In this week’s edition of our Design Insights Interview we are super-excited to welcome inspirational Dutch interior stylist and blogger Wendy from Wendy Mahieu Styling! A lover of natural materials, craftsmanship, and sheer simplicity combined with unique vintage items, Wendy enjoys traveling around the world to find inspiration. Let’s gain an insight into her world:
What inspired you to delve into interior styling and how did you get started? I was looking for more creative related work. Ever since I was young, I was a collector of beautiful things and it was said I had an eye for aesthetics, but how could I enrich my life with day-to-day design and treasures? How could I get the perfect look and how should I present it all?
After I found out that the Artemis Academy in Amsterdam understood my needs I enrolled immediately. I had to make a decision to study interior or fashions styling in my first week. Even though I had a crush for fashion at that time I chose interior styling because I envisioned so many opportunity to make changes, so many possibilities in the future of interior – like how we look at design and interior, what could make it more interesting. I just wanted to be part of the new flow!
How would you describe your interior style? My style is dedicated to refined simplicity; grey colour shades with a touch of contrast, pure textiles or materials, light, refinement and of course very importantly personality. Often I hear that my client’s love the atmosphere I create when styling their homes, businesses for brands or when I work for photo styling projects.
Where do you seek style inspiration? Well, inspiration is everywhere for me, but travelling –certainly to my favourite design cities New York, Copenhagen and London- is always inspiring for me. I regularly visit young designers and fairs. I find my inspiration in art, fashion, design especially where they blend and meet. I also keep myself up-to-date by following bloggers, it’s just fascinating the way they express different and challenging views. And don’t forget instagram!
Of all the rooms you have styled, which has been your favourite? Every room has its challenge for me, whether its a small living room or a big project. At the moment I really love my new project where I’m helping the client to design their future home that hasn’t even been built yet! I’m helping them with fundamental decisions like design function, lighting, kitchen area etc. And shortly -when the building process is finished- we will be concentrating on the styling of their dream home. It’s really inspiring to be able to help people with big decisions in their lives.
On the side I’m renovating, designing and decorating my own new town house too. It’s close to the sea and originally built in 1905. To do it from scratch and to think about every detail is so exciting! Finding old materials to build up the home for more character. I think the living kitchen area is my favourite for now. I might be the most critical client for myself here, but I enjoy every minute of it.
Which room in the home do you enjoy styling the most and why? I spend so much time in my studio that I’m sure I styled this one the most. Next is my living kitchen. I often style little corners in my home and just change it to my own mood or season.
Can you tell us about the most outlandish room makeover you’ve styled? Normally I work with soft colour tones with some contrast, but in a project to design a kids room/floor, the children asked for primary colours, which was pretty outlandish compared to my normal interior design. And I surprised myself how much I liked doing it. It is like splashing new colours on my own canvas (and learning from it).
Which trend are you most excited about working with this year? The serenity look with an edgy side. Trends like layered and refinement prints. Brass is one of my favourites together with marble, hand-woven wall hanging as art on a wall, simple handmade product with a story and the unfinished look.
Which colour combinations are your favourite to work with? At the moment I’m into matt blue and mint green colours shades in combination with the grey colours from Little Greene, like ton sur ton. Natural tones (matt) in different colour hues are fun the play with, but I’m always looking for some contrast that makes it interesting and edgy. After all, things need to stand out.
What are your favourite materials to work with? Amongst others, delicate materials, handmade textiles and wood are my favourites to work with.
Which 3 objects do you believe have the ability to completely transform a room? Rugs, art and vintage objects and textiles like cushions/blankets… but fortunately there’s so much more to completely transform a room.
What advice would you give to our readers looking to refresh their interiors? Often I see that people try to fill every corner in the room, because they miss atmosphere. My advice is to collect interior objects and at the same time leave some emptiness, as that has a quality of its own. It not only brings in spaces for reflection or stillness, it has the humble power to liven up other objects.
Do you have any upcoming exciting projects? I’m looking forward to team up with YOUYOU Amsterdam to create the styling for new products and this season’s look. I’m also working on new products like my Dress Boy (product) and collaborating with an amazing jewellery brand. There’s something happening around my blog – Someone Lives Here – as well, a new direction but I can’t tell you yet. I’ll keep you posted!
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