Photography: Hannah Blackmore
Australian relationship therapist, Claudia Stephenson, has a serious crush on interior design. Her blog Peep My Style, chronicles her current inspirations, newest purchases, and sneak peeks into her colorfully cool home. Claudia is also inspired by fashion and has a knack for styling her wardrobe and home in the latest trends. Her love for comfortable dressing has translated perfectly into her whimsical and inviting home. She recently spoke with us about her love for interior design, her fashion staples, and her penchant for collecting.
“As much as I love my neutrals I am obsessed with colorful accessories. These cookies on a ‘dinosaur designs’ resin plate are cute and delicious! And BTW I have developed a bit of a sweet tooth in the past few years so these cookies satisfy my cravings in a not so damaging way.”
What inspired you to start Peep My Style?
My interest in interior style seems to have grown at a rate of knots in the past 3 or so years. I used to be obsessed with fashion but interiors have really become my only focus. I work in a non-creative job and I was feeling unsettled not doing something that addressed my aesthetic obsession. I have always loved changing my rooms around, even as a young girl, god knows how many times I switched out furniture and wallpaper. I had a huge store of images from the Internet and magazine tears that I thought would be more organized in a central place, so the blog was born! I have not really steered it in any way, I have been letting it take me wherever it goes.
“I would love to say my closet is full of amazing heels but I am a flats girl through and through, comfort is the key for me, those Topshop Adison wedges may look high but they have a mighty tall platform so they are actually super comfortable. The leopard flats are very comfy and a weekend wardrobe staple. You may also notice that my shoes are quite worn, I am not precious with them, which is why I always buy quality shoes or else they’d only last a week!”
“Accessories are my thing, I love anything sparkly and colorful and I tend to go for fine jewelry as I don’t change up what I wear too often so it tends to stay on me for months (got to be comfy). Unfortunately for me, my skin reacts to jewelry that’s not silver or gold so I can only wear costume jewelry on rare occasions. My most treasured bits are my Hermes bracelets that mum and dad give me on special occasions. The copper belt was part of my wedding ensemble.”
You’re a relationship therapist, but your passion is interior design? Do you think you’ll ever make the switch or do you prefer to do it for fun?
Gosh, if I could quit my job and make a living out of interior styling right now there is no question I would do it! As much as I love my job and get a lot of emotional fulfillment out of it, my gut is telling me that it is time for a change, a new path is opening up for me and I would love to pursue it more seriously.
How would you describe your personal style?
Definitely comfortable and casual. My uniform is jeans (colored, blue, ripped – all of them!), slouchy pure cotton tees, knits, scarves and cute flats. I love stripes, beige, grey and navy with a bit of pink thrown in. I buy basics all the time but try to not be so boring, like my new pink jeans! I like to not have to worry about what I’m going to wear and it can never be restrictive or fussy, if I buy anything like that it will stay in my wardrobe unworn until eBay comes a calling, like an amazing bright gold cropped Comme des Garcons trench I got for a steal, I wore it once! Someone in Dallas got a very good bargain. I used to buy clothes for the person I wanted to be (restrictive, structured coats, high, high heels) but realized that I felt better about myself when I was comfortable and casual. Clothes have definitely become less important to me over the years. But saying all that, I still love a great designer bag and I have been lusting after some patent Givenchy shoes lately…
Who are your favorite designers?
Australia has some great chain stores, Witchery, Seed and Country Road always do great basics, Alexander Wang also features heavily, I have bought quite a bit of Marc by Marc Jacobs over the years and Hermes does the best accessories. Aussie labels I love are: Bassike, Sass and Bide, Lover and Bonds.
“I bought this Balenciaga on my last trip to New York with my best friend Hannah. We were both on a mission to get new bags (she got a giant Miu Miu). I am pretty minimal when it comes to what I carry around, but I do need my scent (fracas), lip balm (homeoplasmine) and my blackberry, I know, I am the only person in the world without an iPhone! The Louis Vuitton wallet was such a good buy, the patent leather means it never really ages. Every time someone goes to the states I end up with another Marc Jacobs key loop. This plastic one is my fave so far.”
What are the biggest fashion trends in Australia right now?
Neons, colored jeans, slippers, cat eye sunglasses, clashing prints, color-blocking, slouchy knits, whatever Céline and Marant do! A lot of what is going on all over the world really.
Your home has a great mix of fashion and interiors. How do you combine the two and make it look so effortless and cool?
What a compliment! Actually, I really just buy stuff I love and hope it all works! No, there is a little more thought to it than that, but if I really love something I’ll get it and make it work. I like to move things around a lot at home, create new vignettes when I buy new things, I do give it thought, what will work, what I will put away for a while. My main goal is to make home a place that really feeds my creativity and imagination as it’s where I spend most of my time – I am a big homebody. I read a lot of magazines, shelters and fashion, so I am constantly being inspired by clothes, I might see a great story on neon clothes and work out a way to use it in my home like with a cluster of pencils or something. I think whatever you are inspired by will be reflected in your home, I happen to be inspired by fashion so I can’t help but bring a little of it into my home.
“I was lucky enough to snag one of these Chanel inflatable balls from one of their pool parties, it has not made it into the water yet but it sure looks cute. I also have a Chanel Gridiron ball and I have an eBay alert out for a basketball.”