As designers, we believe a thorough understanding of our clients is essential to the designing process, who they are as people, what drives them, what inspires them. We work through a collaborative approach to help them live in beautiful, inviting spaces, where they live their lives with the people they love. One of the first elements Sophie, our Founder and Lead Designer often explores with clients is their preferences for art, what they like, what they’d like for their home.
Sophie works with many different artists to provide that certain something for a room. Sometimes it’s a specific piece that will set the overall brief for a space. Sophie had cause to reflect on the incredible talents of the artists we work with recently and she’s sharing the experience here:

Each year, I set myself goals, personal, financial and creative.

 One of my creative goals this year was to (bravely) join an art class, having not attended one since design school almost 30 years ago. I say ‘bravely’ because I sometimes think that the older we get, the more uncomfortable it feels to step out of the known, what we’re already good at. I have a friend who is learning to swim as an adult and she describes it as terrifying – not from a fear of the water, but from the discomfort of being ‘bad’ at something. This year I managed to enrol in  Botanical Illustration. It’s a class I’ve wanted to join for many years, but always missed out on for various reasons. This year I was thrilled to secure a place –  the combination of drawing and watercolour or minute detail really appealed to me. And maybe I would, I secretly thought, find a previously unknown yet devastatingly brilliant talent.

I didn’t.

I did discover that it takes patience, time and perseverance to create a botanical illustration. I also found it was almost meditative. I learned that I know nothing about painting with watercolour. It was humbling. I finished the term with an appreciation of the artists who create works that we source for our clients at My Beautiful Abode. I see their bravery, at the thought of them giving a little of themselves in their art, of the telling of their stories.

A sample of Sophie’s Botanical Illustrations

Making connections.

When I was a child, I was taught, begrudgingly, by mother how to sew. Begrudging on my part – patience of a saint on Mum’s! Mum was one of those kids who taught herself how to sew by making clothes for her dolls, and it was a creative outlet and expression that brought her much joy. Me not so much. For me it was a chore. As an adult, I am now grateful for the knowledge. I can see if something is well made or has been slapped together poorly. I can converse with my makers and understand what is going on. Occasionally I will pull out my Janome (21st gift from my parents) and the enormous Readers Digest tome “Complete guide to sewing” my grandfather gave me as a 16 year old, (which I only appreciated in my 30’s) and I will attempt to sew some simple pattern.  I’ve figured out my standards are too high for the quality of work I produce!

The book every 16 year old doesn’t dream of, but the one Sophie has grown to appreciate.

Along the same theme, I know the right way to wield a hammer (Dad taught me, and yes, there is a wrong way), but I’ll still have my art installed by a professional art installer. Same goes for painting.
I guess my point is, I am happy to try DIY and appreciate that many people do, but I value the craftspeople and professionals I have gathered around me and I’m happy for them to master their domain, while I stay in mine, which is working with families to create their beautiful abode, beautiful, inviting spaces.