When you’re a fashion designer who dresses the creme de la creme of the celebrity style pack - from Cara Delevingne and Beyonce, to Margot Robbie, Suki Waterhouse and Kendall Jenner - it’s almost a given that your own home will be a celebration of Hollywood-style glamour.
Jamie Blakey, however, shuns the red carpet lifestyle beloved by her coterie of famous clients, and lives in a chic shoreside house, with a laid-back atmosphere which is totally in tune with her relaxed rock-n-roll design ethos.
“It’s a house by the beach, of course, but I think of it as an open, communal home where we can all relax and have fun. I hate formality, and that’s why this place works for me. I sit on the deck looking out to sea and it really inspires my designs,” says the designer and owner of hugely successful fashion label One Teaspoon, famous for its denim cut-off shorts, ripped jeans and flowing tops.
Her pared back decor palette mirrors the shades favoured in her ranges - black, white and denim blue - and perfectly suits the simple, two-storey wooden house, nestled in the sand dunes in northern Sydney, Australia.
Eight years ago, when Blakey and her family - husband Ron, who works in the surf industry, and their three children, Eddie, Mickey and Minnie - moved in, they had quite a job on their hands refurbishing the property, which had been painted avocado green on the outside, while inside sported timber walls and floors so oiled and polished they were almost orange, making it more barn than beach.
The couple subtly altered the layout to make the spaces on the ground floor ‘flow’ into one another, replaced timber, chose a crisp all-white decor scheme to further enhance the light, which streams in from the wrap-around windows and floods every area. The final transformation was painting the exterior charcoal.
Linen fabrics, collections of shells, framed music posters and, for drama, a particularly show-stopping animal skull decoration combine to provide texture and interest in the fuss-free space.
Blakey’s favourite interior accessory, pot plants fulfil their role of bringing rooms alive and blurring the boundary between the outdoors and in.
“I love the upstairs as it’s relaxing, but downstairs is where everything happens - family, friends, dogs and music all combine, and I love the spontaneity of that,” she says.
Unsurprisingly, the designer - who hates to pigeonhole her style and loves the description of her fashion as ‘rebellious’ - doesn’t think there should be any hard and fast rules for decor.
“I like to improvise and change rooms around, so we can show-off our belongings in a new light,” she says, which explains why there’s a bohemian feel to rooms. A life-size model peacock is perched on one of the ceiling rafters, and Blakey’s recently paid a nod to the house’s location and added an authentic ship’s wheel to a group of monochrome wall prints.
This quest for originality and desire for change reflects her approach to work. Her mother taught her to sew, and from the age of 12, Blakey made her own clothes. She worked for several years in the fashion industry, until 15 years ago, after failing to find items she wanted to wear or those which expressed her style, she scraped together her savings and bravely launched her own brand.
The name, One Teaspoon, came as she was sat in a cafe one day, nervously planning her very first show, and suddenly glanced at a single sachet of sugar on the table. “It was only a small idea that got me to the point of my own collection, so it seemed fitting,” Blakey explains.
Her anxiety over how her clothes would be received proved unfounded - they were snapped up instantly and are now sold worldwide, as well as regularly being showcased by the brand’s famous fans, of course.
Inspiration comes from experiences and random sources, she says, including her travels, fabrics, a colour, but more often than not, day-to-day life in her special home by the sea...