stylist & shop owner paul hopper

'Tis the season to pop-up. Fate or a funny coincidence mean that in the neighbouring suburb to The Living Room, fellow Sydney stylist (and contributing style editor to Habitus magazine) Paul Hopper is also launching a pop-up store today. Terrace Outdoor Living combines his knowledge and passion for horticulture with his love for pretty objects. The project is a joint effort with his best friend, Bianca Moore.

If you can't visit the store at 47 Queen Street, Woollahra, then check out their web store.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, stubborn, emotional, easily distracted (by shiny objects) & talkative - it sounds like my old school report, some things never change.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I've taken a bit of a winding one: I started in horticulture working in nurseries and garden centres also running a farm shop, then I decided I wanted to open a cafe bar in Brighton, UK, in the 1990s inspired by the coffee shop in Friends and the party scene in the UK at that time. I also studied art & design in Brighton. Afterwards I moved to London and worked at Oliver Bonas, a chain of homeware and fashion stores, managing their flagship store then moving into visual merchandising. I kind of fell into styling by chance after making friends with one of the UK's leading stylists who just happened to live in the flat downstairs! I've realised what I love through it all is creating an experience. I feel now that opening Terrace will combine a lot of the experiences I've had so far.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? My partner runs the cardiac department at St Vincent's Hospital so I'm realising that most of the challenges of life we have, as long they are not life threatening, shouldn't be taken it too seriously.

What’s your proudest career achievement? I've had a few proud moments: one I remember not long after I arrived in Australia is seeing one of my covers on a huge poster in the window of ACP Magazines so I took a photo to send to my Granddad. It made me proud to make him proud, if that makes sense.

What’s been your best decision? Hard to choose between becoming a stylist and moving to Australia, definitely choosing a creative path, and hopefully it will be opening our new store!

Who inspires you? Tricia Guild, Jonathan Adler, Patricia Urquiola, Florence Broadhurst, Tom Dixon, William Eggleston & Wolfgang Tillmans, Suzanne Stankus & Anna Burns.

What are you passionate about? In general I get totally passionate about whatever I'm working on right now. The rest of the time things that I love are beautiful plants and nature, colour and pattern, great music, my friends and family - which to me are one and the same thing.

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I think it would have been fabulous to meet Florence Broadhurst; I love that image of her sat at her desk with the bright red big hair - she looks like a force to be reckoned with.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? I have a few. It would be good to put together an affordable, well-designed, accessible homewares range; there's some great Australian design out there that is often not as well recognised as it should be. I would also love one day to go back to art college just to be able to be creatively free to explore other mediums again, but not have the pressure of it being career-related.

What are you reading? I'm not much of a book worm and with all the shop planning, I haven't had a lot of time for reading recently. The last book I read was Look who it is: my story by Alan Carr.

images courtesy of paul hopper; dieu tan (top); craig wall (white); john paul urizar (blue); nicky ryan (portrait)

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published