Marie Chemney has been in magazine publishing for 5 years, with stints at Vogue Australia and Belle (where her obsession for home design was born). Armed with a background in photography she has a passion for Avedon, cookies, and her baby girl.
Balance, Design, Products, Technology
August 5, 2010
Anne-Maree Sargeant is a blogger, journalist and communications consultant who works with leading creatives and design brands on a broad range of marketing related projects, as well as working as Editor at Large for BELLE magazine. Her varied career includes interior design for Bates Smart, DEGW, Wolff Olins, and establishing and running the iconic Space Furniture for 10 years. At Space Anne-Maree worked closely with brands which included B&B Italia, Knoll, Poltrona Frau, EDRA, Cassina, Kartell, where she worked alongside the best interior designers and architects in Australia on landmark projects including the Sydney Opera House and Parliament House. Anne-Maree now resides between three beaches in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, where we caught up in her eclectic home office.
How long have you lived in your home and who do you live with? A long time – more 15 years than 10! I live with 1 man, 1 dog and 3 goldfish
Where is your home office? It used to be the smallest room in the house but as the business grew the dining room morphed into the office & back again – although as the Mac’s increase in size, the office dominates the dining aspect. We don’t live a ‘formal dining’ lifestyle so it all works!
How much time do you spend in your home office? What kind of work do you find yourself doing there? PLENTY of TIME! Mostly computer based work.
What does an average day consist of? Coffee, papers, walk the dog to the park at the end of the street & check the ocean – its currently migration season – spotting a pod of dolphins & whales is a sweet start to the day. Then I hit the desk. Plan the day’s blogging, research, then wind down a ‘to do list’ that sparks an extended bout of juggling & keeping many balls in the air at the same time. Never a dull moment!
What item in your workspace can’t you do without? Anything with an Apple on it.
How would you describe the aesthetic? ‘Eclectic maximalism’. It’s always evolving.
You’re exposed to so much great design through your work. How do you select the pieces that live with you? It’s either love or lust at first sight, a golden find that’s too good to leave behind or occasionally client gifted.
What piece of furniture do you love? And what would you like to replace? My daybed – if only 1 piece of furniture I could live on this. I don’t feel the need to replace anything, but I’d add a turntable.
Is there a piece of furniture that you covet? The sofa my boyfriend of mine found on the street – think Andy Warhol’s factory sofa. Also a fluorescent pink work lamp stylist Jason Grant found at a hardware emporium and a vintage Murano chandelier. red. I visited the Island of Murano last year and love has now become lust.
Favourite desktop item? My goldfish (are they an item?)
What inspires you? Originality and anything I haven’t seen before, my dog chasing butterflies & the cuckoo clock striking 12 – makes me smile EVERY time!!
May 13, 2010
New Zealand born Helen Lennie is the Sales and Marketing Manager of Signature Prints, a custodian of renowned design libraries with the rich and beautiful Florence Broadhurst archive at its centre. Together with husband David Lennie, Helen has grown Signature Prints into a multi-national brand through their collection of fabrics, wallpapers and lifestyle accessories. Their international dealings demand work around the clock, so their work life melds into their home environment. I caught up with Helen in her Sydney home.
How did you and David meet? We met out socially. I was working for Chanel at the time and within what seemed a millisecond I was out of Castlereagh street, with sleeves rolled up and in the wallpaper industry. No-one quite understood! We’ve been together for 11 years.
How would you describe your home’s aesthetic? Our home is very simple but eclectic. I like the fact that it’s “lived in” as I couldn’t live in a museum where you couldn’t enjoy your surroundings. Its always changing and I try and I treat the aesthetic as though it’s impermanent. If we want to change something, we do. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own which we really enjoy.
Where is your home office? The official home office is upstairs and it has become a storeroom of sorts, so when David and I work from home, we work downstairs at the dining table. We have room to spread out here and it feels as though you’re a part of the home.
How much time do you spend in your home office? As little time as possible and then we seem to be working all the time! We do a lot of international work which keeps us busy at home. If things have to be done at 5 am in the morning, then they have to be done.
Indispensable piece of technology? It has to be my laptop. It makes communication so seamless and connects me to everywhere.
How do you keep organized? Every piece of work that I do at home gets packed away in my laptop bag and taken back to the office. We don’t keep anything here as it’s such a small space. The size of the space forces us to stay organized and keep everything as clutter free as possible.
How do you manage your work life balance? It getting easier but it’s a challenge. There are times when we say that we have to stop and I’m getting better at that as time goes on.
April 9, 2010
Style is never far from Neale Whitaker’s side. From his beginnings as a fashion publicist in the UK, Neale has shaped a twenty year career in magazine publishing that spans continents and now sits firmly in Sydney, Australia and the worlds of food and design. In addition to an impeccable sense of personal style, Neale carries the dual role of editor-in-chief of Belle (an Australian interiors magazine) and associate publisher of ACP Magazines’ home and food titles. He spoke to us about his home office space and other obsessions.
How would you describe your home and how long have you lived there? I live with my partner David, who is a stylist and our three dogs – Otis and Oliver are Weimaraners, and Avard is an elderly Italian greyhound. We have lived in our house for almost five years. It’s a renovated late-Victorian terrace in Surry Hills, a vibrant inner-city suburb of Sydney.
Where is your home office? How would you describe the aesthetic? At the very top of the house – as far away as possible from mischievous, barking dogs. My aesthetic? Confused. The home office is a work in progress. It’s a small space so it has to be kept ruthlessly tidy.
How much time do you spend in your home office? What kind of work do you find yourself doing there? It depends on the changing demands of my life. I work full-time at the moment, so I try to keep home-office time to a minimum. It’s mostly emails – particularly to friends and family overseas – but I seem to spend far too long paying bills and generally keeping house. I’m an iTunes obsessive and I love searching for music that I have no intention of buying. I tend to research any articles I’m writing at home and I wrote my one and only book (The Accidental Foodie, Murdoch Books) there.
Does anyone else use your home office? Yes – David uses it in much the same way I do.
What item from your desktop can you not do without? Large paperclips, the biggest size. Small ones drive me nuts. Do you sense an obsessive nature?
What is your favourite piece of furniture? In the office it would be the Thomas Jacobsen desk. Elsewhere in our house it’s the bright orange Thonet dining chairs.
You’re exposed to such amazing design through your role on Belle. Is there a piece of furniture that you covet? Not as many as you might think. In my job I see many beautiful and desirable things, but the quantity diminishes the appeal. That said, I could happily share my life with the limited-edition Egg chair in chocolate brown leather.
What inspires you? Knowledge gained from past experience and the opportunity and unpredictability of the future.
Photograph by Steve Baccon, courtesy of Belle Magazine
March 25, 2010
British illustrator Kate Banazi’s career as an illustrator began in a small, London studio but now happily occupies a home in Sydney, Australia, where she has lived and worked for the last three years. Kate shares her home with husband Alistair and 12 year old son Milan (also a talented illustrator.) Kate’s illustrations have appeared in Business Week, Australian journal Meanjin, Financial Review, Telstra, DT Digital, Future Living and in the last issue of Herman Miller’s very own Jugglezine (below).
How did your career in illustration come about? I originally freelanced in menswear design working on a tiny label with a friend, but after Milan was a born I couldn’t have as much fun in the fashion business, and that led me to freelance illustration.
How did you end up in Australia? I met my husband while I was on holiday here, on a blind date no less. We returned to London for four years where we decided to move to Australia, as we thought it would be great for Milan to grow up in the sunshine. Milan loves to go camping, mountain biking and snorkeling and the climate certainly helps for all those things.
Who do you illustrate for? Anyone who’ll pay me! It’s a varied, eclectic client base really and that suits me as its not straightforward illustration that I do. My clients include magazines, editorial, fashion.
What inspires your work? It could be anything. Sometimes nothing for months, then overload! I’m sucker for a piece of shiny orange plastic and a bit of brown corduroy. The brain works in funny ways!
Where is your home office and how much time do you spend there? It’s downstairs underneath the house in a quiet leafy setting. I’ve worked there for a year. It used to be in the house, but the space I have now is much more practical. I’m there for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I do try and keep some structure.
Which items in your office can you not do without? A scalpel and my drying rack. Two infinitely useful things to an illustrator.
Do you share the office with anyone else? No. It’s my space.
How do you stay organized? I don’t! It’s a constant work in progress. I do have method behind my madness and I constantly say that “I will get it done” but real life gets in the way. Even though it’s not tidy I know where everything is. Anyone moves my stuff and they die!
March 12, 2010
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the home of a scientist could be an uninteresting space. However when you enter Marianne Portener’s home, you’re immersed in a love of art, craft and design that covers almost every inch of the tiny, timber cottage she has lived in for 15 years. Marianne is a botanist and ecologist for the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change and Water (DEECW) specialising in Desert Arid Zone Botany. She lives in Sydney’s Inner West and has happily worked from home for the past 10 years.
How would you describe your house? It’s made up of four small rooms; very squat on a big block of land. You walk in and fall out the back door before you know it! It has an outside bathroom which I love and a big deck and yard out the back.
Where is your home office? In the sunroom that adjoins the kitchen and faces out to the back garden, so I’m bathed in lots of gorgeous light while I work. It’s comprised of a couple of desks, all of my filing cabinets and various bookshelves.
How do you stay organized in such a small space? You’re forced into it. I am a naturally organised person in that I love sorting and having a place for everything. At the end of every day when I “clock off”, I basically tidy the desk and organize my work for the next day, so it’s ready to go. I find that I need that discipline whilst working from home.
How do you structure your day? My dog Lucy helps me. I do try to be at my desk by 9am, after having walked the dog and eaten breakfast. I have a break at about 11, so usually I’ll meet a friend for a coffee or early lunch. My core hours are from 12pm till 6pm. Outside of the office, I have a fieldwork component which can last from a few days to a couple of weeks and that’s where I collect all my data. My work when I return involves weeks of identifying plants and report writing. I find it gives me a good balance – by the time the fieldwork comes around I’m ready to get out of the office and the city.
What motivates you? I love my work as the projects are really fascinating. Strict deadlines also force me to stay motivated. And payment is a big motivator!
The environment is at the heart of your work. What environmental principles do you employ whilst working from home? It’s just me and a small space so I don’t need many resources. I use very little electricity and don’t require much in the way of electronics other my laptop. Working at home becomes a part of your home life. I have a beautiful garden with a worm farm, various compost bins and I recycle. I’ve always lived my life low impact, as I see first hand what farming and people have had on the environment through my work.
Your passion for art and craft is apparent throughout your house. Yes, my parents are very artistic. They’re Dutch and come from a rich tradition of craftsmanship. Mum was a craft teacher and dad’s a photographer, so from them I’ve always had that interest. I’m always looking out for different artists and new pieces and etsy is great for that. I also mix with a lot of creative and artistic people. Personally I love photography, do a bit of drawing, make collages and some craft as a bit of a hobby, but nothing of the calibre that I admire.