spends most of her days styling, shooting and decorating homes, and writing for Australian interior publications. She has even co-hosted an interior TV show, runs regular styling workshops and works as rainmaker for , a creative agency that markets and sells Australian brands to a global audience. Despite her vast career in interiors, Julia calls herself “an accidental stylist.” It may be hard to believe, but Julia spent 17 years working in the pharmaceutical industry before she even knew a job like styling existed. A chance encounter with a photographer from Vogue, just hours before giving birth, ended up changing her career path completely. “He was buying a couch I was selling on eBay and when he came to collect it from my house, he asked me whom I styled for,” Julia remembers. “I told him I didn’t know such jobs existed and that I sold drugs — legal ones of course,” she explains jokingly. “[He] told me my home was special and had a ‘great feel.’ And that my style was wasted if I stayed in pharmaceuticals.”
After the conversation with the photographer, something changed. When it was time to return to work after her maternity leave, Julia simply knew that life was taking her in another direction. She called the photographer who had complimented her style, and since then life has been a whirlwind of one styling job after the next. “The happiest accident of my entire life,” Julia described the unexpected turn of events.
How Julia, her husband Sam and sons Max and Jess ended up finding their dream home in the small coastal town of Barwon Heads, Australia is also a story related to Julia’s career as a stylist. It all began five years ago when Julia was sent to shoot the house in question for the cover of a leading interior magazine. While there, she completely fell in love and dreamed of one day living in a house just like it. Fast-forward a year, Julia received a phone call from her assistant, telling her that the house was for sale, and in fact, had been for almost the entire year! “I nearly fell over, as I had no idea,” Julia recalls. “I picked up the phone, and we bought [the house] and moved ASAP. It was all kind of meant to be — the best kind of accidental house purchase ever.”
Now, four years later, the family can’t imagine moving back to the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. They’ve grown accustomed to their quiet life by the ocean. Their home, a modern mix of concrete and natural materials, located on a golf course just a sand dune away from the beach, is everything they could wish for. “We feel like we are sitting ona deep secret that other people haven’t discovered,” Julia explains. Scroll down to see how Julia and her family have created a meaningful home, full of color and art, styled exactly to their own taste! —
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Image above: High cathedral ceilings lined with American oak are a standout feature of the family’s lounge, where Julia has mixed materials and a choice of textiles for warmth. “A home needs to be an authentic reflection of those that live in it, not a display home styled to someone else’s taste,” she says. Throughout her career as a stylist, Julia has loved to use color to evoke emotion and create moods in any given space. “I always let the art inform the palette and take color cues from it so that the room feels tied together,” she adds.
All artwork and most accessories and textiles mentioned below are from Julia’s site . Worldwide shipping is offered for all items.
Paint – all white is “Antique White” by Dulux
Entryway Art pictured above nook – Miranda Sofroniou, Jen Sievers, Anna Cole
Art opposite nook – Adele Naidoo, Georgie Wilson
Sofa – Jardan vintage denim
Art – Madeleine Stamer, Elle Campbell, Katie Wyatt
Pendants – handmade in Africa out of recycled bottles
Paint on walls – “Mermaids tale” by Dulux
Artwork – Kate Mayes
Tiles – Elegance Tiles
Circular light – Christopher Boots
Side table – Beeline
Linen – Sage and Clare
Photographic print – Armelle Habib, called ‘Bondi’
Original canvas – Bibianaandco
Felt containers – Oon
Guest Room Artwork – Anne Sophie Tschiegg
Ceramics – Karen Morton