The Alphabet Of Arcane Trades: V is for…

V is for…


Ah the thrill of the hunt. While today there is no need for hunting, in days gone by this trader had his place. Perhaps it might be the need for furry pelts and hides to keep the winter chills at bay, or the king’s cook requesting an array of pheasants to celebrate the solstice, the venator would have his orders and set out alone into the woods & forests. I personally prefer the cruelty-free version of history, so I’m more content with the papier-mache trophies of a crafty venator, though I can’t deny a slight curiosity about the life of this character.

The Alphabet of Arcane Trades:
A is for…      B is for…
C is for…      D is for…
E is for…      F is for…
G is for…     H is for…
I is for…      J is for…
K is for…     L is for…
M is for…    N is for…
O is for…     P is for…
Q is for…     R is for…
S is for…      T is for…
U is for…


A New Look At The Souvenir


My Instagram feed is awash with images of friends on holidays! The azure waters of the Greek Islands & the long days of an Italian summer not only make my feet itch slightly, but spark my souvenir-hunting sense.

I think the word ‘souvenir’ gets a really bad rap. Yes, I am a collector of curiosities & things of beauty, but I am just as much a collector of memories. While I may choose a piece for its time-worn look or because I love the paper it’s printed on, I am more likely to bring something home because I love the story or memory that goes with it.


I want to conjure up all the romance of travel and the idea of coming into the port of a place that was so foreign, the desire to take a piece as a memento was too strong to deny. Souvenirs were often made by local artisans for visiting tourists (also a word that gets a hard time).
Things like shell cameos from the Amalfi Coast, Native American beaded purses from Niagara Falls, pin cushions out of conch shells from the Bahamas.

So as you set out on your own adventures, keep your wits about you and look not only for the thing of beauty, but look a little deeper for the tale that might accompany it. You’ll hold onto your travel memories long after your tan fades, and bring a little more magic back into your home.


Object History: Horn Vessels

The Society inc | Object History: Horn Vessels

One of the beautiful things about objects made from horn is that no two will ever be the same; the variations in texture and the swirling colours make each piece a little work of art from nature itself.

Humans have been creating vessels since ancient times (more often than not for containing fermented drinks like mead and wine!), and long before the development of glass and metal, hollowed-out animal horns were used across many cultures throughout history.  They often appear in mythology; the Greek god of wine Dionysus was depicted feasting with a drinking horn and Thor is said to have drunk from a horn cup containing all the seas. The Celts, using horn as a sign of abundance, would intricately carve patterns or use inlaid gold to create beautiful vessels.

Nowadays we don’t usually raise a toast with our drinking horns held high, but one can find horn being repurposed all around the world. In South America, rather than discarding the horns from livestock, they are used to make guampas from which one can sip on a traditional ‘tereré’ brew.

As a fan of repurposing and collecting materials from different countries, I love the unique aesthetic horn vessels can bring to a tablescape, like the top image from the Scotland chapter in Gypsy. We have some delicate assorted horn bowls & spoons available in the shop – for storing jewellery or change, as a salt dish spoon or a cool kid’s tea set, they are perfect for anything!

The Society inc | Object History: Horn Vessels




Colour Box Workshop: Saturday, 30th July

I believe that every person has their own colour palette.

It can be found by looking carefully at the things you surround yourself with: your clothes, the invitations & ephemera you keep, patterns you buy, jewellery you wear, bits n’bobs, even your teacups & plates! If you put your favourite things together you notice the same colours are repeated again & again. From this you can discover the colours that make you happy, how they can sit together & be applied into your interiors.


In my next Colour box workshop, I will demonstrate & chat about how I come up with my paint palettes & show examples of them in interiors I have created.

This is a great starting point for any interior project!

Guests are encouraged to bring a box with some of their favourite things that we can look at to uncover their very own palette.


Come & join me, for our next workshop!

Date & Time: 1pm – 2:30pm – Saturday 30th July, 2016.

Cost: $85, this price includes a signed copy of Bowerbird by Sibella Court.

Where: The Society inc: Warehouse 3.02, 75 Mary st, St Peters NSW, 2044.

Buy your tickets here.



The Stylist’s Guide To India | Dungarpur



There is not much in the way of sightseeing in Dungapur but this is all you need! About a 10-15 minute drive from Udai Bilas Palace this was the residence of Harsh’s great grandfather & his family from C.13th. Here you find the ancient Keeper of Keys and start to climb this ancient fort palace. Every room is a stand out & very different from the last – it’s hard to pick a favourite: the painted room with chevron columns, the fine mirror & glass work, the antique mirror floor, the Willow pattern plates embedded in the wall, the crazy mosaic ceramic rooftop terrace floor or the vista of the colourfully painted village seen through the keyhole windows & ancient purdah carved stone screens. And don’t miss the erotica cupboard that makes the ancient Key keeper’s eyes twinkle as he hands you a torch & indicates you to climb in!



This hidden gem of a place is most definitely off the well-trodden tourist path of Udaipur. We drove 3+ hours from Udaipur for a half way overnighter en route to The Calico Museum in Ahmedabad.


A folly in all the good ways! The oldest part of the palace dates back to C.17th & then a major overall between 1930-40’s. We had room 8, more a series of rooms of gigantic proportions overlooking a lake & temple. This is more sprawling home than hotel that sleeps 44 guests with vintage wallpaper from 1941 and handpicked pieces from generations of the one family including the Art Deco club chairs in our room. All rooms have the original carpet, wallpaper & furniture layout from the last renovation in 1930’s – it is a living time capsule.


An extravagant central courtyard & fountain of very fine hand carved marble & local stone that was the central feature of an earlier frisky Maharaja’s pleasure palace that looked seductively over the lake to entertain all his girlfriends! The addition of a pool in the 30’s is made for parties, shut your eyes & you can easily imagine a scene from The Great Gatsby – elephants spouting water, fountains & miniature temples all lite & magic. It encourages the idea of weekend parties with your closest friends for weekend shenanigans & mischief. The family continues to live here & will retain it as an intimate hotel with the current Maharaja, Harsh hosting drinks in his car museum with a private bar. Udai Bilas Palace


Fiona Caulfield of Love travel concierge service organised this trip for us @lovetravelindia Love Travel Guides

Follow Sibella’s adventures around the globe through her hashtags @sibellacourt #thestylistsguidetotheglobe #thestylistsguidetoudaipur The Stylist’s Guide to the Globe The Society inc. Blog – Pinterest


The Alphabet Of Arcane Trades: U is for…

U is for…


Working in this industry for many years, I can’t miss the chance to pay respect to early interior designers. Upholders were early upholsterers or furniture repairers, but it’s thought that they were the precursors to decorators. It makes sense that the person you tasked with fixing or restuffing your chaise longue would have some ideas on the best pieces or colours to work in the living area. Upholsterers had to know their stuffings, and I can imagine a tool chest packed with all sorts of textures – coir, horse hair, hessians and springs – to master the padding of a piece of furniture. It’s amazing to think that what started with a focus on cushions and padding evolved into such a recognised career today. Here’s to the upholders of days gone by!

The Alphabet of Arcane Trades:
A is for…      B is for…
C is for…      D is for…
E is for…      F is for…
G is for…     H is for…
I is for…      J is for…
K is for…     L is for…
M is for…    N is for…
O is for…     P is for…
Q is for…     R is for…
S is for…      T is for…