Known for her use of color, “moments of drama and a carefully curated mix of old and new,” interior stylist Jenny Branson recently completed a project near and dear to her heart – her own family home. Previously in a period townhouse, Jenny and her family were looking for something with equal charm but more space for their three small boys. Persuaded to look at a new construction home, they fell in love. According to Jenny, “the architect who designed and built the house wanted to create a building with impact – huge windows, generous proportions and high-end finishes. We feel really lucky to be the first people to live in the space and make it our own.”
As an interior stylist, we imagine it’s hard decorating your own home as you’re constantly surrounded by new and creative ideas. How did you determine the style point of view you wanted for your home?
We inherited a modern, blank canvas, which had to accommodate the many vintage items brought with us from our last home. I had to find a way to successfully blend the two to create an interesting and functional family home. If I had to put a label on it, I would describe it as ‘Modern Vintage Style’ – an eclectic collection of pieces set against dramatic wallpapers and accessorized with bold pops of color. But it is always evolving and it’s exciting to see which direction I am taken in next!
Your home feels collected over time. What’s your philosophy on mixing vintage, found pieces with new?
To fill a modern home with purely modern furniture just feels lazy to me, just as the vintage and antique furniture of the past might not provide the storage and functionality we demand in our lives today. Modern pieces can be wonderfully dramatic in period properties. Equally vintage items can add character and interest to modern new-builds. The key is in the mix. Adapt your old items to modern life – a glass display cabinet as kitchen storage, vintage chairs as bedside tables, wing-backed chairs re-upholstered in modern fabrics – and make sure you only invest in new pieces that work with your lifestyle.
Tell us about that amazing wall covering in your living room? Is framed wallpaper? We’re dying to know the source!
I used the ‘Empire’ wallpaper in white by House of Hackney. I commissioned my decorator to create a painted frame around the edges to add to the drama instead of papering the side returns. The effect is pretty dramatic, and people always comment on it! It’s also very cost effective as I only needed one roll for the entire chimney breast.
What a creative idea! What is your favorite “moment” in your home and why?
I often find myself standing in the front hall looking at all the family photographs. We live in such a digital age that it’s easy to forget all those precious moments filed away neatly on your hard drive. This is such a simple way of displaying those memories. Most of the frames shown are from Ikea and can be picked up for little over $5 each. If you’re unsure how to get started, arrange the frames on the floor first, and when you’re happy, take a photograph to work from when hanging them on the wall.
Before we let you go, what is your top tip for turning a house into a home?
Buy what you love rather than trying to re-create a look from a magazine or catalogue. Homes are all about reflecting the personality of the owners. When I take on a project I always look at what the clients already have and love and try to work as much of that into the new scheme as possible. The trick is in finding a way to use and display treasured possessions in a stylish way.