CLAIRE DELMAR

TAWNY TONES

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Background painted in Tawny from Murobond
Velvet Brugge fabric from Elliot Clarke
Cutlery from Kip & Co
Bowl by David Collins from Planet
Bowl and vessels by Alana Wilson
Vintage Japanese Vase in Bronze from Planet
Frame Stylists Own
Vase from Spence & Lyda
Glass from Spence & Lyda
Alessandro Disarno Vase in Large from Planet
Jug from Spence & Lyda
Jug from Spence & Lyda
Hand thrown bowl by David Collins from Planet
Hand thrown Peter Tierney Shino Bowl in small from Planet
Hand thrown Peter Tierney Shino Bowl in large from Planet


METHOD

Mustard, brown, taupe, burnt orange & brassy gold are all the colours I can't resist at the moment.  Somewhat muddy, but still striking colours that work back with blacks and whites, and are an enticing combination for a more formal style of gathering. 
I was inspired to shoot this after working with ‘Tawny’, a paint colour by Murobond, coupled with the gold velvet cloth, for the Life Instyle campaign. Somehow it felt tonal, with a little lux. I find it so curious to look at what inspires my choices. Almost without exception, inspiration emanates from different and varied mediums and how they visually collaborate.
I’m always seeking unusual objects, (like the wooden antique human form and the narrow pieces or off cuts of pavers) that provide me with varied angles to lift the shot and move your eye throughout the image. For me, the hero piece is the hand-sewn fabric jug, and I wish I could buy a set of the irresistable sculptural tactile artworks. 
Chris and I played with some unique angles today, giving you a varied perspective that you don't often see on my blog. I hope it appeals.

Photographer - Chris Chen

LIFE INSTYLE

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Visit the Life Instyle website for all credits and collaborators.


METHOD

I thought you might be interested in reading a little about the campaign I created for Life Instyle Melbourne that is running from August 3-6th. For registration please visit the Life Instyle website and I hope to see you in Melbourne. Please come and say hello.

Life Instyle is celebrating its 15th edition by presenting a luxe creative concept in collaboration with stylist Claire Delmar showcasing the fine detail and design you can expect to discover this season.

When the Life Instyle team approached me to style a brief that encompassed words such as “timeless", “simple", “beauty" and “essential”, I felt immediately drawn into the story; my brand evokes those very words. My styling business focuses on still life, it is where my passion lies, and as the campaign images began to take form in my mind, I couldn’t resist the team’s offer.

I connect with elements around me in terms of images, and have always thrived on analysing components and creating a visual strategy.  I am someone who thinks in pictures - every word conjures up a visual dialogue that excites and inspires me, and keeps me returning to the styling world. I am sure most of you are aware that set design and photo shoots are far from glamorous. The design is inspiring, but the logistics of packing and unpacking and building sets, are laborious and physically draining. However, the moment that image comes to life, all the sleepless nights in the pre-production phase and the nerves around post-production feel utterly worthwhile.

Life Instyle has always shown great initiative and I have fond memories of the first trade fair that I attended as a member of the media, working in publishing. At the time, it really stood out as "one to watch" amongst buyers and suppliers as it was so thoughtfully curated.  Over the years I have seen Life Instyle fair develop into a well respected trade event.  I was thrilled when asked to be involved in the 2017 creative concepting for the event because I personally love the story they tell, appearing to effortlessly combine a creative and individual edge to product presentation.

As a photographic stylist I think in scenes, still moments, or photographic captures, so I began the creative process by breaking the stories into spaces within a home that were relevant to both the suppliers and buyers. I then considered the set similarly to planning a home. Starting with the “shell" or the “bones" -  the floors and walls - and working up to the “smalls” - furniture, ceramics-  utilising the triangle effect/a little akin to a pyramid in the shape of idea formulation. As I was shooting in a studio, I didn’t focus too much on the practical elements. I tend to build stories as if they are real situations but often add an element of play when translating them in studios. I do seem to be drawn to set builds, possibly by the enjoyment I gain from adding a sense of the “illusory”.

Once the stories were set, the latest colour trends were considered, however it wasn’t my main focus. I didn't want the lasting impression of the campaign to be trend or fad-driven, but to emulate beauty and simplicity that could hold it’s own. With that in mind, I kept reverting back to the initial brief - reflecting always on the key words:

timeless - an element of past, present and future,

simple -  uncomplicated in form, nature, or design; without much decoration or ornamentation,

beauty - a combination of shape, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight, and

essential - absolutely necessary; extremely important.

It was now that I turned my attention to the seasons and brought warmth through a deeper colour palette, carpets and velvet curtains.

As we aim for a life filled with quality over quantity, selecting products for the home is now more considered. We live fast-paced lives and desire products that are user-friendly in function, aesthetic to the eye and ones that can be rotated throughout our life, ageing gracefully. These ideas infiltrated my selection of furniture, accessories and soft furnishings for the campaign.

As with my individual style that has developed over time, as a stylist, I’m constantly learning and evolving with every shoot. I am humbled by the words offered by the talented author and curator Karen McCartney at the opening of my STILL Exhibition:

Claire has an ability to source with great care and place the pieces in intelligent, thoughtful ways, that honour tradition, but are far from predictable. She also has the restraint to know that less is often more,  and to find the optimum dynamic between objects - never over-styling or over-working.” 

I hope the final images conjure up the key elements that were the foundation of the brief, and starting with products showcased by the event’s suppliers, you are inspired to curate your own collection. There is so much strength and experience behind each participating brand. And it is events like Life Instyle that promote collaboration, which is vital in giving an idea credibility, and in making a vision become a reality.

Photographer - Chris Chen

BLACK & WHITE

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Plates from Montmartre Concept Store
Vessel from Space Furniture
Linen from Hale Mercantile
Plates from Montmartre Concept Store
Jug from Montmartre Concept Store
Linen with black trim from Montmartre Concept Store
Light from Spence & Lyda
Chair from Montmartre Concept Store
Cup from Studio Enti
Plate from Batch Ceramics
Bowl from Batch Ceramics
Jug from Montmartre Concept Store
Plates and bowls from Batch Ceramicsand Studio Enti
Tray from Space Furniture
Vessel from Space Furniture
Bowls from Studio enti
Plates from Batch Ceramics
Plates from Montmartre Concept Store
Bowl from DEA Store
Kris Road bowl from Planet
Bowl from Alana Wilson Studio
Plate from Montmartre Concept Store
White linen table runner Montmartre Concept Store
Check napkin Montmartre Concept Store
Society linen from Ondene
Bowls and cup from Studio Enti
Chair from Montmartre Concept Store


METHOD

I feel this story is pure & simple whilst also being graphic & detailed. I was inspired to shoot this after being drawn into a new retail store in Mosman called Montmartre Concept Store. It is ownedby the lovely Virginie Fontes whom some of you may be familiar with, as the original owner and founder of Honey Bee Homewares.

Virginie and I have worked together in the past on magazine shoots and I have always admired her fabulous French style and was excited to see that she had just returned to Australia after two years back in her hometown of Arcachon, near Bordeaux in France.

I love all things French and Montmartre Concept Store does not disappoint, its beautifully clean aesthetic and products are an inspiration. I urge you to visit, it’s a lot closer than a trip to Paris and yet it’s a little bit of France in the most sophisticated and elegant of ways that is quintessentially Virginie.That each piece is hand picked, edited and chosen with love is evident throughout this carefully curated collection.

The end result of our shoot encompasses a clean palette that is strengthened through texture and purity of form. My amazing photographer  Chris Chen and I try to invoke mood, on this occasionfrom the deep dark blacks to the crisp white by incorporatingdetails such as the black thin lined trims, a splash of gingham and the use of tissue paper as texture, resulting once again in a nod to the painterly masters of the 17th century. A theme that I find keeps resonating with my style.

Here is a little bit about Montmartre Concept Store from Virginie herself.

THE CONCEPT: MADE IN FRANCE

Travelling back to France regularly Virginie is able to source antiques and products made in France by small manufacturers. Products that are still made the traditional way, products that tell a story all whilstfollowing the latest trends from Paris. “I have always loved the mix of old / vintage and modern / contemporary pieces” VF

THE STORY: MONMARTRE IN MOSMAN

The idea of a concept store emerged when French friend and jewellery designer Emilie Costechareyre of Elvis et Moi jumped on board. Montmartre houses an exclusive jewellery workshop (E+M atelier), French antiques. homewares, textiles, linens, French designer clothing & shoes for women and kids, beauty, fragrance, gifts, decor, objects, art and French conversation classes.

“We want to re-create a piece of France and give our clientele a real French/Parisian shopping experience; Montmartre in the heart of Mosman”. VF

@montmartrestore

Photography – Chris Chen

Please also visit Vogue Living online to read my styling tips

CARNIVAL

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Please visit the Kate & Kate website for all product details.
Cushions
Throws
Blankets
Linen

METHOD

I have a strong passion for fabrics and creating striking effects with table settings, as you would know from following ‘The Palate Project’ and I have always admired from afar the beautiful brand that is Kate & Kate  so I was thrilled when they contacted me to style their Winter 2017 Campaign. It was a collaboration with the talented Sarah-Jane and Juliette from Arent & Pyke and the Carnival campaign was shot in one of their recently designed homes. I touched base with both brands to find out a little more about how the new collection and this successful meeting of the minds came about.

Kate &Kate

Tell me a little about how you interpret the Carnival collection.
The Carnival collection is so fun – it had a slightly nostalgic feel, but is jovial in nature.  It has us wanting to gather our friends, laugh, tell stories, feast and drink wine.  Heaven.

How did the collaboration come about?
We had read in an interview that the Sarah-Jane and Juliette had an interest in textiles (no surprises there!), so we decided to contact them to see if they’d be interested in a collaboration.  Us contacting them was completely out of the blue… and we never thought they’d say yes.  So when we received that late night interview expressing their interest in working with us, we seriously could not believe our luck.  That was more than two years ago, so it’s been a long time in development – but I think the complex nature of the designs reflect this development period.

What was the brief to Arent & Pyke?
We really let creativity lead us and the collaboration took on a life of its own from the word go.  We did want some hand drawn illustrations included in the linen collection, which Arent&Pyke delivered beautifully through creative Evi O.  On top of that, we wanted to ensure this collection had loads of texture – cotton, alpaca, leather, linen – and the girls ensured everything integrated perfectly.

Do you intend on building the K&K Brand further and collaborating with other designers?
Absolutely.  We will continue to evolve the Kate & Kate brand and what we offer.  We have so many ideas, but it’s about developing and executing them to the highest standard.  Good things take time, right? In terms of collaborating – yes, we would love to work with more creatives. It’s incredibly inspiring and creatively fulfilling.  It is also generally loads of fun.

Arent & Pyke

What inspired the design?
Sarah-Jane and I have always been drawn to fabrics that are artful, painterly and expressive, so naturally when the collaboration was devised the incorporation of a dramatic and distinctive print was paramount. (The print that you see on the pom pom linen throws, tablecloths and napkins) We desired a  punchy, graphic print in the collection that we knew would be a new direction for K&K. We then workshopped various ideas with our design team in the studio before approaching graphic artist Evi O to help us execute the final artwork. We wanted it to be reminiscent of the scratchings, musings and brushstrokes of so many of the artists we refer to and are influenced by in our design work. Colour also plays a very important role in our interiors, so the colour combinations in the blankets were also workshopped ad nauseum!!

Why were you drawn to these fabrics and materials?
Gorgeous textural and slubby linen, light as a feather alpaca and the fine weaves of the cotton blankets were devised to allow the collection to have diversity in colour, print and texture.

What made you select the beautiful colour palette? 
The colour palettes are combinations again that we are drawn to in our interiors projects, so transferring these to soft furnishings for the home made absolute sense. Melon and Olive, Ink and Mustard…colour combinations are a continuing obsession!

If you would like to know more about the styling concept please see my story on the Kate & Kate Blog and visit the Kate & Kate website to view and purchase the entire range from cushions, blankets, linens and more.

Photographer – Jason Loucas

STILL

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Seletti
Ici et la
Hale Mercantile
Alana Wilson
Spence & Lyda
Planet
The Country Trader
China Squirrel
Greene & Greene
Elliott Clarke
No.12 Trading
China Clay
Space

METHOD

Since last October I have been meaning to set aside some time to write a post on my ‘Still’ series exhibition that was shot with Felix Forest. With two small kids, shooting, designing, running a business, instagram (that is always last on the to do list) I find it hard to find a spare minute to blog so apologies for the delay in writing this post.

‘Still’ is a group of 15 limited edition photographic works and was produced in collaboration with photographer and friend Felix Forest.

I mentioned on the opening night hosted by Becker Minty at Puddleduck in Elizabeth Bay how special it was to have met Felix. He shares a similar passion and fascination for Flemish still life paintings and wanted to explore the medium and I was very grateful that he saw value in getting me involved. It’s a very special feeling when you collaborate on a project and when you first see the captured image and know you are on the same page, it’s like a flash of magic.

Felix and I were extremely honoured to have Karen McCartney Author and Curator open the exhibition and her kind words were really appreciated.

Karen said in her opening speech ” the poetry of two talented people coming together to create something quite magical. What these images  are about is the best in creative collaboration. When two aesthetics and skill sets merge, when the singular vision has room for both points of view, for a mutual understanding that allows a concept to evolve, shape-shift and become its own distinct entity.”

For a little more information here is an exert from the ‘Still’ press release.

These painterly photographs reference the classical structures and symbolism of the 17th century still lifes painted by Flemish masters such as Vermeer. Insects appear throughout, a theme that suggests both nature’s bounty and impermanence of life. Light falls on objects as if through time. Within the deceptive simplicity of these compositions we see references to many allegorical themes of classical still lifes – the secret messages placed to challenge and delight the viewer who must interpret the Vanitas message of the snuffed candle, the fruits of paradise symbolised by the artichoke, and the earthy femininity of the wine goblet’s inverted triangle. And in each work, an insect appears reflecting diverse themes of hope and resurrection, or transience and decay.

Limited editions available in two print sizes. The works are box framed in oak, without glass to complete the painterly allusion. Please contact Becker Minty for more information.

Photographer – Felix Forest

LEATHER LUXE

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Leather hide as tablecloth, NSW Leather
Beechwood bowl, HAY
Small glass cup with gold detailing, HAY
Steel grey velvet used as backdrop, Westbury Textiles
Medium dish in Ink, Batch Ceramics
Cement vase by Studio Twocan, Jardan
Large dish in Ink, Batch Ceramics
Paper porcelain small dish, HAY
Medium plate with brown detailing, China Clay
White napkin with navy detailing, Space Furniture
Small cup with indent, China Clay
Medium bowl with navy detailing, China Clay
Paper Porcelain cup and mug, Hay
Bottom white plate, Batch Ceramics
Top navy plate, China Clay
Large bowls and beaker in Ink , Batch Ceramics
Peasant Plate in Satin, Batch Ceramics
White bowl with blue detailing, China Clay
Medium indigo wash plate, China Clay
Remaining items, Stylists own

METHOD

I don’t tend to gravitate to many things that shine. I’m not fond of sparkles and was never a real “girly girl” however sometimes I find myself gravitating towards  luxe velvet as it can add something really special to an image when teamed back with a natural, strong material like leather.

These are the two materials I have focused on today and I love the way Amanda Prior, my photographer, worked with the light, creating shadows from the velvet and giving depth to the images.  Lightness to darkness to create mood.

As the background and the leather surface form a blank slate, I sourced subtle pattern in ceramics to add interest. My new favourite ceramicist from Brunswick Heads, Lucy Vanstone, whom I discovered at  China Clay in Clovelly, has worked so well within a limited palette and knows when to hold back, creating art pieces that are still very usable but also have a unique quality.

The tones of Joy’s work from Batch Ceramics, a local talent, that I respect greatly and the Studio Twocan vase from Jardan enhance all the colours I love. The depth of the olives, the intensity of the moody blues, the bronze cutlery and amber glassware all lead me to a place where I am secreted away and insulated from the cold.

This post can also be viewed on The Grace Tales

Photography – Amanda Prior

BLUE VELVET

Claire Delmar

EGG WHITE

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Ceiling light, Planet Furniture
White Linen Table Cloth, Cultiver
Napkin, Planet Furniture
Small cup resting on napkin, stylist own
White plates, dishes and bowls, Coad from Planet Furniture
Small panel detailed plates, HAY
Egg Goblet, The D E A Store
Assorted Eggs, Papaya
Small bowl with bubble detailing on bottom, Planet Furniture
Large deep plate, Coad from Planet Furniture
Cutipol Cutlery, Francalia
Tall vase, Planet Furniture
Small salt dish and spoon, The D E A Store
Assorted rabbits, Papaya
Ribbed bowl, Planet Furniture
Clay bowls with white drip detailing, Planet Furniture
Small, Medium and large grey geometric detailed tumblers, HAY  
Letter ‘R’, Ici Et La


METHOD

“Egg White” was created for The Grace Tales blog –  a luxury shopping, lifestyle and directory destination for the stylish mum. The founder Georgie Abay and I have been discussing the possibility of collaborating  for some time and it was great to finally find a date and lock in a story for this beautiful blog.

It was shot at one of my favourite shops, Planet , where I visit regularly, to source ceramics and homewares  in Surry Hills. The owner Ross and I have been industry friends for many years and he has always been very supportive of my career. I decided to time my shoot with the Easter celebrations and there is a cyc at the front of his shop that I used as the background to style the story and his ‘egg shape’  splayed leg elliptical dining table and incredible Kris Coad ceramic leaf chandelier completed the picture I had envisioned.

I am always drawn to white stories so when I discovered white and grey ceramic eggs at Papaya  and fell in love with them I decided, instead of the predictable colourful chocolate eggs that are on the market for Easter, I would create a table setting using these ceramic eggs and it would have an element of fantasy. Religious considerations aside,  the concept of the iconic Easter Bunny lent itself to the creation of a magical “dream like” space that wouldn’t function in reality but was a wonderful concept to conjure up. I normally shy away from designing settings for specific calendar dates as they are always so cliche but I really enjoyed the creative thinking behind this story as it took me back to my childhood and the excitement felt around these special celebrations.

White, ceramics and children are not an easy combination (or an ideal mix-only the dog was missing!) but fortunately Felix was very fast in capturing the moments when my two kids arrived- 6 year old Leo and 18 month old Willow .  The shades of white and grey allowed Felix to play with light and to create beautiful tones in the final images.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter with family and friends.

Photographer – Felix Forest

PASTEL PLAY

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Background painted in Obsidian, Porters Paint
Table, Cult
Series 7 Green Chair designed by Arne Jacobsen, Cult
About A White Chair AAC22 Designed by Hee Wellng, Cult
Paper vase, Space Furniture
“At swim two birds” Mobile, Mr Kitly
Dish, Small Spaces
Ceramic cups, Ginkgo Leaf
Ceramic blue bowl, China Clay
Slab + Slub oval platter, Small Spaces
Oyster Spoon, Planet
Oak Chair, Spence & Lyda
Remaining ceramics, China Clay

METHOD

I’m stepping outside myself today into the world of colour but it still embraces the subdued palette that I love. There is a texture that is tactile in each ceramic creation along with a fading in and out of the glaze, borrowed from Nature and producing colours that are shaded rather than solid. This technique showcases some very clever ceramicists who are using dyes to create wonderfully innovative effects. From Japanese artisans to local Australian designers you can see the love and detail that has gone into every handmade item. The concept here is to collect these unique individual pieces, not a matching set. Then each piece becomes a thing of beauty to marvel at and treasure. The rawness of the totally nude oak table which gives off its own light  is accentuated by the dark background forming a perfect foil for the pops of colour culminating in a homage to the Earth and its elements.

Photographer – Felix Forest

FALLEN FANTASY

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Hay table, Cult
Copenhague Chair, Cult
Wooden plates, Catapult
White mesh vases, Emma Davies
White linen, Ikea
Wooden cup, Ginkgo Leaf
Wooden bowls, Ginkgo leaf
Tall wooden cup, Ginkgo Leaf
‘Thrown’ side plates, Brooke Thorn Handmade
Large round platter, Slab + Slub
Cutlery, Ikea
Coasters, Catapult
Desiree White Wire Chair, Fred International  
Ceramics from Alana Wilson ; Aedan Harris ; Porcelain crinkle bowl by Tracey Mitchell sourced from China Clay
Paper bowl, Spence & Lyda
Ceramic Bottles, Graphis Art & Framing

METHOD

This shoot was influenced by the beautiful Danish design shop  Gubi  and their campaigns which often showcase 20th Century design, greatly influenced by the Bauhaus School. I have always been passionate about the works of the directors of that school, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and continually find myself gravitating to Modernist Architecture. I find I need to surround myself with the simple but beautifully pared back design that arose from that movement when I source items for my own home.

You can see that Scandinavian design has become a magnet for me so you can imagine how thrilled I was to learn that my sister and her family were moving to Stockholm. I can hardly wait for an opportunity to visit those inspirational design shops and to see the nieces and nephews!!!

This is a surreal story which allowed us to play with light and shapes, but which embraced a still life element as the determinant. The monochromatic synchronicity is a personal favourite.

Visualize the “stillness” when the guests arrive – the perfection that greets them then the descent into chaos as the night progresses and everything is shaken or turned upside down – my own version of an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatters Tea Party!

Photographer – Felix Forest

PAINTED PALATE

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

White cake stand, The Country Trader
White and yellow vessel, China Clay
White ribbed bowl, China Clay
White tall bottle, Planet
Blue and grey clay bowl, Planet
Grey clay plate, China Clay
Tablecloth as background, Cultiver
Tall green vessel, No.12 Trading
Set of white tea cups, China Clay
Dark grey pouring jug, No.12 Trading
Bowl, DEA Store
Blue and cream bowl small, Planet
Bowl with imprint, DEA Store
Small bowl, DEA Store
White scallop edged bowl DEA Store
Spotted clay plate, DEA Store
Duck egg blue speckled plate, Sigmar London
White round plate, China Clay
Red and Blue bowl and plate, DEA Store
White textured bowl, DEA Store
White light, Studio Enti @Design Hunter
Cream Napkin, China Clay
Blue Napkin, Cultiver
Remaining props sourced from hire companies or are my own.


METHOD

I had been thinking about the title of this blog for quite some time when I suddenly realised that the images reminded me of one of the world’s most famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, his  “Last Supper”. It was something about the camera angle, the framing and the scale of the table in the foreground of the shot that triggered this discovery. Looking back I find that a lot of my work is influenced by famous paintings, hence “Painted Palate” seemed to be an obvious choice, as it is my still life version of this wonderful work of art that I studied more than once during my art years at school.

I feel very connected to this story.  I tried to capture a moment in time when everything aligns but at the same time it is a work in progress that has the potential to evolve into something even more special as I continue to attempt to balance and perfect the diverse elements influencing the outcome of the shot.

This blog post was a joy to create as I worked with talented photographer and good friend Chris Chen. It showcases a behind-the-scenes snapshot of how a stylist works. Moving and changing objects, constantly standing back and accessing the image through the camera lens. Neutral tones, ceramics, linens, table settings, still life and everyday objects- it is a combination of all my passions.

Enjoy watching my process become a reality through the eye of the lens.

Photographer – Chris Chen

LAYERED LINENS

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

1 Table, ici et la
1 Tablecloth, Society linen from Ondene

From left to right
1 Runner, Honeybee Homewares
2 Glass Tumblers, Honeybee Homewares
2 Plates, The Country Trader
1 Small Plate, The Fortynine Studio
1 Small Tin, 2 white bowls, Astier de Villate from Palm Beach Home
1 Glass Bowl, The Country Trader
3 Cutlery sets, The Country Trader
3 Plates, Astier de Villate from Palm Beach Home
Handful of linen Napkins, Honeybee Homewares and  Ikea
1 Side Plate, The Fortynine Studio
1 Vase, Ondene
Other items not credited are hired from a prop hire company.


METHOD

In my previous life as a fashion stylist I remember my sister asking me how I envisaged the styled outfits and my answer was ‘I just put whatever with whatever and I know if it works’. Of course she laughed at this and I understand now how little help this was to her. I do believe that some people have a natural ability to turn “rags to riches” but there are many elements to consider when building a shot and there is a most wonderful feeling when it all comes together. It’s a bit like magic.

Being a stylist is having an eye to edit well, to recognize that special piece and be able to incorporate that into your story or life. This process is greatly enhanced by working with a team of talented people.

In this shot I’ve combined different artists with the same aesthetic who complement each other and who use similar tones, but who all have a unique aspect to their artworks too which include subtle pattern and textured details.

I’ve tried to create balance in the shot, and a sense of harmony through the placement of the items.  I make sure to consider the horizontals (table, table runner and stacked linens) in relation to the verticals (vase, panelled background etc), so that if I do stack items the sizes marry well together rather than making the grouped item look like one is dominated or oversized by the other.

I can see this set up in Paris in a gorgeous apartment with French shutters in dusty blue.

Main Image – Photographer – Chris Chen

NEST

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Table, Ici et La
Chair, Ici et La
Plate (with nest), Spence & Lyda
Bowl (cherries), Spence & Lyda
Kelly Wearstler vase, Becker & Minty
Ceramic bowl, Spence & Lyda
Black Ceramic Jug, Spence & Lyda
Tea cup, Ginkgo Leaf
Black side plates, Spence & Lyda
Paper bowl, Spence & Lyda
Japanese Bowl, Planet
Gold Kelly Wearstler vase, Becker & Minty
Ceramic Cup, China Clay
Cutlery, Mr Kitly
Pendant light, Mr Kitly
Artwork as small placemat, Slab & Slub
Linen Napkins, Ondene
Painted calico fabric as tablecloth, Spotlight
Background in Obsidian, Porters Paint
Vintage Bottle and Artwork hired from Prop Hire Company


METHOD

This is a special post today in honour of my late grandmother whom I very recently lost. I would like to celebrate her life as she was a major influence throughout my childhood and I can thank her, along with my mother, for nurturing my creativity and helping me feel grounded in a somewhat chaotic world.

The birds nest was found at my Grandmother’s beach shack, down the South Coast, many years ago and I decided to “borrow” it on my most recent Christmas visit as I got excited about it’s wonderful tactile presence as a prop for a future shoot. Following her passing it sparked a vision and became the centrepiece  around which to base the table setting.

This shoot is also a little ‘old fashioned’ in style and tone, … influenced by the imprint of my grandmother in the interiors of ‘the Coast,’  and this feel was created through the use of deep textural greens, blues and rich black and the vintage oil painting is a nod to her era.

I suddenly realised that it resembles the work of the  Australian painter, Margaret Olley, famous for her still life and interior works and funnily enough her face, with so much character, also reminds me a little of my Nan, a parallel I hadn’t planned, prior to the shoot.

This blog post I’ll keep it in the memory bank forever as one of my favourites, thanks to the brilliant photographer Felix Forest  and his natural ability to capture the mood I envisaged. He brought “Nana’s Nest” to life and I thank him for that.

Remember it’s often the little things that make a shoot. A prop, a colour, a memory or the lighting. It’s the inspiration you feel as a stylist from this element that you weave into the narrative.

Farewell to a very special lady, my Nan xxx

Photographer – Felix Forest

WATERCOLOUR

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Slab + Slub  navy patchwork throw as tablecloth, Small Spaces
Paintbrush vase, Dedeceplus
French wine glasses, The Country Trader
Electric blue linen napkins, The Country Trader
Light blue linen napkins, Linum
Watercolour wallpaper “Stripe blue Invert”, Emily Ziz

Plates, cutlery and small dishes sourced from prop hire companies, my prop cupboard, overseas travels and my son’s “nature” collection


METHOD

Do you refill your tank by taking your shoes off and walking on grass or are you more often found recharging your batteries by the water?

As we know, people find energy in life from many different aspects – my husband feels an urgency to be near the water whereas I’m more inclined to be found on a long walk in a park.

“Watercolour” was inspired by my parents’ holiday house, known affectionately as ‘Poles’, situated north of Sydney. I spent some time up there recently on my own, sitting on the verandah where you can look out to the water. We call it ‘Paradise’!

The water looked so beautiful one afternoon I felt an urge to create a painting to try and capture the moment, however this is not where my talents lie! Instead I decided  to turn this inspiration into a shoot combining the two elements – water and painting and “Watercolour” was the result.

Reminiscent of a painter’s studio, a creative place , that is designed to be conducive to fun, to be childlike again and get messy.

I like that everything is a little raw (no ironing necessary!) in this story, imperfections that come from combining nature and art.

Photographer Amanda Prior

SQUID INK

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

Society linen anthracite tablecloth, Ondene
Charocal paper, Vanderos Imports
Plates, Mud Australia
HK Living marble board, Collector Store
Mesh baskets, Exhibit Interiors
Eames House Bird, Space Furniture
Cupitol Cutlery, Mud Australia
Large Balloon, Balloon Inflation
Society linen anthracite napkins, Ondene
Black bowl, Country Road
Grey charcoal bowl, Country Road
Lemon Squeezer, Country Road
Copper antique light, Elements I love

Remaining items from prop houses and my props cupboard


METHOD

 I love squid and pasta and I also like squid ink pasta but for some reason I always get scared to order it at restaurants in fear of the black teeth you often end up with.

A little like how I feel about this table setting. This isn’t a blog setting that has been shot to inspire for a dinner party unless you are a black lover or have a black theme but instead more as a fixed piece of art.

I was inspired by The Shop  – Die Remise  in Hamburg Germany. A lifestyle concept store that has been set up by a fashion stylist turned interior designer. It is quirky and has elements of surreal. In a way this setting shocks me but there is something in the cement-like look that intrigues me. A big play with light and shadow that I feel Amanda Prior has really resolved in this shoot. It was exactly how I had imagined it and I like the mix of the softer linen with the harshness of the paper. I like the texture of the wire Exhibit bowl and dried squid pasta back with the smooth lines of the ceramics and tarnished silvers adding layers to a flat image. The graduating tones in the vase and the way the light catches it and the addition of the Eames house bird gives something unreal a sense of real. I hope I haven’t gone too extreme and shocked but instead you are able to enjoy these images as much as I did creating them.

Photographer – Amanda Prior

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

2 Meters of Green Velvet, Mokum Textiles
2 Marc Newson Tea Cups, Living Edge
1 Jam Jar, Space Furniture
1 Background panel, Woven Image Echo Panel
1 Large Jar with flowers, Murobond
1 Large bunch of Christmas Bush, Madame Lampini
1 Green Ceramic Cup & 1 Milk Jug Mint
1 Zinc Tray, BHLDN
Cutlery & Candlesticks and remaining crockery hired.


Velvet – I jump from loving it to hating it. What always amazes me is the richness this fabric can create when it is used as a background in a shoot.

Christmas is a funny time for stylists as we have usually lived through the decorating process 3-4 months before. I’m not one to use lots of baubles and bows in my decorating so when I was thinking about this shoot I wanted to create Christmas my way, with just a hint, without all the predictable embellishments.

Breakfast on Christmas day is usually overlooked or at best very simple, usually involving champagne, and eaten standing up in the kitchen as the focus of most families is to prepare and celebrate lunch or dinner. Mine is a simple breakfast layout but the amazing bright red Christmas bush and the elegant vintage star makes it festive. The table, still set from dinner the night before, is transformed by these additions and your own choice of breakfast fare. Casual is always so appealing.

Photographer – Amanda Prior

NAVY BERRIES

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

2 Litres of Murobond Murowash in Blackberry
1Paper Chandelier by Jo Neville, Paper Couture
1Handmade stoneware asymmetrical bucket vase, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub
6Society linen napkins, Ondene
1Ceramic jug, Hub Furniture
1Handmade stoneware vessel, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub from Small Spaces
1Handwritten menu, Written by Hand
1Jam jar, Quintessential Duck Egg Blue
6Bowls, Planet
6Midnight blue dinner plates by Christopher Plumridge, Planet
1Soda siphon, Murobond
1Hand stitched table runner, Alison Fraser for Slab +Slub from Small Spaces
6Handmade tiles, Alison Fraser for Slab + Slub
6Glasses , Shelley Panton
Floral by Forage by Lisa Mattock


METHOD

Mood can be created by many contributing elements. As someone that has such an affiliation with the visual I often feel that the setting is of most importance.

From the minute you walk in the door that setting or room has an effect on your mood whether you notice it or not. That is why I believe in creating spaces that make people feel good.

Colour plays a big part in this adventure and having never been given the opportunity to shoot a blue story and always hoping the brief would pop into my inbox I felt it was the darker blues that resonated with me. Perhaps that’s from my UK background and the love I felt for the winter hues. Would you live like this in sunny Sydney? I’m not sure, but sometimes I wish I had the courage to take a wander into this space for a day or two.

Alison Fraser from Slab + Slub is incredibly talented and someone I respect highly. Her handmade stoneware asymmetrical bucket vase and the midnight blue dinner plates by Christopher Plumridge from Planet add earthy texture to the table. The richness of the palette of the plates works as a stunning background to make the food stand out.

You don’t want to look like you’ve gone to too much trouble or you’ll never be invited back. Clever ideas that are simple like this handwritten menu (contact Glenda at writtenbyhand if you would like something customized) on some white cardboard and pinned or blue tacked to the wall or in this case a leftover timber panel is simple but elegant. A touch of floral from the Society napkins from Ondeneand the stitched table runner add detail and create layers to the somewhat stark solid colours.

If you are feeling like a hands on project Jo Neville from Paper Couture holds classes for these magnificent Pajaki pendant lampshades. Pajaki – it is a Polish paper chandelier that was made to embrace the Harvest and brighten up the home after a long grey winter. They were made with straw and lots of coloured paper often using recycled giftwrap. Jo holds classes at her Paper Couture workshop. Go along, you never know what you’ll fall in love with.

Smoked Trout with Israeli couscous and herbs
200 grams smoked trout (I recommend Brilliant Food smoked Ocean Trout)
1 cup Israeli couscous cooked to packet instructions
Handful of cherry tomatoes cut in halves
1/3 cup parsley coarsely chopped
1/3 cup mint coarsely chopped
few sprigs of dill
Juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Allow couscous to cool. Combine all salad ingredients and dress with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper

Photographer – Amanda Prior

WHITE BEANS

Claire Delmar

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS FROM PLANET
1 Table in Spotted Gum
6 Bowls, Christopher Plumridge
1 Vessel, Shannon Garson
6 Bowls, Kris Coad
6 Cups, Kris Coad
1 Oyster Spoon, Helen Earl
1 Light fixture, Kris Coad
1 Runner
1 Salt Dish
1 Sugar Bowl, Christopher Plumridg
1 Tall bottle, Kris Coad
1 Vase, Shannon Garson
2 Vases, Liz Stops

REMAINING INGREDIENTS
6 Wine glasses, Stylists own (spray painted)
6 Place settings of Cutlery, Ikea (spray painted)
6 Napkins, made from Linen from Ikea
1 White cotton fabric runner from
Spotlight (on table)
1 Plate, The Real Store
6 Plates, LH Objects
1 Bowl, LH Objects
1 Bowl, Shelley Panton
1 Small dish (with feather), Kim Wallace Ceramics


METHOD

What is it that captivates me about a styled white shot?
White on white but layered with texture.
Is it the light? Is it the focus point?
Perhaps it has something to do with the romance of the shots. Or is it the simplicity and purity that white portrays?

Today I was lucky enough to be invited by Ross Longmuir to shoot in the beautiful studio in the front area of his Surry Hills concept store Planet. Ross has always been one of my most respected furniture designers and I love his use of sustainably grown spotted gum. His incredible eye and support of local artisans has always put him at the forefront of the interior retail world. His balance of textures, interest in Indian textiles and organic forms marries so well with my styling. When I was style editor for Inside Out magazinePlanet was always a port of call on my sourcing days.

I wanted to work with Ross’s wonderful whites and bring in some other talented ceramicists to complement items like Kris CoadLH Objects and Kim Wallace Ceramics.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with the lovely photographer Sam McAdam whose passion and experience has made these shots come to life. It’s always a treat working with people that understand the outcome and are on the same page visually. Thank you Sam.

Lara Hutton from LH Objects has been a mentor since the start of my career and has always felt like another sister to me. I have her to thank for supporting me in the early days and having faith in my ability as a stylist.

Combining the irregular forms of the ceramics with the crisp white linens that are crinkled rather than starched combined with the elements of nature, the twig in the vase and leaf ceramic by Shannon Garson add the sense of real to the image giving it some depth and life.

Photographer – Sam McAdam