20 QUESTIONS, 9 CREATIVES
Australian Stylist: Lynda Gardener
stylist, designer, magpie, decorative collector, art lover, serial house renovator, airbnb guru, travel addict.
Melbourne based interior stylist, Lynda Gardener, is known and loved internationally for her fun demeanour and innate sense of style. Self-made, Lynda has been buying properties since her early 20s and has built up a beautiful collection of boutique Airbnb accommodations that she runs: Room + Board, The Estate Trentham, The Apartment, St Kilda and The White House. Her personal home based in Fitzroy North (a hub of creativity and fast paced inner city buzz), is located in an original mattress factory/warehouse that Lynda bought 16 years ago as a shell. A master of house transformations each of her properties is unique and full of personally sourced collections, curated over many years. To say she is a magpie is an understatement. She has an eye for the unique and unusual and it is this that sets her properties and work apart: a look that keeps evolving naturally - not dictated by the latest fashion or trends - and one many others have tried to emulate. Lynda left school at 19 to work as a visual merchandiser for Levis Strauss, before stepping out on her own to launch 'Empire', one of the world's first lifestyle stores, that sold her nomadic collections and ran for 24 years. Now she runs the studio, Inside Story, with the talented Belle Hemming and together they design and style projects for hotels, cafes, retailers and home owners. I have been very lucky to get to work with Lynda and brilliant Australian photographer, Marnie Hawson, on features and exciting new projects - sadly now on hold for a while. The best bit of my job is getting to know the real people behind the shiny Instagram squares - when people exceed their online persona it makes you love their work even more. This lovely lady is not only brilliantly creative but she is one of life's very gorgeous people. The world definitely needs more Lynda's!
How has your home evolved during lockdown? My home really has not changed too much...however, I am noticing a whole lot more cracks and defects in my old building that will amount to a list of repairs in the near future…(it's made me focus on all the things that need doing).
How has your work had to adapt? Everything is online now with clients…we are not visiting anyone currently, so it's emails back and forth and phone conversations.
What projects have you been dreaming up? I had to cancel a European trip this year, so the focus is on hopefully repeating that journey and those projects next year. I am also planning future trips - I firmly believe in chasing my dreams!
How has your neighbourhood come together? Our local community has been incredible. I am fortunate to love our inner city and all my local favourites have come together to provide the most amazingly creative take away food - working the best they can whilst they adapt to the changes. I am not a cook and have really enjoyed trying wonderful new dishes every night.
Acts of kindness - to you / by you? Helping each other in our local community and really supporting my local cafes and stores, by buying local and staying local.
Favourite space in the house to escape to? My bathtub - it's a nightly ritual!
Jobs in the house ticked off the list? I have more on the list to tick off, than has been ticked off unfortunately! Started tidying a wardrobe but still trying to complete it. Not doing a great job to be honest.
New daily rituals? An early morning and late afternoon walk with Finn, my new naughty and adorable puppy!
Early morning fitness or another biscuit please? Both - my walks and a biscuit!!!!
What’s in your vase? Sprigs from my neighbourhood. I love nature and always pick something on my outings with Finn - I like to display them in a singular vase. It marks the changing season and the passing of time.
What’s on the menu? I never pre-decide - I walk around my neighbourhood each night and decide spontaneously which delightful local takeaway is for supper. I have tried to made it a fun, exciting time to look forward to and it's been a complete mix of everything…
Favourite tipple to get you through? Cocchi Americano - apertivo - vermouth. With a slice of fresh orange on ice.
What book is on your bedside? David Sedaris……Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.
What tunes are playing? Talented Mr Ripley soundtrack and Nick Cave. I have been listening to music more than ever during isolation.
News updates or podcasts? Oooh haven’t been listening.
Which IG accounts have inspired you? On a daily basis I love to flick through all the 1000s I follow. It's my world map on creatives doing what they do best and I have so many I love…I couldn’t list them all - it truly is a daily inspiration for me.
What have you missed the most? Socialising, dinners, friends, outings, galleries, I could go on and on.
What distractions are getting you through? Finn my 6 month old Springer Spaniel puppy who wants my constant attention, day in day out.
Zoom backview? Lounge room art wall of artists sketches.
What has your home meant to you over this time? A safe, cosy place to be, where I have everything I really need.
Image credit: Portrait, Dan Magree Photography
Image credit: Sharyn Cairns
Image credits: Lilli Waters Photography, kindly via Hunter & Folk.
Image credits: Lynda Gardener