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Welcome to My Design Alley. A design blog celebrating design in many forms - from interior spaces to new products, stores and interviews with designers both local and from around the world.

A Moment With | Lynda Gardener

A Moment With | Lynda Gardener

I've been lucky enough to experience Lynda Gardener's beautifully styled interiors. I walk away each time gobsmacked by her intuitive knack for creating such magical spaces. Lynda's distinct style features a soft palette with layers of rustic and modern elements in equal measure. Based in Melbourne, Lynda started her design career at the age of 19, fast-forward to today and there's no stopping her inspiring drive and ambition - she is forever dreaming up the next beautiful project! Lynda runs 4 boutique accomodation properties in Melbourne and has just released a line of paint colours with bespoke paint company Bauwerk.

Hi Lynda, have you always worked in the creative field? Always. I started at 19 working at Levi Strauss and slowly built my career from those early beginnings, styling and decorating for their concept stores around Australia (all self taught). I have always been extremely passionate about everything visual, which led me to open my retail store, Empire Vintage, which I had for 24 years, only closing the doors late last year. During all that time I continued to style and decorate fit-outs for many bars, cafes and interiors for commercial properties and private homes.

The Apartment in St Kilda, beautifully styled by Lynda Gardener. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

The Apartment in St Kilda, beautifully styled by Lynda Gardener. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

Looking back, what do you think first ignited your love of design? From a very early age, I always wanted to have beautiful things around me, my mother was always very house proud and we were surrounded by exceptional interiors and one-off pieces. It led to having a good eye for detail.

“Watching my mother fuss over things, ended up being a great thing and it really set the path for me.”

What do you love most about what you do? How random my weeks are. I'm always as excited as if it's the first job I have ever accepted. No two jobs are the same, so every interior job that comes my way, from the smallest shop fit-out to huge projects such as a bar or a hotel, I'm always excited for the client and that I have been selected to work on all of these great projects,

“I do pinch myself often!”

I have only ever worked on projects I believe in and a job or interior that resonates with me. It's so wonderful to have an amazing team to work with including my interior partner, the photographer and the client. I recently collaborated with Bauwerk, for my first paint range ‘White’ - it's been a great start to the year! 

The Apartment in St Kilda, beautifully styled by Lynda Gardener. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

The Apartment in St Kilda, beautifully styled by Lynda Gardener. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

Where do you go for inspiration - is there any shortage? Every day is an inspiration for me - in terms of Instagram, magazines, other colleagues and stylists and so on. I am forever inspired by so much around me.  

What motivates you? Every day I wake up I am excited to get the day going. It's just me, I have always been a very motivated person and love to achieve a lot during my days, weeks and years.

“I have always had many goals - as soon as I finish one list, I am onto the next list.”
The beautiful arched windows in The Apartment in St Kilda. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

The beautiful arched windows in The Apartment in St Kilda. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

Creatively, as a stylist, what’s one theme you keep returning to? Mixing old and new. I have always loved the thrill of a one-off found treasure and mixing it in with new contemporary furniture.

“The mix of old and new always seems to make the old item stand out and ends up the hero and feature of the room.”
The White Room boutique accomodation space. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

The White Room boutique accomodation space. Photo - Lisa Cohen.

How do you aim to strike a work-life balance? By making sure my weekends are always for my family and boyfriend. We've also started allocating Mondays to have a full day together through the week, as we are both flexible. So when it's possible, we try to have a Sunday and Monday at one of our properties to relax and enjoy the country surrounds.

A snapshot from Lynda's collaboration with bespoke paint company Bauwerk. 

A snapshot from Lynda's collaboration with bespoke paint company Bauwerk

Five things you are loving right now? Scent - most things from Le Labo, who have just opened in Melbourne. Weekends - at the National Gallery of Victoria, I always love to visit an exhibition. Night time  - chill out time, watching independent international series on Netflix, to take my mind off the busy days ahead. Every day - cuddling my dog Jack as his kisses and love are overwhelmingly a huge part of the happy starts to my day! Weekly - taking time out with my partner for a quite cocktail or bite to eat at a new local bar or cafe.

Lynda Gardener's paint range 'White' with boutique paint company Bauwerk. 

Lynda Gardener's paint range 'White' with boutique paint company Bauwerk

What’s in store for you in 2017? Oh so much! My boyfriend and I are building a new property in the countryside - a new accommodation offer to add to the other 4, opening at the end of the year. I will also personally be working on a luxury boutique hotel (not my own) with my decorating partner Belle, for an amazing entrepreneurial couple in Byron Bay, which will be opening later this year up North. It's such an exciting year!

Thank you Lynda! | The Apartment St Kilda | The Estate Trentham | The White Room Melbourne | The White House Daylesford

+ All interior photography by Lisa Cohen, Bauwerk photography by Lynda Gardener.

In Focus | Kinfolk Magazine Copenhagen

In Focus | Kinfolk Magazine Copenhagen

MCM House | Paddington

MCM House | Paddington