Interview: Sibella Court

Paper Runway have the pleasure of introducing Sibella Court, author, interior stylist and owner of the intriguing hardware & haberdashery store and props salon in Paddington, The Society inc.

Tell us about your background and how did you get to where you are today? An almost 20 year career is just too long for someone with a very short attention span & bad memory! I prefer to focus on all the cool stuff that I can do in the future.

Where do you call home? Sydney after 10 years in NYC.

What is your creative process? It’s a secret.

How would you describe your design style?  How do others describe it? My style is constantly changing & adapting to the function of a space or project.

How did you develop your style? I was born with it.

Who or what inspires you? Everything inspires me: my friends, movies, nature, artists, words & books, people, colour, rain- I could go on and on.

What is your process for tackling an interior design assignment? Inspiration & colour but I never feel as though I’m ‘tackling’ projects- they’re always fun and exciting.

What have the highlights been since starting your career? It’s been a great ride for almost 20 years!

Were you given any memorable advice that you would like to share? Just do things straight away- then they’re done.

Knowing what you know now what advice would you give to someone wanting to leap into the world as a stylist, interior designer or writer? Have fun & travel the world.

Sibella’s new book “the stylists guide to nyc” is available early May 2011

What are you working on now? Designing Beresford upstairs, a live venue space (opening mid-june), & the Excelsior.
Launching my second book, The Stylist’s Guide to NYC (May 1).
Finalising my hardware range with Anthropologie (Aug/Sept 2011).
Sending book 3, Nomad, to the printers (Nov 2011).
My workshops I run once or twice (see for updates).
Offering styling packages: weddings, houses & branding (launching June 2011).
Plus constantly travelling and finding time for whatever else comes up!

How did Society Inc. begin? With imagination.

Do you have a favourite paper product? Artists Anna-Wili Highfield paper sculptures & Noelle Rigaudie cardboard mirrors, frames & furniture. Both artists can be viewed on the episode of Man Shops Globe with Anthropologie’s, Keith Johnson that I featured in.

We could spend hours scrolling your website for inspiration, our favourite theme is Paper Whites, do you have an absolute favourite? They are all my great, because they’re full of my memories & stories. However, I’m always partial to anything pirate-y.

How do you maintain a balance between your work and your life? (or not?) My job doesn’t feel like work, but I work solidly & pretty focused in day hours from about 8-6. Then its time to go out or hang out. Plus lots of exercise!

Describe your dream studio. I have it upstairs from my store The Society inc., however it could be a little big. Lots & lots of floor to ceiling shelves to house my vast reference library & things that inspire.

Do you have a “usual” day.I do not have a normal day, but generally its starts at 6.15 with exercise (pilates or swimming) & coffee, then full steam ahead. I work on many projects at once, from designing commercial interiors for the Merivale Group (amongst others), finalising decorative hardware products designed for Anthropologie out in August, keeping up with our extensive website of cool & fab things & events updated regularly, writing books, launching & concepting paint ranges & nail polish (2 colours out with Bloom), running regular workshops on styling & colour, or simply painting a wall if I need some down time.

What is your favourite place to hang out? MsG’s, an uber-cool restaurant (155 Victoria St, Potts Point) that I designed with architect, Kelvin Ho .

What do you love most about what you do? The diversity of projects, the pace & varying in scale. And it’s fun.

Who is your favourite person and why? Lots of fav people & artists but at the moment I am very in love with my 2 year old nephew, Fox.

Favourite colour? All colours.

Answer these short questions…
Black or White: white
Tea or Coffee: coffee
Heels or flats: both depending on party or work
Short or long: short
Sweet or savoury: both
Night or Day: both

The Society
18 Stewart Street Paddington, NSW 2021 AUSTRALIA

SHOP HOURS: Wednesday – Saturday 10am til 5pm
Phone: +612.9331.1592



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