It’s that time of year—the one for renewal, renovation and rebirth. Spring is here in its flurry of footpath jasmine overgrowth and zesty, fresh-air feeling. And it seems this seasonal shift is more welcomed than ever before, with new opportunities for simple joys (for those of us) at home.
Sprawling out al fresco style or feeling fresh grass beneath your toes on a balmy September afternoon are sensations worth relishing, but there’s something also to be said for the way our style sensibilities change during this juncture. What we wear, what we eat and what we festoon our abodes with naturally unfurl into something new and evolved.
The notorious spring clean might be on your radar, or perhaps a general lifting and lightening of your surroundings feels vital. Today, we consult design aficionado Georgia Duncan of the Melbourne-hailing Studio Georg to dissect the 2021 spring mood in bloom, as well as explore the intersection between fashion and home-dressing to mark the usher in the season. Be warned, you might be inclined to add everything from her recommendations list to cart.
Renewal, renovation and rebirth.
Georgia, hello! Please tell us a bit about what you do at Studio Georg?
Studio Georg is a multidisciplinary studio, or as I call myself ‘a specialist generalist.’ We cover a range of creative outlets, mostly relating back to interiors. From Interior decoration and styling, to photoshoot styling for everyone/thing from products, to art, to architectural beauties! Basically, if you want something to be visually pleasing in a photographic form, I am your person! AND importantly, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
How did it all kick off?
15 years ago they said a Bachelor of Arts is the new black, so I studied a BA, majoring in Visual Culture. I imagined I would be a curator at some fab art gallery, in a backstreet of Brooklyn NY… Instead, I found just how useless a BA was (for me!) and went back to study Interior Design & Decoration at RMIT. I always loved blogs, and glossy magazines, and I guess that’s where my wish/inspiration, especially for shoot styling came from. Since then, it’s kind of a case of, hard work, and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time (if you know what I mean!)
And how far have you come since then?
I have worked with a few amazing stylists, and worked on a few amazing projects. There is absolutely always room to grow, but, for now, I am loving having room for Studio Georg, and a few other side projects (watch this space!!!)
What’s something simple but underrated the Harrolds customer can do to refresh or reinvigorate this Spring?
Add a bit of colour. Colour always provokes great summer memories; and coming into spring, we want to bring those memories to the surface. Add some of the Assouline books to your coffee table, they have to be top of my Wishlist at the moment, I mean, are there any more beautiful books on the market at the moment, and they cannot do anything less than act as a reminder of fun summers traveling the Amalfi coast (or wherever your trip/book takes you). You surely have a sneaky couple of colourful books at home that can be swapped around to create this look while you are waiting for your order to come too!
Do you approach your interiors like your own personal sartorial style?
ABSOLUTELY! Interiors are a direct reflection of fashion trends. I am currently crushing on checks, in the form of cushions, ceramics, throws, etc etc, and found some on the Harrolds website under fashion like this KENZO jumper. Right to the top of the wishlist!
Biggest trend (in your opinion) we should know about for the Australian home right now?
As above, you simply cannot go past checks. If every single piece of my rooms could be, they would be, outfits included. Maximalism is having a bit of a moment, more is more, less is a bore, am I right? AND FYI; While I agree with what I am saying here, I can’t go past a tranquil, simple bedroom; it’s such a safe space, and really needs to be able to calm you down.
Similarly, locally made, sustainable bits are probably both having a moment, and here to stay. It’s so great to invest in pieces that you will keep for a long time also; how about this Versace cushion (drool!).
A trend you’d steer clear from?
Trends in general, if I am honest. If you love something, you will make it work! Classic pieces that will last are absolutely a go-to.
And some conscious brands you’re coveting?
I am absolutely loving the work of Lauren Lea Haynes—the curved lines of her side tables and the recycled plastic (how cool!) drink coasters remind me of a flower, and flowers are my favourite thing for a space ever. The drink coasters are really getting a workout in lockdown. All made by her in her factory in the inner north of Melbourne, so you’re also supporting local.
Curio Practice is just about the coolest blanket and cushion brand on the Australian market. Covid prompted Curio’s Founder Georgia to pivot, and in doing so she’s helped so many more small businesses along the way. The pieces are all 100% wool, and that wool used is all local. Her blankets are made in the factory the famous ‘Kath and Kim’ jumpers are made, which would have gone broke without their usual customers’ orders.
Atley & Co is a small biz out of Mornington, just south of Melbourne, and they are making the most beautiful simple homewares locally. I love the knock-on effect of local acts helping local brands—it’s like the perfect circle of life in the interiors world.
Every time Mosey Me (led by Melbourne designer Eliza) releases a new product, I do not know if I could love something more. But her latest release of abstract tableware is just heaven. I am imagining the picnics (when we are allowed) on grass in the sun, with the tablecloth underfoot, and gorgeous feasts with friends.
In terms of getting home fragrance right, what should we consider?
This is such a personal topic. It is so important to have something that is not too overpowering, but also leaves a nice taste in guests’ minds as they leave. Think of a scent that evokes a beautiful time or memory for you. And how lovely is that, you have a talking point for the scent, too. You could ask many of my close friends, and they would say something along the lines of fig being my scent of choice. This Cire Trudon in Cyrnos has been on my wish list for a while.
What have been some of your favourite abode-brighteners or easy mood-lifters during lockdown? We know you love a weekend market stint.
It is crazy to think, the ‘pillars’ of my day have been ‘watered down’ so much, however getting my takeaway coffee is such a highlight these days. Most of my work has been cut, so my days revolve around Studio Georg and life admin (yes the cupboards are the most organised they may ever have been/will be!). I am smashing out at least 10,000 steps a day (at the stage where I’m unsure if the dog is loving this or not), and listening to podcasts during that. I’m finding it hard to focus on reading, so in that department it’s a magazine or glossy book like The Local Project .
We absolutely pop to our local (outdoor, which makes it feel a bit less Covid-y) market on a Saturday morning, which is sort of the ‘pillar’ of starting a new week in lockdown. Stock up on all the fuel (food/veggies) and flowers. Both of these really make me feel good in their own unique ways.
I also light a candle every single morning as I make my breakfast and catch up on news of the day. This is often when I tend to my market flowers, trimming their ends and refreshing their water so they last as long as possible.
What would you select for home-entertaining (albeit just for your partner/self/housemate) now that seasons are changing?
Seeing as we’re now in spring, I would without a doubt go for one of the Curionoir candles. My partner is from New Zealand (their place of origin) and I love the ethos of this brand. My pick, at the moment, would be this one. I love the thought of the green vessel, evoking a sense of new life and nature, which is spring in a nutshell for sure. It has notes of mint to take you seamlessly into summer, and we can’t really go past notes of Gardenia (an old fave of mine).
Turning to your wardrobe, what’s on your current Harrolds wishlist? (Hint: Jacquemus just dropped)
This is a cruel question. How can I choose just a few pieces?
Visit Studio Georg here: https://www.studiogeorg.com.au/