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Editor’s letter

- Katie Skinner Editor

Spring has arrived and change is in the air. It has been a long winter for some with lockdowns and it is nice to see a plan forward to return to a new ‘normal’ as some restrictio­ns start to lift. As the weather warms up it is the perfect time to host a summer garden party. We share some top tips, essential products and great gins for a perfect afternoon. Artist and fashion designer, Libby Watkins talks to us about her Island Paradiso collection that captures the essence of escaping the everyday and exploring – something we could all do with right now.

With long lockdowns coming to an end, it’s a great time to visit our regional areas and explore. We chat to Gorgi Coghlan, who along with husband, Simon, has turned The Provincial Hotel in Ballarat into a premier destinatio­n. Whether it is for a sumptuous meal using locally sourced products in their European inspired restaurant, Lola, or to stay in one of their beautifull­y appointed guest rooms, it is a must do.

We also tour some beautiful homes created by top Australian designers, Jessi Eve and Catherine Heraghty. Jessi invites us into an inner Sydney terrace home that she transforme­d, where sustainabi­lity was a large part of the brief, a trend that is continuing to grow in home design. Catherine, creative director of The Stables, welcomes us into a home she designed for a family who made a sea change to a large family home with coastal views, a dream for many of us.

And we visit Carlene and Michael Duffy’s beautiful Tallebudge­ra home which went through a decade long renovation. The results speak for themselves. An eclectic mix of old and new combined with smart design to create a family home that is warm and organic with a touch of Australian­a.

A huge highlight was the chance to talk to Bobby Berk, famous for his role as resident designer in the Netflix juggernaut, Queer Eye and a respected designer in his own right. Bobby has the most infectious and warm take on life. He talks to us about his businesses, his design ethos, his love for his family - husband Dewey and puppy, Bimini and the fact that he is a homebody at heart. My favourite part of the interview was Bobby talking about the popularity of ‘Queer Eye’ when he says, “I believe the reason QE is popular in any country is because of the realisatio­n and impact we leave on our heroes. We don’t transform them; we highlight what already exists and enhance what they don’t see.”. This sums up the kindness and acceptance that is Bobby Berk and which makes him our fabulous cover model this issue. Enjoy!

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