Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Style Direction

Passionate about home styling Maree Peary, the lady behind Style & Soul, home styling solutions talks to FARIDA MASTER about creatively transforming spaces.

As a little girl Maree fascinatedly watched her mum work her magic with an array of fabrics and colours at her soft furnishings workshop.

Growing up surrounded by yards of textile and textures, the home stylist and soft furnishings specialist, instinctively gravitated towards setting up a Passementrie business, importing fabrics, trims, tassels and tapes from Germany and France. Followed by a stint at a textile showroom in Parnell for almost 15 years, Maree, has now come a full circle with being in the business of home styling for 27 years.

You can tell she knows the warp and weft in fabric as she works with the aesthetics of soft furnishings, window dressings, drapes, and blinds.

“I understand the content, thread and different types of fabrics you require for upholstery,” she says, giving us a quick lesson on it.

“It’s better to have high polyester content in the fabric if the sun is in your lounge. Also, for outdoor furniture, the fabric must be UV resistant, water and mould resistant and be able to withstand weather conditions. The hotter the upholstery gets, it breaks down the fabric and fades it too.”

With regards to curtains and drapes, having the right fabric for window treatments, not only protects the home from the sun but also your artworks and furniture, is the sage advice.

There are so many factors that come to play whilst window dressing. “It’s the insulation, warmth, privacy, and the positive effect on the home and its occupants”, she says about infusing the space with personal flair.

It’s vital to understand the client and their lifestyle, and work accordingly.

Having just returned from a relaxed holiday in Istanbul and Greece, Maree admits she’s in love with the vivid colours of Turkish and Moroccan textiles, imbued in their fabrics, rugs and tiles.

Influenced by travel, photography, and nature, her personal style leans more towards mixed aesthetics.

“Modern mixed with Mediterranean. It comes through collected treasures and artworks that both my partner and me have collected over the years,” says the small business owner who also runs an online store selling home styling solutions with an assortment of cushions, throws, Fair Trade gifts, home decor and tableware.

Talking of trending hues, she says, “Its pops of zingy colour in vivid pink, cheerful yellow and cobalt blue. Metallics and foils are in. There are the soft neutrals. Working with sustainable, recycled, and ecofriendly materials is trending too.”

This creative stylist particularly enjoys bringing memories to life. Restoring family heirlooms that are hard to replace, is a great way to share your family history with future generations.

Maree’s been often called to breathe life into vintage furniture underlined with sentiments.

“It could be your mum’s chair that reminds you so much of her. Like the time I was asked to refurbish an old leather and timber armchair that was left out in the sun. It needed some loving restoration.”

Maree’s team of upholsterers customised it in a very contemporary way while still maintaining a traditional look. The rundown chair was restored with a new spring, foam, and digitally printed velvet fabric.

“I get such a buzz from seeing the creative transformation and style as it all comes together for a client,” she smiles.

“Transforming a house for sale by decluttering and giving each room a sense of purpose, also gives me a high.

“Equally satisfying is collaborating with other people like painters, builders and photographers,” enthuses Maree about amping up the look of a personal space — as she adds a touch of romance along with a calibrated balance of classic with the contemporary.

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