Last Word: Phoebe Bell

ANNIE TONKIN CHATS TO SAGE X CLARE FOUNDER PHOEBE BELL ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND HER HOMEWARES BRAND AND INCORPORATING DESIGN INTO THE HOME.

What inspired you to create Sage x Clare?

The idea began in 2012 during a spontaneous holiday in India with my husband, Chris. Roaming the markets and taking in the incredible colours and textures filled up my creative cup, so to speak – Sage x Clare was borne from wanting to share that same passion. Within a couple of months of returning home I quit my job and was back in India on a mission to start a brand that celebrates handmade, soulful homewares.

You’re known for such fun and vibrant design items – how would you describe Sage x Clare’s aesthetic?

Our aesthetic is pretty unique! We live for colour and texture so our pieces are handmade with those two elements at the forefront of our minds. All of our collections celebrate the amazing craftsmanship of our artisans and we draw on unique embellishments, embroidery, hand printing, weaving and tufting to bring a layered, luxe look and feel to our aesthetic.

You and the Sage x Clare team clearly have an eye for design! How does that flow into your own space?

Oh thank you! I think when you’re that passionate for design, it kind of follows you wherever you go, so it’s pretty evident in our homes, our HQ and even our wardrobes! Our HQ is a far cry from the corporate look that most offices display… It’s full of vintage finds, natural materials, wall murals and lots of plants. My home could best be described as a mid-century treehouse with lots of timber and pops of colour woven throughout.

Do you collect art? If so, is there a particular way you go about incorporating art with design in your home?

I guess I have collected various art over the years! I have quite an individual collection, ranging from photography prints to watercolour paintings and most recently I acquired a couple of works by Indigenous artists. Buying art can feel intimidating, but I’ve incorporated art into my home from bazaars, auction houses, direct from the artists themselves and even been gifted some beauties.

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to incorporate art and design into their home but may not know where to start?

I think it’s important to listen to your own instincts when it comes to art and design and not be told what to love. Aesthetics are so personal and some of the best art I’ve acquired has been from an unknown artist or not highly coveted. Incorporating art and design should be a slow process, which makes it enjoyable and heartfelt rather than formulaic. Approaching it with patience will build a rich, deeply personal home and they’re the ones I love the most!


PHOTO: ARMELLE HABIB. STYLING: JULIA GREEN AND NOËL COUGHLAN FOR GREENHOUSE INTERIORS

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