Scandi by the Sea

She has worked on lavish sets for films like The Great Gatsby and TV shows like Underbelly. Now, Briar Stanley is keeping the credits rolling on her own interior design business and blog, The Sunday Collector.

Words: Pip Miller  /  Photography: Jacqui Turk  /  Styling: Claudia Stephenson and Briar Stanley

We all love Sunday but what is it about Briar and this particular day of the week? According to Briar, she was as young as 20 when she set her heart on Sunday for a girl’s name should she ever have a daughter. Then, some eight years later she found herself working on film sets and ‘collecting’ a lot of things. “Sunday was not only a word and name I loved, it was the day I would potter around the house, constantly rearranging,” she says. Not surprisingly, when she launched a blog six years ago she named it Sunday Collector and three years on, when her daughter was born, she was given the name too. 

Briar says that while she spends most of her time now working on residential projects for her design business, she does find parallels to her former working life dressing film sets. “Over the past few years, I’ve worked on everything from a Hamptons style ‘mega’ home in Newport, to a rented, one bedroom apartment in Dulwich Hill,” she says. 

“I love the variety, and truly tapping into the headspace of my client. In a way, it’s very similar to taking a brief from a production designer or director – you research the script and the character, and work out how that ‘character’ likes to live.”

Apart from family, Briar says her passion for home decorating reigns supreme. She describes her home on Sydney’s northern beaches as ‘Scandi by the beach’, with pops of fun colour.

“It’s a mixture of collected objects, furniture and art accumulated along the way,” she says. “There are things I have purchased when I was a poor student and pieces I’ve saved for.”

When it comes to her own personal style, she is pretty relaxed and would rather be shopping for furniture and interior bits and pieces than fashion. Except when it comes to her daughter, that is. “Dressing Sunday is a completely different story – I have so much fun choosing her outfits and I’m lucky that she loves to accessorise with sunglasses and bags, making her one cute little muse.”

“I love a bedroom with a comfortable hotel feel, and created a calming space by painting the walls in Dulux Tranquil Retreat.”

When it comes to client briefs and designing interiors, what would be her biggest challenge? “Space. It’s all well and good if you come across a beautiful piece of furniture, but making the final selection often turns in to a mathematical exercise and getting the proportions right,” Briar says. “There is nothing worse than a rug that is too small.”

Briar’s advice for creating a covetable living space hinges on the gradual gathering of personal things while keeping clutter to a minimum – especially when sharing with children. “Everything in our home has its place, but I’m also constantly updating things, and donating items to charity. I have a loose rule that when something new comes into the home, something should be donated,” she says.

While Briar is busy working on a whole raft of interior design projects, her blog remains a constant source of inspiration for readers. She redesigned it a couple of years ago, leaving Briar feeling a renewed sense of energy to share what really is a delicious edit of finds, spanning kids and motherhood to DIY, food and travel.