photography & words by Amy Truong
JULY 2015 | NESTING
“Home is the nicest word there is.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Anna Curnuck is the Owner and Creative Director behind Curious Grace. Her creative vision has shaped a unique, bespoke interiors brand that truly epitomises Melbourne’s eclectic culture and obsession to create the perfect ‘nest’ within the hustle bustle of the city. She joins us to share all things curious about the home, nesting and being a modern creative.
1/ Tell us about Curious Grace and her journey – how and why did she come about?
Curious Grace is a result of an ongoing development of ideas between my husband Wayne and me. Our initial dream was to grow and develop a business together. We shared a common love for furniture and design so we started there and have ebbed and flowed, developing into whom we are today. The process is dynamic and continues on a daily basis.
2/ Explain the creative process of curating Curious Grace – how would you describe your design aesthetic? How do you incorporate this into your curation in order to give the store a sense of self?
I studied furniture design at RMIT and was introduced to the history of furniture, design and manufacture. Following this I had an enjoyable career as a photographic stylist where I sourced all sorts of things, props, furniture, people and locations for shoots for many years, exposing me to all sorts of influences through art directors and clients.
I have always had a primary love for Mid Century Design and the definitive difference it created 60-70 years ago. Architecture, interior and furniture design during this period really changed the way the world looked and how it looks today. This has evolved into modern and contemporary minimalism which I also enjoy. I have no love for heavy dark early century Victorian pieces on a personal level so this of course, spills over into my buying. Every design period has its evolutions and I don’t think it has been bettered, since mid-20th Century design.
A home or space at the end of the day has to be warm and friendly and welcome all members of the family our homes are built for, including children scrambling over sofas and building Lego on the dining table, our pets and so on. I make this distinction primarily and it is key to this curation process in my buying and our brand.
3/ At tête-à-tête &PLATE, we love the concept of a homely space – a place to unplug, unwind and be inspired. What does a sense of home mean for you? How do you articulate ‘nesting’ in your home?
- Ambience - The elements that set the mood of home. Lighting, in particular, can create such a mood factor. Filtered light, window coverings, lamps, candles - I perceive this every time I enter a room and alter it accordingly. And of course, special pieces that I just won’t compromise on like handmade soaps, essential oils, fresh flowers and lots of Aesop products.
- Warmth – a reference to physical temperature as well as the materials and organic elements like plants, fabrics and art, personal treasures or items that convey “I’m home”. For me, this creates a sense of family, love and sanctuary and is somewhat organic compared to an office or commercial environment.
- Texture - This creates “comfortableness”, so to speak. Combining textures through materials, shapes and colour help create a layering effect. For example, imagine a room with a polished concrete floor, a timber ceiling and white walls. You would feel like you were in a box. But, if you mentally visualise pendants, lamps, up lights, down lights… then layer rugs and sheepskins, dress the windows, paint some walls, hang some art, maybe add in a feathered headdress on the wall (if you’re courageous enough!) and add in some plants and fresh flowers then you’ve added layers of texture, before you’ve even placed your furniture pieces! This all combines to make a nest and a home.
4/ Who inspires you?
My husband and my family are a constant source of inspiration because they make me so happy! On a work level, I’m inspired regularly through Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and magazines as they constantly expose and envelop me in a very current world of ideas, people and beauty.
5/ If you could creatively curate any space tomorrow, where would it be and why?
It would probably be as an Art Director creating sets for a modern day film that was based on exquisite interiors, instead of just beautiful people and wardrobe. I just don’t see enough of this in films to be visually satisfied. My muses would be Cate Blanchett for style and designers Piet Boon, Finn Juhl, Patricia Urquiola and Marcel Wanders. I would be entirely entrusted to design the interiors, sets and locations with a wonderful budget … heaven!
6/ Favourite thing in stores right now is…
Sheepskins and Marble. Always stunning, have been around for centuries in interiors and always will be!
7/ Best meal on earth would be…
Breakfast and coffee in Melbourne & Paris. Melbourne knows how to do it best, but the French bread…
8/ Best weekend getaway location?
Locally, the Bellarine Peninsula is still so unspoiled and Daylesford for the mineral spas and massages. But for a total escape? Tasmania.
9/ Cushions or blankets?
Both! Lots of cushions and throws. Cushions of mixed textures; velvet, wool, linen, leather, cowhide.
10/ Sundays are for…
Long breakfasts, outings, markets, family visits and roasts. Relaxing and renewal for the new week ahead.
To learn more about Curious Grace please visit- www.curiousgrace.com.au