Catherine Heraghty of The Stables shares her life ‘renovation’ – how ditching marketing for interior decorating led to her successful business and new line of cushions.

Words: Pip Miller  /  Photography: Nikki To  /  Styling: Alice Stephenson

Catherine Heraghty of Sydney was all set for a career in marketing, when her creative urge took over: After studying interior decoration, she launched herself into the vibrant world of design.

It all began after she completed a commerce degree in her early-twenties: Catherine had a ‘eureka’ moment which, based on her passion for interior design, led to further study. This time, at Enmore Design Centre, in Sydney. Upon graduating, she launched her own property styling company, which she ran for almost a decade before deciding to sell the business.

It was then that Catherine began to reevaluate her career – examining her desire to return to the basics of design at a more gradual pace, and on a smaller scale. All of this culminated into her latest design foray, The Stables.

Working primarily on her own, Catherine says she is embracing the opportunity to work closely with clients and manage every aspect of her projects, while still having enough time for family.

“I am lucky that I have been in the industry long enough to have had contact with so many different creatives that specialise in different areas – and that I can reach out to, when I need to,” says Catherine. “I also work closely with a team of preferred tradesmen, with whom I engage regularly.”

When it comes to the elements of design and The Stables’ own style, simplicity is a focus. Added to that, a signature aesthetic that is timeless – based on clean, classic lines. 

“I steer away from things that will date too quickly,” says Catherine. “I am really big on natural light and texture. These are things you see repeated in my work, time after time.”

She adds, “I love muted colours and spaces that feel calm and light. I have always designed this way – it’s definitely my natural style.”

When designing a bedroom, for instance, Catherine steers away from bold patterns, but adds texture by layering lots of cushions and throws. For a living room, she may add a textured rug and woven baskets, along with furniture pieces that have a delicate silhouette.

“I like to use soft and muted colours to highlight a neutral base,” she explains. “For example, I inject colour into a space via artwork and accessories whilst the larger pieces of furniture remainneutral. I find this gives my clients maximum longevity from their more expensive investments.”

Catherine’s desire to capture light is also a major influence in her work, which she says can be quickly and easily achieved by changing the colours of the floor and walls using lighter toned paint, carpet and floor stains. When it comes to soft furnishings, Catherine says she doesn’t rely on one, but rather, a whole range of suppliers for the décor.

She also has a tendency to mix and match brands for a more bespoke look. After years of clients asking for her help and advice, Catherine has taken her talent for understated fixtures and cushions and created her own range – one that can be mixed and matched without the help of an interior designer. Her new line will launch in March 2017, along with her own online store.



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