“Creative collaboration is so important, working solo can be very lonely at times. Working together to encourage and inspire each other allows you to think outside the box.”
Interior stylist & decorator Belle Hemming Bright joins us for a conversation about how nature impacts her work, her love of paint colour and the magic of a client’s trust.
Lovely Belle, it is so nice to sit down & learn more about you and your story. Tell us a little bit about you & what roads led to where you are now.
I studied Interior Design & Visual Merchandising after a stint in hospitality. I begun as a Visual Merchandiser in my 20’s working for homeware stores and was approached by an Interior Design consultancy to come and work with them. I worked in the consultancy for some time and eventually went freelance as an Interior Designer & Stylist. I’ve been freelance now for about 15 years, I travel a lot for work and love the variety of work that I do.
When you say ‘yes’ to a project, what part of the whole process energises you the most?
The excitement of creating something new and beautiful that is unique to the homeowner or guest.
You worked with Lynda Gardener for three years, as one half of Inside Story, from the outside it looked like such a fun & beautiful partnership. How important has creative collaboration been in your career?
Lynda and I were partners in Inside Story and we completed some wonderful projects together and have met some special clients in this time which have since become great friends. Creative collaboration is so important, working solo can be very lonely at times. Working together to encourage and inspire each other allows you to think outside the box.
What can’t you live without when you’re styling for a shoot?
Paint colours….. I absolutely love how a paint colour can totally transform and change the way the space looks, but also how it feels.
How does your love for nature play out into your interiors?
My favourite colour palettes are inspired by nature, whether it be a soothing green or a moody warm brown. I take inspiration from the surrounds and location of my jobs - bringing the outside in. I am also obsessed with using naturals textiles and fabrics, anything handmade and made from the earth, especially pottery.
Your incredible work makes it to more editorial covers & features than I can list here, not to mention your mountain of hotelier projects too; do you have a particular project that stands out in your mind & what made it so special for you?
Oh that’s so kind of you to say, I feel very grateful for my work to be featured in some beautiful magazines and editorials. This has only been possible through a great team of photographers, writers, suppliers & makers. All jobs are special and unique and when a client truly trusts your vision then that’s when the magic happens.
What does creativity mean to you & how does it play out in your daily life?
Creativity is in everything I do and I am always challenging myself to learn a new skill or seek new inspiration in daily life. I love to read, travel, meditate, cook interesting & unique vegetarian food, arrange flowers and am always surrounding myself with nature.
Originally from Sydney & now living in the beautiful hamlet of Glenlyon, how was that transition for you moving from city to country & what would you say to someone who is thinking about doing the same?
Follow your heart and intuition. For my family, husband Andy & my daughter Vivien, moving to regional Victoria (near Daylesford) has been a blessing in so many ways.
“Some people look for beautiful places, others make their places beautiful.” I love this sentiment so much, do you believe that this is inherently what makes styling such an integral piece in making a home?
Absolutely, home is where the heart is. It is now more important than ever for your home to be a sanctuary from the modern world. Surrounding yourself with beautiful pieces and collections that bring you joy.
What’s your intention at this moment in your life?
To love, laugh and create a holiday home by the ocean.
Photo credits: Header image by Marnie Hawson at Ship Inn Stanley. First image by Marnie Hawson at Seaview in the Glebe. Second, third & fourth images by Marnie Hawson at Ship Inn Stanley.