Tess Newman-Morris first appeared on my radar many moons ago, during her days as the visual merchandiser at Seed and she would often buy from my early incarnation of The Society inc store in Paddington. She had such a beautiful eye for detail and I had the lovely opportunity to work with her in 2012 on my book Gypsy, shooting the bulk of the photography at Establishment studios. It was such fun!
Tess went on to work with Kate Alstergren to create the look of Satellite Island, which feels as though it was made just for me - I’m sure everyone feels like that, and that’s what makes it so special. Tess’ style is steeped in nostalgia, patina, texture & detail, all of which speak to me so very clearly. See her take on The Society Inc product and Q&A below.
Where do you live?
I live in the Macedon Ranges in an old weatherboard farmhouse on acreage. We’ve been busily building, painting, landscaping and jigging for the last 5 years and life is finally starting to look as it should in my head. I live here with my husband Jack, children Poppy (3.5 years), Freddie (5 months) and our lilac Burmese cats Maggie & Oscar. Geese, goats and donkeys are on ‘the list’ but the days are short and the list is long!
Stylist, interior decorator, creative. Happy wearing any hat that simply needs a good eye. Thinking I might add one or all of: woodworker, artist, seamstress or landscaper in the future. These years with very young children are all consuming, I do look forward to when I can focus on some ‘Tess’ things again.
Favourite space, room, or place
For many years we longed for a little shack on the sea, I had a stable full of ‘seaside loot’ treasure in waiting, and finally last year it found its home. A charming 100 year old shack on Tasmania’s Bruny Island, we named her Fairweather. So remote, a real voyage across several seas each & every trip, the anticipation and feeling on arrival is pure, simple joy.
I would usually say spring, but I have truly enjoyed this autumn as a season. I lost my dear mum to cancer early this year and my outlook on the days is different - so aware our time in this incredible world is short, so I question much more, and in turn am appreciative of much more. Slow days, sunny windless days when the sun is low and gentle, seeing the leaves change color on trees we have planted on the property, days while children are still small, the first fire of the season, tidying up the garden to set it to rest for winter, home days: I am a true homebody, the dailiness of a settled autumn home in order can be a real pleasure.
Last book you read, or podcast, or audio book, or mag
I am currently reading ‘Silence in the age of noise’ by Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge, which by title alone is a winner. World of Interiors magazines are king, those white spines full of worldly glory will grace my bookshelves for many moons. And I’ve been enjoying the Un-paused podcast interviews by Judy Stewart, I just wish I could go for a long country drive, I can only seem to enjoy podcasts while driving, I get too distracted at home.
Most treasured object or heirloom
Often when I look down at my ring finger, I’m reminded of two of my happiest life occasions; A week in new Zealand exploring remote, wonderous icy lands with Jack, my spirited wingman in life, who sure knows how to do things properly! And that glorious time we shipped in all our dearest people to my good friend Satellite Island for ‘our kind of wedding’ A feast in a golden field on our island on loan. A place and a day of the purest magic imaginable, something was at play - lucky stars, Tasmania and champagne perhaps make for a good mix! * And I hope one day to add each a Poppy & Freddie diamond to my engagement ring - my Heirloom in the making, but I’m still saving my pennies.
Favourite scent in your house
Every week on fresh linen day I generously splash orange blossom water over all the beds, a favourite weekly ritual that makes climbing into bed that night all the more grand.
Music you listen to at home
Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Max Richter, Jose Gonzalez, Bonobo, Florence, Fleetwood Mac, Sade, generally what I‘m hoping for is all moments of life heightened by the appropriate soundtrack.
What do you want for your birthday?
A lunch with friends, daytime red wine in the winter sun, a woolly jumper and an afternoon fossick in an antique market. Or a week at Fairweather exploring beautiful Bruny feeling removed from the real world and truly a part of the world I prefer.
Anything with Bill Murray. The first time I saw Melancholia I was pretty impressed. Likewise Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson is a quirky concept, set building genius. And if the question was favourite show – Olive Kitteridge is practically perfect.