We are big fans of Sibella Court, who is a stylist for some of our favourite retailers (Anthropologie, Bloomingdales) and has her own shop and brand in Sydney. And a lovely website.
She’s written some great books on interior style (we have them all) and on the launch of her newest one, Bowerbird, we caught up with her and asked her a few questions about the book and life.
(A Bowerbird, BTW is a bird that can’t help collecting stuff to decorate its nest with)
TWR This collecting/bowerbird habit, do you think it’s something ‘in the genes?’ We have the bug badly, but not everyone does, are we a genetic type do you think?
SB I think it’s in your blood, but you can also catch it. It’s about a love of beautiful things and it’s emotional. The attachment of stories & memories is the reason for putting it in your pocket (or canvas duffel depending on size) rather than passing it by. I am fascinated by the romance of these ‘souvenirs’, a word that has been unfairly tarnished. This makes me think of my new favourite word, Palimpsest. I have written my own definition (which might differ from the dictionary): the ghost of what once was, the memory of times & people gone-by, captured in an object, its history & past use.
TWR I think your book is a ‘reassurance manual’ for those of us with houses full of mini-collections. did you write it to all make us feel better? (thank you, if you did).
SB It certainly is a reassurance manual! The idea came from being asked over and over by customers & clients where I get all my things and how I manage to display it all. I am a huge collector and I wanted to say it’s ok to have these things & help to show how to live with them. I believe that everything you own, functional or not, should be aesthetically pleasing and out to be admired rather than hidden away.
TWR We follow you on Instagram (SibellaCourt) and love your images, don’t you love Instagram? Do you have a favourite filter?
SB I love instagram!! It’s such a great platform for me to share my travels & activities as I go – and also to remind me of things once home. At the moment it’s all about Amaro & Sierra but I switch depending on the pic.
TWR In your Shops and Flea Markets I love section, there are no UK based markets selected, is that because you don’t come to the UK much? We have good ones…
SB Not at all! They were simply my favourite at the time. I do not know many fleamarkets in the UK other than Portobello, which is fab. My favourite store is A G Hendy Home store in Hastings and I always visit Dover Street Market, Spitalfields for a wander. I loved Story in its day, which was such great inspiration for me.
I tend to duck into museums and galleries when visiting: Tate Modern, Whitebox, V&A, Natural History & Soanes are a few of my faves. I am super keen to check out Dennis Severs’ house on my next visit!
TWR We’re interested to know what your dress style is like, can you talk us through a favourite outfit? Do you wear vintage much?
SB I only dress in neutrals, anything from my own foundation palette in my paint range – creams, caramels and whites with lots of textures: cashmere, leather, linen, silks, cotton & fur. During the daytime hours/or globetrotting you will find me in Golden Goose boots, a pair of cream jodhpurs, a white linen shirt, scarves, my amulets around my neck and a panama or a fur hat (depending on the season), Persol folding sunglasses and plenty of bracelets souvenir-ed from my ports of call. Night time is a whole other look, in the same palette!
Thanks Sibella! The book is stuffed full of inspiring images (shot by her photographer brother) and would make a great present for anyone keen on Interiors. More here
Bowerbird by Sibella Court is published by Hardie Grant Books, £26.99, available at all good bookshops and here