Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Stellar Contents - By Neale Whi­taker Neale Whi­taker is ed­i­tor-in-chief of

Neale Whi­taker talks quirky in­te­ri­ors with Anna Spiro.

Talk­ing with Anna Spiro, it oc­curs to me the Bris­bane-based in­te­rior de­signer and I might have been sep­a­rated at birth, stylis­ti­cally at least.

“My style is a col­lec­tion of the things I love,” she ex­plains. “It’s a mis­match of crazi­ness.” Her be­lief in the rich patina life be­stows is one I share un­re­servedly. The best homes are those that tell their own­ers’ sto­ries, dar­ing to layer styles, colours, tex­tures, eras – and mem­o­ries.

It’s an ap­proach we’re see­ing of­ten now res­i­den­tially, but we’d seen lit­tle of it in Aus­tralia at a com­mer­cial level, un­til the savvy Bickle sis­ters, Elisha and Siobhan, opened Hal­cyon House at Cabarita Beach in 2015. They chose Spiro to create the de­li­ciously quirky in­te­ri­ors that have helped win the old surf­ing mo­tel a slew of ac­co­lades.

“Anna is the whole pack­age,” laughs Elisha. “Cre­ative, smart, a per­fec­tion­ist – and just the right amount of crazy.”

Spiro re­sponds: “Hal­cyon House has a piece of my heart… it’s amaz­ing. There’s noth­ing else like it in Aus­tralia.”

The ho­tel didn’t ex­actly put her on the map – Spiro has been in the busi­ness for two decades – but it’s pro­pelled her to a new and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence.

Her bower­bird ap­proach res­onates with a new gen­er­a­tion that val­ues au­then­tic­ity and her­itage. “Peo­ple want stuff around them again,” says Spiro. “My con­tri­bu­tion to liv­ing a sus­tain­able life is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to value old things. I hate adding to land­fill.”

She es­chews trends and dis­likes be­ing called a stylist. “I be­lieve in in­vest­ing in good pieces – in the long run it’s cheaper – and in a style that evolves over time.”

De­sign­ing a ho­tel was on Spiro’s per­sonal bucket list, as was cre­at­ing her own range of fab­rics. That range, avail­able at an­naspiro­tex­, is called Lanikai, and is in­spired by the colours of Hawaii.

“I love go­ing there with my fam­ily [hus­band Brad, and sons Harry, 13, and Max, six]x] and wanted to base a col­lec­tion around our ex­pe­ri­ences.” Spiro is proud of the fact her fab­rics are wo­ven and screen-printed in Aus­tralia.

And she’s very happy in Bris­bane, thank you very much. “I’m so loyal to my roots. For me, Bris­bane is about fam­ily and there’s a lot of great stuff hap­pen­ing here. I re­ally want to do it proud.” Tick. That’s an­other one crossed off the Spiro bucket list.

Vogue Liv­ing.


MAK­ING A MARK (clock­wise from top) In­te­rior de­signer Anna Spiro; Hal­cyon House; a se­lec­tion of Spiro’s favourite fab­rics and trea­sured cu­rios.

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