space, to lean in, trust and give some creative freedom. Hint: it's when we do our best work. Likewise if you're decorating your own space, trust your instinct. Just because you don't see it in a magazine, doesn't mean it's not right for your home.
We would also love to know more about the process behind the custom mobiles you create under @sarah.shinners.creates
These were a little passion project - I created the first one for Sully's nursery and then as I shared the photos of them, people started commissioning them for their own babies.
They're all hand cut from balsa wood, sanded and painted in custom colours to suit the nursery they're going to live in. I'm a bit of a sucker for a tassel so no mobile of mine would be complete without brass tassels which I love even more as they create extra movement when the mobile spins and bounces on its wire.
I create them on a commission basis still via my instagram sarah.shinners.creates.
FOLLOW SARAH @Sarah.Shinners