Comfort Works


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Inspiring women of the interiors world and how to get their style

(Feature image credit: Justina Blakeney)

Happy Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day! The interiors industry is home to some of the most inspiring and successful female talent; designers who are responsible for shaping the way our living and working spaces look today.  Here’s to their vision and drive, and also their impeccably curated Instagram feeds. 

Shea McGee

Image credit: Studio McGee

In just six years, Shea McGee and her husband Syd have grown Studio McGee from a stay-at-home mum’s side hustle to a multimillion-dollar company with its own show on Netflix, a product line, a Target collab and more than a million followers on Instagram

Steal her style

Shea is known for designing mostly white spaces that are as bright as the snow outside her Utah home. She likes simple lines and unfussy shapes, using a mix of textures and materials such as wood, rattan, marble and brass to add interest, and cosy textiles to warm things up. And you’ll need at least one impeccably styled shelf to really capture the Studio McGee look.

Amber Lewis 

Image credit: Amber Interiors

Few designers have done more to set the tone of contemporary Californian interiors than Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors. Her muddied palettes and organic shapes work in harmony to create a mood that’s serene yet stylish, where comfort is the top priority. Everything is there to be lived in, and nothing feels too precious for a kid to jump all over it. 

Steal her style

Aim for high-quality materials such as linen, marble and leather, and use neutral colours such as taupe, charcoal and sage. Stick with simple shapes, play around with oversized pieces – whether a sofa, a vase or some branches – and err on the side of understated to capture that instantly calming effect.

Beata Heuman

Image credit: Beata Heuman

London-based Swede Beata Heuman designs homes that blend English aristo-eccentricity with Swedish cottage-core. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, and it shows in the playful, colour-soaked rooms she creates for clients across the UK. 

Steal her style

Colour, character and clash are the key to recreating Beata’s fun, comforting rooms. Choose what you love, not what’s trending, and don’t worry if things don’t ‘go’ together. Does it make you smile? Then it works. Mixing preloved, family heirloom or vintage pieces with new buys is the key to capturing this style. 

Justina Blakeney

Image credit: Justina Blakeney

Justina Blakeney pioneered the lush boho vibe that has been all over Instagram in the past few years, and no wonder – she’s the founder and creative director of home decor brand Jungalow and wrote The New Bohemians book series. She believes that “pattern is the spice of design and plants are magic”, so it’s easy to see why her bold, colourful interiors have such a vivid sense of abundance.

Steal her style

Be confident with colour and pattern, while also incorporating simpler elements such as macrame or bamboo for balance. Indoor plants are crucial to recreating Justina’s style, so the more the merrier. This look is all about embracing your inner creative so why not try your hand at painting, weaving or building something yourself?


Image credit: Arent&Pyke

Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke have added a sheen of gloss and sophistication to the easy, breezy coastal style that most people associate with Australian interior design. Since founding their Sydney practice in 2007 the pair have built a reputation for creating decorative and grown-up interiors with plenty of European design icons in play and an emphasis on timeless quality, all while maintaining that relaxed Aussie vibe. 

Steal their style

Embrace curves – whether it’s an arched door or a rounded kitchen counter – and explore the less common corners of the colour palette. Colours are hugely important but they should be complementary or tonal rather than clashing. Embrace the indoor-outdoor lifestyle too with large doors and open living spaces that bring the garden inside. Keep it sophisticated, with a few surprises. 

Kate Guest is an Australian journalist based in the UK, and the former editor of ELLE Malaysia. She dreams of following in the footsteps of her idol, Ilse Crawford, and moving from magazines to interior design.