Lizzy’s a colour loving interior stylist who loves to pattern clash. Born with rainbows in her blood, expressing this in every inch of her home. In her house, she embraces colourful walls and beautiful artworks. Along with quirky decor and rainbows everywhere.
Anything and everything colourful inspires her – She’s obsessed with colour! Her husband even says she’s “…happiest when she has a paintbrush in her hand”.
In her words? “Colour brings so much joy into my home. It’s all I need to create a happy place for me and my family.”
“My absolute passion is colour – when I’m surrounded by it, it makes me so happy. I want all my clients to have this feeling also. So I introduce colour into their homes in ways they never thought possible. Or didn’t think they were brave enough to do it. Because everyone needs a splash of colour in their home.”
Lizzy’s Podcast: Colour your world
- Building a career she loves around colour
- Hint and tips to colour your world
- The power of colour
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what it is that you do?
I’ve been described as I’ve got rainbows in my blood, like I’ve loved colour from a child like I had a feature wall which was magenta pink. So I knew from then, colour was my thing. It’s only been in the last four years, and I’ve actually been able to embrace it and I’ve used it through accessories in my home. And now owning my own home. I’ve splashed it all over the walls. So I live in Cairns with my husband and two children and our cat, Pegs. She’s 12 years old now. So she’s the eldest of our children. And she’s one isn’t back chat, we secretly love her the most.
She’s currently tucked up. I’m actually at Lizzy’s place today, because I could not resist coming around to see all the colour from Instagram in real life. She’s tucked up in bed in the spare room under her own very colourful blanket.
But then we stick her in the garage at night time to sleep. Her bed is up against the rainbow wall. She loves it in there.
And that’s like a whole other discussion. Like, I remember showing it to one of my friends who doesn’t get creativity so much. She’s very much a facts and figures, girl. She’s like, Why? Why would you have a rainbow in your garage, no one’s gonna see that. And it’s a garage. And then I showed another friend, she was like, Oh, my God, saw it of when “Those curves are perfect”.
I wish I painted it inside my house so I could enjoy it more. We see it every day as we’re driving in and driving out. T he curves are hard, but it’s all in the paintbrush you use. So it’s got to be short, short stem, so you get the sturdy grip. And then the brush needs to be angled and loaded up with a lot of pain. And then it just glides.
So was that all scraps of paint, or did you go I’m gonna have that colour in my rainbow and that colour in my rainbow?
No, I use all the paint I had in my garage from all my walls inside the house. I did go buy red, because my neighbour was watching me and he’s like, you need red in your rainbow. Right? I stood back and I looked at that and I’m like, Yeah, yeah I do. So I went to Bunnings and I just got a sample pot. Yeah. And then I just added whites into my colours just to give different tones of the greens and the blues. But um,
I just, I love that your house is kind of such an expression of who you are. And such an exploration of like, I’m sitting here and I don’t think I’ve actually looked at Lizzy once, because I can’t stop looking around. It just it feels like I want to move in. Like I’ve had people say to me, and I’ve got a friend that has very colourful house. She’s like, you’re gonna have trouble selling this. She’s like, I’m not planning on selling it. This is my home.
Do you feel the same?
Yeah, you know, I do think about it. I’m like, you know what, it’s just paint. So you can paint over it. I haven’t done anything that’s permanent fixture. Until next year, I’m gonna try paint my kitchen cupboards, which is a big job.
That’s a big job.
Big job. Yeah, but both kids will be in school next year. So I’ve got more time.
So your overalls will be coming out a little more often?
If they still fit me. After Christmas.
Let’s be honest enough to COVID.
I don’t exercise. So you know, I wish I liked it.
Climbing up and down ladders and painting rainbows. I can vouch painting, arm workout. Seriously.
I really enjoy it though. Time to myself. My husband’s awesome. He watches the kids whenever I come up with a painting project. And he looks after them. And I just get stuck in. Now I think he secretly likes it because he doesn’t have to do it.
And so why colour? Why do you surround yourself with so much colour in your home?
Just makes me so damn happy, like I love being home. I actually don’t go out a lot. I prefer to stay home and I hate that. Like I see people going out and being adventurous. And I go I wish that was me. But I’m so comfortable inside my home and with the colours and kids and we’re just real home bodies.
I love that idea of that you create a space that you want to be in. Yeah, you know, I mean, and I feel like so often people, like I know for a fact I’ve gone down those paths before, be it in design or clothes or my home where I follow a trend. Yeah, and it’s not me. What would you say to people that feel like what they like isn’t cool?
My motto is if you love it, it’ll work. So if you’re not sure about it, get rid of it. Like everything I have in my home I love and I look at it, and it makes me smile. And you know, I do have a spare room full of old cushions and old vases and I’m like, Oh, I’m gonna keep them for a rainy day or maybe I’ll paint them cuz I’m not happy with the colours. They don’t work in this room. But you know, even before you got here, I’m played around with vases. And I’m like, oh, I’ve never done this before. And, you know…
Always keeping it fresh.
But if you love it, it’ll work. Doesn’t matter what anybody else says. You’re living in this space. No one else.
There’s a particular jar you painted. I remember you painted stripes down it.
Yes I had that out. But I put it away because it wasn’t working. The palm leaves just didn’t sit properly in it. So I had to put them in a taller vase.
I’m an op shop girl through and through. I love a good op shop. Yeah, a lot of what I’ve done in my own office at home, and let’s be honest, the home office has become a space that people probably under-appreciated before and are ready to see the back of a lot of our listeners are still working from home. What advice would you give people to create a home office that makes them happy?
Start from the base. So you know, look at your walls, if you’ve got your desk already, put your desk in the position in that office that you want, and then work around it. You can add floor rugs to brighten it up, that’s interchangeable. It’s not a permanent colour fixture, so if you get sick of it 12 months down the track, you can change it up. You’ve got windows add curtains, so that lets in natural light, but not blaring you in the face type light. Just have fun with it. It’s your space. So do whatever the hell you want. Put some shelves up, put some artwork, your favourite artworks or a pin board of your inspirations, you know, if you’ve got that dream home, or a dream holiday, you know, put that in your office, because that’s somewhere you are every day and you can look at it all the time. And you know, I’m a big believer, everything happens for a reason. So if you dream you keep dreaming big enough, it’ll happen. Yeah, like us in this home, we never thought we would own our own home.
Yes. So once you do you want to do it how you want to do it.
Yeah, just don’t. Everyone probably tries to please everyone else, and what they’re gonna think of your room or that space, especially when you’re showcasing it to people like myself, you know, I did used to think what do people want to see, but I’m like, it’s not about that. I want to do it the way I want to do it the way I love it. I’ve got to live here.
Well, one of the things that I’ve done in my office, and it’s part of like, before that it was just, I need to make this look like an office. And one of my favourite things that I’ve done. And if we were having this as a zoom meeting, rather than a face to face, which I’m really glad we’re not because this is amazing, I’m still looking around everywhere. What I’ve done is I do a lot of zoom meetings, so I really consider how I’m going to use the space. And I’ve set it up like you said, like made sure that you know, okay, cool. I’m having a lot of zoom meetings, I don’t want to have the rest of the room that’s possibly not quite as on-point. I have a wall full of canvases and pinned up things out of magazines and artwork from my friends and things that I’ve just found. Like I’ve got a I’ve got a flamingo you’d be proud, I’ve got a fluorescent flamingo on my wall. But every time I jumped to a zoom meeting people like that’s my brand. Yeah, that’s the thing that people start to go like when they see me in a wall of zoom tiles.
That’s behind you. Yes. Yeah. Perfect. It’s your backdrop.
And it’s just it’s something that one I’ve done super cheap. I think that whole wall maybe cost me 30 bucks. Yeah. But like it’s literally a wall. Yeah, it’s not even just like a little section that you
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something beautiful.
And so a part from paint, what would be one of your best tips for giving things new life?
Clean it, could just be dirty. Repositioning, repositioning your decor, changing up your cushions, all that will give a room a new look on a nil budget. I suppose you’d call it shop your home. So you just rearrange a few things. I do it all the time. But you know, even your bedrooms, I suppose the cheaper way of doing it is just mixing up your pillowcases. You know, if you’ve got two separate beds, and they come with a duvet cover and a pillowcase, just swap those pillowcases over to each duvet cover and then your clashing your patterns, you’ve got a different look.
I was actually gonna say that I think of you as the queen of clash. So as a graphic designer, it’s really easy to get stuck in a rut easily become someone that’s like, you know, trying to like follow a rule to keep everything lined up. But as soon as I push something way left field, that’s when the magic happens. As soon as you clash a print, I love it
It’s so much fun. It’s because it doesn’t go together like people look at me like that doesn’t go together. That’s why it works. For me anyway. Like I just I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just in me, it’s like my eyes just know. Know it works. Well it works for me anyway, but people seem to love it and I love it. My husband hasn’t complained yet.
He knows I’m happiest with a paintbrush in my hand and when I’m doing stuff.
Yeah, it’s so key like, whatever you’re doing, if you love it, it’s not just if you love an item in your house, but if you love it what you’re doing, it’s so freakin corny and it’s so, so true. It is. You never work a day in your life, if you love it. I feel like that I feel eternally grateful on a daily basis that I’ve been able to design my own career.
Yeah, exactly. The same with me. Yeah, yeah, it’s the best.
It’s so freeing. The things I didn’t expect to enjoy about it are some of the things that I appreciate the most now. Like, I would say that in some senses, I feel like I was never quite maternal enough. But picking the kids up from school and having conversations with them and stuff like that when I think that they would have just been going to after school care when I was working in corporate has become one of my favourite parts of the day.
We don’t get that back. No, no, they they grow up so fast. Yeah, you don’t get those times back.
So do your kids love colour as much as you do?
They do. Yeah, I was just gonna say, Olive she’s obsessed with rainbows, but Vanny he loves pink. He come to me yesterday morning and Van’s like money come out, I have made up the couch. I want you to see it. And I came out like he’s four years old and he’s put all the cushions on the couch. He’s laid out the blankets now. He’s got all these teddy’s off his bed and he set them up on the cushions. He was so excited to show me.
Whereas I constantly have to tell my kids to pick the cushions off the floor. They seem to have an aversion.
There’s always cushions.
I was always the smart kid growing up. And I always loved art and stuff like that. But because I was smart that was expected to trump everything else. I was gonna become an accountant. There is no, for people who know me, no, just.
I’m not good with numbers.
I love numbers. I’m a bit of a numbers geek. But I remember like, there was a big pushback for the smart kid shouldn’t be allowed to do the creative stuff. Like, you know what some of the smartest people I know, are creative people now. Like, I admire their brains.
I’m constantly planning in my head and thinking and I say to my husband, I’ve got an idea. He’s like, no. Just hear me out. Yeah, you know, I tell him my idea. And I think he secretly does like it. But he doesn’t like to give me too much. And you know, I’m working from home and being an interior stylist and always working in my own home. And literally, my brain does not have downtime. It’s constant. But you know, it’s great, because I’m always researching and always online, scrolling.
Let me just say these words to you. And I’m sure you will understand. Pinterest vortex.
I actually, I’m on it and I do get I get a lot of inspo off Pinterest. I just, I just type in colour blocking. And I can see all the colours that have been put together. And that gets me excited. Yeah.
And I think it’s key to some of these things is knowing how to use a tool how it works best for you. Everything from social media, to Pinterest, all of these things, you’ve got to figure out which ones work well for you. So I know for me, when I do my work, I get my clients really involved in the process and I find that I do my best work and the clients are happiest when they feel like they’ve had a huge amount of input and understand why. It’s not just you will have this because this is what’s right for you. When you take them on that journey with you. How do you do that with your clients?
I ask them to send me their Pinterest boards so I can see their their tastes and their style. And if I find something, I will send them through pitches and be like, is this kind of up your alley? Do you like this style and then that gives me an idea of where I’m at and then it just all falls into place from there and everything comes together. Through a consultation with them obviously and then I asked them all their questions and find out about their style but a lot of them just leave it up to me. They want to introduce colour but they don’t know how so I put something together and they either love it or hate it but I haven’t had anyone hate it yet. Yeah, I’ve been so fortunate with my clients.
So the majority of people come to you because they’ve got that fear of colour but they really wanted in their life.
They just have no idea how to use it or even just styling a home. Some of the homes I’ve gone into, just had no life. Not in a bad way but they just you know personality. Yeah, personality. There was one of my very first clients I did it was on a farm up in Atherton and they had brown suede couches, beige shag rug, the walls were neutral. They’d been freshly painted, but they were neutral and I had no colour. After I’d finished obviously there was a lot of colour and and the husbands commented saying wow, really got a homely feel now, doesn’t it? It’s amazing. People don’t want to spend the money on it. But once you do, and you’re living in that space, it’s such a nice feeling.
Yeah, I’d much rather be spending time in my office now when it’s like it is, rather than feeling like yet another corporate space that I’m forced to be in.
Yeah. And then you know, it’s an investment. Don’t buy cheap stuff. I know Kmarts great for that. But you know, if you can afford to buy something special, it’s something you’re going to keep forever whereas if you buy Kmart thing you just, you feel like you’re only love it for a couple of months and then you get rid of it because it’s so cheap, you just don’t care.
So where are some of your favourite places to find unexpected colour or inspiration?
I do buy a lot online just because Cairns doesn’t have a lot in home wares but I find some really cool random colourful pieces at Spotlight, Pillow Talk, The Reject Shop. There’s some cool things in there.
I go into a vortex there and I end up with a toilet cleaner. cotton buds and a Hulk toy that’s like a cheap knockoff. But looking in the right places.
Yeah. And I know it’s hard in Cairns, there’s not a lot around, but you just got to look for it as well. I do like thrift shopping as well, like a lot of my furnitures is all secondhand. I actually don’t have a lot of brand new things except for my lounge, which the kids have trashed. Everything is secondhand. Dining table, bar stools, all the cabinets in my house. All secondhand, I just paint them.
In case everyone isn’t getting it, paint, paint.
Let paint be your best friend seriously. It’s so easy to do. And you know what, if you get sick of that colour, you just change it with paint. It’s fun. But a lot of people struggle with paint, it’s really important to get that even texture. And it’s all in the prep work and prime. If you want your paint to last you got to prime. Otherwise, it’s just gonna chip off.
A big space that a lot of people get the following that you have on Instagram is they get approached for ads or they get approached to be an influencer in a space. How does that work? It’s a foreign concept to me. So I’d be really interested to know how that works.
Yeah, well, my recent one was a big one, actually. It was with Dyson. Did not believe it when I read that email and rang my husband, I was like, Oh my God, Dyson wants to give me a vacuum cleaner. And you know, and it’s not for free, because I’ll have to work for it. The amount of time that went into that, my video and all the videos and the posts. And so they basically just email me saying, you know, they want to work with me. So obviously, there’s a contract you go through, so they’re going to send me the Dyson. And I got to do five stories, and two static posts. Which I did, one was an IGTV and one was just a standard photo. And obviously I have to then use the hashtags and #ad and working with Dyson and tag them. I had to do all the videos and photos and write all my captions and then email it through to them to get approved. And then once they approved it, they then gave me the dates of when I had to post and so that was the most strict one that I’ve had. Yeah, it was fun. I’ve got a Dyson. And it’s amazing. Like I use it all the time. I literally can slide on my tiles barefoot, that’s how squeaky clean my floors are. I’ll tell you something about me, the insides of my cupboards are not clean. That’s where I’m most unorganised. They are just one hot mess. Because I’m always in a rush. I’ll shove it in there.
As long as I can’t see it, it’s not there.
And there’s stuff in there that I don’t need. I need to throw it out. So my Christmas holidays, that’s my plan is to get stuck in. Well, I’m gonna have to do my kitchen cupboards before I paint, so that’s a good insight to get that done.
Do you have any organisational tips for people around the house to sort of feel like they have a little more control? I’m thinking like, because I okay, the playroom. I want the playroom in this house. It is cute. Like, do you have hints and tips, especially when it’s with kids.
Baskets. Put the toys in baskets. And then it’s easy for the kids to put them away as well. Obviously, I do like to style some toys out. But I’ve taught my daughter how to do that. She does it for me now.
You’re gonna have an & Co at the end of it, in the next 10 years.
Yeah, like I’ve got a white cube just from Bunnings and I’ve put some baskets in it. And yeah, I love baskets, and wall shelves to display books is really nice and then the kids can see the books. Whereas when you’ve got them shoved in a cube. Cupboards,
Things you can close.
My kids room is a styled kids play room. But I love it like I love like going in there and looking at it. And I find if I tidy it, the kids will go back and play in there and will change things around and it’s more exciting for them. And their like oh, I haven’t seen this toy for a while. It’s hard, toy rooms because they can get really cluttered. So I’ve kind of filled the perimeter of that toy room. So they’ve got the centre bit where they can still play because I because when they tip that out, oh, it’s the worst noise ever.
You can hear that sound from the other end of the house. And it’s like, No.
I’m not good on Lego organisation.
I have an organisational tip. Here we go. They have these great Lego mat containers. So what it is, is it’s a container that you put all your Lego in and it has a mat that goes on the top that’s attached. And so you can tip the Lego out into the mat and it’s got like a border and then like when they’re done, you literally just draw the drawstring up and all of it goes back into the bucket.
They just got to keep it on the map.
Obviously you’re really passionate about what you do. How did you discover that this was it for you? Like what was the path that you ended up where you are now doing what you’re doing?
It’s a long one. Well, you know, like I said earlier, I’ve, I’ve loved changing up my room and styling all the time growing up. I moved to Rockhampton, I worked in a homeware shop, and I was visual merchandising there, and I just loved it. Like it was so much fun. I moved to Melbourne and I studied interior decoration and design for 12 months, moved back to Cairns, interiors weren’t really big back then. That was 10 years ago, I think. So I didn’t do anything for a few years, because there was just nothing for it. And I was just living in a small unit. I still had pretty things. But it just wasn’t my career path just yet. So settled down and had kids and I was talking to my sister about this the other day, and I was like, you know, she got me on to Instagram. She’s like, you know, your home’s so beautiful, you need to start putting it on Instagram. I was like, oh really? I didn’t feel it because you know, I just had a baby. Oh, he was one. But you’re still in that phase of that fog of motherhood. I bought my first set of patterned bedsheets and I got clashing pillowcases. That’s the grid sheet set, which I still use. And my black polka dot, which the kids on the kids beds now. Like polka dot pillowcases. And I bought a plant, I didn’t have plants. That was the beginning of my love of plants, like a plant in a room, instantly transforms it and brings it to life. And then just from then on, I started taking photos of my bed.
Once you guys jump onto Instagram, you’ll understand that bed.
Oh, and so like I hadn’t planned on getting into work yet because I was still a stay at home mum and I didn’t know if I’d be able to cope with work and home mum life. I just started doing a few cash jobs here and there. People wanted my styling advice and just went from there. And then three years ago, I created my business name. And…
Here we are.
And all of my work has been from word of mouth, you know, living in a small city, slash town. Yeah, it’s been word of mouth, which is great.
It’s the best kind of promotion.
Yeah, cuz I don’t really advertise.
One of your biggest cheerleaders, as you mentioned is your twin.
My sister. She’s not my twin.
She’s like my twin. We sound the same. We talk the same. We finish each other sentences. Yeah, she’s my big support. She’s been awesome. Yeah. When I’m feeling down or doubting any ideas, I just call her and have a chat. And she’s just, she’s everything I need in my life. When I have those dramas, she just talks me through it. And yeah, like we talk every day. It’s crazy. We bounce ideas off each other, and we’re always supporting each other. I’d be lost without her
How important is it that to you? So I also have another podcast called Work Wife Wine Time and I started it up with my work wives. You know, the ones that they get it? Yeah. And I know for me, they’ve just been so important, having even cheerleaders in different parts of your life. And so it sounds like your sister fulfils a lot of those categories for you, doesn’t she?
She has done ever since I was 14. Like when we were little little we fought all the time, but wasn’t till she moved to Brisbane at 18 and I was 14. We’ve been close, really ridiculously, super close.
So to give her a bit of a shout out, what’s some of the best advice she’s given you or that you live by from her? Or what does she say to you all the time?
She just tells me to go with my gut. She’s like, you’re amazing. You can do it. She’s like don’t ever doubt yourself like when is any of your decisions ever been a bad one? She’s always got the right things to say. Yeah, I suppose that’s what big sisters are for. I wanted to have two girls just to have you know have that sister bond. It’s like no other a sister bond.
I guarantee when that border opens up, there’s going to be a flight booked, right? Yes, hopefully. I’m the same with my mum. She’s she was the person that got me into creative space. She’s the one that went to battle for me when the school was saying, No, she’s a smart kid, she needs to do all the smart subjects. She’s also a graphic designer. She went back as an adult student and she’s been my inspiration that, if she can do it and kick as much ass again she’s my biggest cheerleader. But she’s also the one that’s brutally honest.
That’s good. My sister is honest to you want that you need it. Otherwise you just live in a lie. You need something you need him to tell the truth.
Obviously love all parts of what you do.
So what sorts of ways do you if people are hesitant about colour what are some of the small ways that they can introduce it into their life?
Artwork, cushions on their couch and floor rugs. You know your style by looking back to your wardrobe. My wardrobe is literally looks like my house, very colourful. But you know, it’s your personal style runs through into your home style. Just trial and error and play with things. I would start with artwork though. You know if you see a piece of art that you just love, then you buy that. And then you pluck colours from that artwork and you introduce that into your cushions or throws. Some people don’t like to be as bold as I am with floor rugs, if you’re a bit scared, tone it back to a neutral which will go with everything.
Your floor rugs, every time I see that you’ve got a new floor rug, you know people will tag where they got it from Im that person that always that goes off this way and just goes down a vortex of beautiful rugs. Yeah, that I know my daughter will destroy.
I’ve tried a neutral rug. I actually bought a really pale rug for the lounge room before that bright one. And I hated it. I was like, it was bland, it was boring. Yeah, no, I found that rug which has discontinued and I’m devastated because I actually wanted to just get a new one to freshen it up because I love the pattern but so much.
Yeah, that’s the thing about rugs. You can’t like just paint them to freshen them up like you can walls.
No. Although my rugs not expensive either. So you know, I don’t mind changing them up because they’re not. I would love a Turkish rug though. That’s my goal. That’s my dream. I’m gonna pin it, and I’m gonna have it one day.
Well, honestly, this year, I’ve spoken to someone the other day, it still puzzles me at how much my vision board came true for this year. So put it on a vision board it will happen
I know I should take some of my own advice.
So when people are first starting dipping their toe into colour and exploring it what tips do you have? For instance, my favourite colour is Aqua, blue, teal, turquoise, all that sort of realm of things. I feel like if I got given free rein with that colour, it would be way too much.
You know the colour you chose that comes in a full strength so you can get half strength and quarter strengths made up of those colours. So you know if you love that colour, that’s the first thing I’m going to ask is what’s your favourite colours? If it’s too bright or bold, just take a lighter tone of that colour. It doesn’t have to be that bold colour.
Start small and like build you way up.
Started at a pale, half strength or even quarter strength. Depending on how bright it was.
And I always say to my clients take note of how the colour makes you feel like I really believe in colour psychology, but I also feel like people’s personal experiences will influence that a lot. Yeah. What’s your favourite colour?
That’s a hard one, it really is. Obviously pink. Pink is my number one. And then orange.
And then and then and then.
I love colour. It’s sooo hard. No, pink is my number one. Definitely. I have pink hair. So I’m gonna have pink hair when I’m 90. That’s how much I love pink. It’s staying. There’s no rules on you can’t do that or you can’t put paint on your walls or use that colour. A lot of people follow rules like that or follow a trend and stick to that because it’s on trend or safe. I am far from safe.
Yeah, I just I can’t even explain the feeling, all the emotions colour brings me. It’s just pure joy.
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