Inside Out (Australia)
Uncover the distinctive style and global inspiration of designer Sibella Court in her new book
Sibella Court’s new book is the ultimate visual guide to her distinctive style and its mix of local and global inspiration
What’s the idea behind Imaginarium? I gather experiences, memories, colours, scents and ideas, just as I collect objects. They all become part of my life library, which I draw on for inspiration – part history, part imagination, and a whole lot of makebelieve. The book is a visual journey through 25 years of styling, travelling, ‘colour hunting’ and collecting. How do you create a sense of place in your interiors? My idea always begins with a story, piece of history, process or material that I’m inspired by. Rather than simply choosing a particular aesthetic or working from a sketch, it’s a process of storytelling and uncovering a history and letting an experience, sense of nostalgia or understanding of craftsmanship inform and direct design decisions. What role do trends play in your creative process? I don’t pay particular attention to trends. I tend to take more of a trailblazing approach, weaving a story that becomes the foundation of the project using elements of imagination, souveniring and history. Is your inspiration purely visual, or does it rely on other senses, too? I don’t limit myself to visuals. I incorporate a greater spectrum of research through scent-seeking and soundscapes when delving into a project. You can create layers that satisfy different senses and give depth to interiors. Sometimes the things you can’t necessarily see but can hear, smell and feel are what make a space special and personal. What are your favourite travel experiences? I refer to my travel style as gallivanting – a combination of work and holiday. I take lots and lots of photos to build up my image library, some of which you will find in Imaginarium. I collect bits of ephemera and objets trouvés [found objects]; souvenirs that evoke the memory of a place, which can be referred to for future projects. To capture the palette, I ‘colour hunt’ while on the road. I pack my trusty travelling watercolours and paint a palette using botanicals, landscapes, textiles or even a storm to colour match. I take notes of the scents I encounter in different countries in different seasons, bearing in mind that a trip to the same place in another season may smell entirely different altogether. What’s most important to you about your own home? Home should be an oasis; I like to come home and not want to leave. It’s somewhere to be with family and friends, surrounded by the art and objects I have collected from my travels, reminding me of past and present adventures and memories.
It’s a process of storytelling and uncovering a history