interior stylist vanessa colyer tay

There is great camaraderie and good will among people who work in interior magazines. I've only ever worked on an interior title so I'm not sure what other sections of the industry are like, but it never ceases to amaze me how much love there is. I'd be lying if there wasn't a degree of healthy competition when looking at other local mags to see what they produce - both in terms of content and design, but it's always done with respect.

For example, whenever I look at Inside Out I'm always blown away by the work of style editor Vanessa Colyer Tay. She is, without a doubt, one of the best interior stylists in the country. And yet she's so lovely and approachable. And her own story comforts me that you don't always find what you want from life straight off. I'll let her tell you more...

Which five words best describe you? Totally and utterly in love.
How did you get your start and what path have you taken since? I redirected my career path from hairdressing to advertising to interior styling, so the age-old saying third time's a charm is absolutely spot on. After studying at Enmore Design Centre, I took the typical path of a committed, nerdy, eager-to-learn styling pupil. I assisted some great Australian stylists who still inspire me today. One step at a time, I grew into my own. I worked freelance on a number of glossy titles before settling into a full-time styling role at Australian Home Beautiful. Now I reside at Inside Out magazine as its super-busy Style Editor.
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives? Just do it, less thought, less talk, more action.
What's your proudest career achievement? Most stylists will tell you that the end of any big shoot is a very proud moment, I'm no different. I love to bask in beautiful imagery once the chaos is over, but right now I'm quite happy with the cover styling of Inside Out magazine's 10th anniversary issue along with the styling of its 10th birthday party, an event which displayed art pieces for auction by the likes of Akira Isogawa, Kate Sylvester, David Bromley, Jason Benjamin and a whole swag of other talent. The night boasted oversized colourful dahlias, bright whimsical wire-furniture by Patricia Urquiola and an enchanting hanging garden.
What has been your best decision? To explore, to be open, to scrap poor ideas (that I thought were good) to make way for great ones.
Who inspires you? My beautiful husband for his ease at being happy, my dad for his incredible working pow wow, my 5-year old burmilla for her adaptability, stylists, artists, creatives, people who suffer for their art but do it anyway, and of course, my mum.
What are you passionate about? Creating, relaxing, being calm among chaos, mental expansion, skill development, delivering good work, pretty pictures, nature, the beauty in
our everyday and the quirkiness in what some call ugly.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Can I add an s please?! I have stacks of dreams, big and small, each one is worth conquering, no matter the size. Some are: motherhood, the Kokoda trail, styling projects for my favourite overseas publications, eternal happiness, rock climbing in Thailand.
What are you reading? Looking at the large stack of books on my living room floor, the top three are: Around Fog Linen (a little book/zine spun from the catalogue of Fog Linen, a very beautiful Lithuanian linen company based in Japan). It houses a bunch of creative people profiles and shows pictures of Fog Linen product in various creative people's homes around the world.
Design as Art by Bruno Munari and Marcel Breuer: Design and Architecture. Below these three titles are more design, art, and tree books, ­ some read thoroughly, some merely grazed over, and some have rarely been opened but they have great spines.

images courtesy of vanessa colyer tay and inside out